Every second, more than $3000 is spent on pornography. Watching porn can become an addiction that affects your mental and physical health, job performance, self-esteem and relationships with loved ones.
I’ve personally been addicted to porn for 10 years – and these are the steps I’ve developed myself that actually helped me break free:
1) What makes me addicted?
First, congratulations on even acknowledging you have a problem or addiction. Fully admitting actually gives you more power on the road to quitting porn.
Ask yourself the questions: “what makes me addicted? What are the triggers to my addiction? When do I tend to watch porn and what behaviors surround my addiction?”
Sometimes people don’t see that they watch porn at specific times or after certain events. For example, you may tend to watch porn only late at night, or if there’s nothing to do and you’re really bored – or on the flipside, if there’s work to be done and you’re procrastinating. It’s also common to masturbate to porn as a “reward” or “relief” after handling a tough situation or going through some stress.
Identify these types of situations and start writing a porn journal. Start with an entry on how you got addicted and what the triggers of addiction are. After you’ve watched porn, keep writing entries on the observations you’ve made about yourself. Example: “breathing got heavier, almost couldn’t concentrate on anything else, heart beat faster.”
Trust me, developing self-awareness for this behavior is very crucial.
2) Re-condition your mind
Pornography is just like drugs – studies have shown that porn users tend to watch increasingly hardcore porn. Studies on the brain liken this phenomenon drug addicts using harder drugs such as cocaine or heroine.
Thus, it is critical to condition yourself to “wean” yourself off hardcore porn and use more softcore porn. Start by watching content that is more softcore, and try your best to migrate to looking at pictures. The goal is to decrease both the intensity and time you spend with hardcore media. Finally, strive for a level in which you can read erotic stories and still be stimulated.
3) Self Stimulation is Important
This may be a controversial tip, but it’s done wonders for me. Following your success with the previous step, aim to reach climax on your own, without any visual aid.
Pornography has waged war on individuals’ ability to fantasize and use their own imagination for self-stimulation. Indeed, we have become a generation where we need to turn on the computer in order to turn ourselves on. Don’t let this be you.
Start turning yourself on first – take as long as you need and don’t take it too hard on yourself if you stumble at first. Then document each success in your journal.
4) Create action-oriented goals
Of course other resources are going to tell you to stay busy and active, which is extremely important. But let’s go one step forward: what’s something that you’ve been wanting to do or achieve for a long time? Learn how to play the guitar? Get those six-pack abs? Run a marathon? Make more friends or date more people?
Choose one singular goal to start out with. The more social the goal, the better – surrounding yourself with people while staying involved and active in your community helps a lot.Measure the success of this goal against how well you’re doing quitting porn. And yet again, I’m going to tell you to journalize this.
And there you have it – the 4 fundamental steps I’ve personally used to conquer my decades-long porn addiction. Remember day in which you think to yourself, “naw, I don’t feel like watching porn.” It’s an amazing feeling to get that control back in your life.
Congratulations on reading this, because that means you’re doing something about your addiction.