February 9, 2018 at 2:37 am #191567
I have a nagging problem. It is that of addiction to pornography. Yes, I am an addict. I am not going to lie to myself about it. I have been watching porn for about seven years now. I watch it almost every other day. It has become a disruptive habit. I have tried to quit multiple times. Only to relapse after a while and start watching it again. I want to stop this habit, for good. How do I achieve that? Can anybody advise? Thanks.February 9, 2018 at 7:10 am #191611
Addition can be a tough nut to crack. Just recognizing the issue as a problem you want to deal with is a good first step. Well done
“Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.” ~Byron Katie
The following is about alcoholism however I suspect the suggestions apply to all addictions.February 9, 2018 at 7:29 am #191617
There are 12 Step addiction programs/meetings you can participate in. There are numerous books on how to stop/create a habit.
Substitute a habit for that one.
Install blocking software on your computer.
Note what triggers you to start watching and eliminate them.
Visualize your life without it, i.e. how you would enjoy it and/or how more productive you will be and how good you feel about that.
Have a habit buddy who you can call if you feel the need to watch.
There are many more ways you can find online or in books but that's a start.
MarkFebruary 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm #191737
Thank you Peter and thank you Mark.
I have duly noted down the points suggested by you. Now I intend to work on these suggestions and get rid of this nasty habit.
I will keep you informed of my progress. Thanks again.February 10, 2018 at 5:25 am #191753
I am trying to overcome this issue for last 3 years. It is very difficult to quit it but I have realized I get urges to watch porn when I am alone in my room or when I am stressed (or both) so I try not to be in my room alone anymore. I leave the room as soon as I get an urge to what it. When I am stressed then I read an article or a book to divert my mind.
In the end it all really depends how badly you want to quit it and how motivated are you to really quit it. Believe me, I know that it is really difficult. I am trying to quit many addictions (porn, fa,cigarette,coffe and alcohol) by May end.February 10, 2018 at 6:23 am #191767
I live alone, I am single, introverted, and subject to long hours of isolation as I work/study alone. This makes my task of getting rid of porn a lot difficult. But I am highly determined and motivated to quit this addiction. I am willing to do what it takes, no matter what. Hoping for the best.February 14, 2018 at 2:54 pm #192543
You stated that long hours of isolation and stress are the main factors of your addictions. During my teens years I had a lot of painful, stressful emotions going on and became totally addicted to TV. It was the only way to get my mind off the pain. Then during my early 20's I discovered exercise, specifically running. It got me out of the house, helped clear my mind, reduced my stress/anxiety and was a lot healthier than being a couch potato watching TV. I'm also an introvert and this helped me meet some people and not feel so isolated.February 14, 2018 at 8:07 pm #192571
Do not have a very strong intense need to stop the habit. This will cause more to get into the habit instead of coming out of it.
This is because – if I tell you right now not to think of blue elephants, then the first image on the screen of your mind will be blue elephants. But if I tell you to think of black elephants, that will what be replacing any other image on your mind. Meaning – if you replace something else with your habit then eventually you will come out of it. You will need to replace those ‘urging' times with something else. Given that you are alone, single and introvert what can you replace it with?
Start to focus your mind on things that is going to make you happy and cheerful. Since you mentioned you are an introvert, below are the things that you could think of doing where there is no interaction with other people.
– Prepare a list and do all the things that you like to do and makes you feel happy. This list should not contain something where other people are involved. You may struggle to think as to what can I do for myself that makes me happy but does not involve other people. Well, here are a few examples on the same – (below are just a few tips; add your own, and as many as you want)
• Go and watch the sunset or simply go to a beach (sounds cliche but is really worth the visit)
• Go and buy something to eat for yourself that you like very much
• Go for a walk simply to a place where you have never been before.
Of course go to a safe and known place. Keep walking and walking just for the heck of it. No particular agenda in mind, no destination to go, just keep going. Once you are tired or feel like you have gone far then return back. Make sure that you know the road to return back ?
• Simply go to the roof, lie on your back, both hands under your head, and watch the sky
• Sit down and take ten deep breaths
• Take a different route to your work or college. Just for the heck of it – for no reason at all
• Be still for a while
Sit somewhere in the greens or on a park bench, and be quiet for a few minutes. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. Simply sit.
• Inhale a fragrance that you like
Maybe Lavender or maybe Peppermint or maybe Rose……or whatever you like. Whatever that boosts your mood and makes you feel happy and cheerful.
• Watch the sunrise
If you have watched the sunset (in #1); now for a change wake up early on some morning and watch the sunrise too.
• Have a good and hearty laugh.
Put some YouTube videos that make you laugh and giggle or read a comic strip if you like it that way
• Go alone to a museum or a gallery
• Become more conscious of your health
Add at least one healthy item in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Then add two. Continue as you wish.
• Stroke a pet
• Take a “self-spa” at home (or maybe even at an actual spa).
Take a long bath or shower, sit long in the bath tub if you prefer. Apply something of nice fragrance.
• Strike something off from your to-do list
Either something that you have been postponing for a long time or something that is easy and quick to do.
• Disconnect yourself for an hour
No phones, no messages, no social media, no emails, no internet.
• Shake yourself
Put your favorite track and dance your heck out of it. If you do not like dancing then simply put your favorite songs and listen to them.
The list is going to be endless. You have to prepare your own list. Since you are alone it is a even easy to follow a routine and practice something – Nobody to disturb – nothing to do for someone else in the house/room.
Of course there are going to be times when the urge to watch is going to be more. So be it. At times it is also ok to fall prey to the urge. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you resist the urge it is going to persist. So keep it in light balance. Sometimes you succumb to the urge and sometimes not. So let it be that way. Gradually you will come out of it as you have more things to focus on.
At times you can even run the urge in the mind. When the urge comes “see” it. See where you feel that inside your body or in the mind. Sit with it for 90 seconds. Allow the urge to course through your entire system and focus your attention on the sensation of the urge itself rather than going and taking the next action (which is to go and watch pornography). After a minute and a half you will find that the urge will begin to dissipate and dissolve. In the beginning even if it doesn't so let it be.
Walking/Running is a really good thing that distracts and clears the mind. Since you said you are an introvert so why not challenge yourself of coming out of your introvertedness. Why not slowly but gradually start interacting with people. It is a reality of life that there are going to be interactions involved with people as you move towards your life – be it in a job, at the grocery store, at the gas station, at the coffee shop, etc. You can start by just giving a smile to stranger. Then a spoken line or two then a conversation. Start gathering knowledge about the current events. This will help to strike a conversation.
This challenge itself is going to break your other habit. What you focus on that will grow.
It is usually said that it takes a minimum of 21 days to break a habit. So with this continuous practice of acknowledging the urge, challenging your introvertedness and with the above pointers to focus on other things that make you happy, eventually you will feel more in control and be able to make a conscious choice of what to do whenever you get that urge.
February 24, 2018 at 8:53 am #194201
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by VJ.
TLDR : Get the NoFap app and subscribe to the NoFap subreddit.
If it is any help knowing that you are not alone in overcoming a pornography addiction / that it is possible to gain control over a pornography addiction I let you know that I struggled with a pornography addiction for a long while. However, it is possible to gain control of a pornography addiction; I have not viewed pornography as of May 2017.
Here are some remarks on things that helped me overcome my pornography / masturbation addiction that are immediately applicable and hopefully will be helpful for you as well :
The biggest thing that helped me was finding the app: NoFap. I would highly recommend it to you. Also, I found the NoFap subreddit to be very helpful. For me both of these resources were places of motivation and inspiration. Further, the app gave me an alternative / distraction when an urge would come to consume pornography, when I would normally go on my phone to consume pornography I would pass by the app, click on it instead, and refocus myself and my desire to overcome this addiction.
Other things that I found helpful were:
- Cold showers : this trains you to be able to tolerate discomfort
- Doing push-ups when I felt overcome by the urge to masturbate
I really liked what Mark mentioned regarding an accountability buddy. I personally never had one because I never felt comfortable opening up to someone about my addiction, but I think this could be a powerful tool. In a sense, the NoFap subreddit serves as an accountability buddy; it for the most part really is a beautiful site.
Here is something else to consider that you might find helpful : Personally, I found that pornography and masturbation were inextricably linked that I could not really keep one and can the other. Also, for me, I was more concerned by my masturbation addiction than my pornography addiction. I say this so that you at least consider the idea of working to overcome both addictions; of course, assuming that you also consider yourself to be addicted to masturbation.
Here are some meta thoughts that you might find helpful as a more long term solution to overcoming your addiction / keeping yourself from returning to past habits :
Now days I still have urges to masturbate and what I have found to help me the most in dealing with moments when I just want to give in / have started to give in is to remind myself that I quit for a good reason. And, I find that that is generally enough just mentally repeating that to myself: I quit for a good reason. For me a big reason why I quit / don't want to return to the prior person is because I disliked how much time I wasted on this addiction which I could have spent on pursuing my true passions, such as math. Of course, there are so many more reasons I could give of why I don't want to become encaptured by this addiction again. But, the important thing is to find your reason; why do you want to quit (and that may change with time and that's okay too) and remind yourself of it when you want to relapse. Also, I will just note because I think this is important is that from my experience this tactic is not helpful when you are just beginning to remold your habit schema because at this time point the habit will be too powerful and strongly imprinted onto your brain for an elusive / intangible future reward to overcome a short term powerful reward of immediate short-term pleasure. I have only found it helpful having been abstinent from these addictions for some time period because then there is the immediate reward of not wanting to undo your past hard-work versus the short term reward of temporary pleasure. Also, if it is helpful I think / personally found that if you manage to abstain from your addiction for a while this mentality will naturally arise; that is there is no need to artificially say this or try to induce this tactic to stop yourself from looking / consuming pornography just let this mentality / tactic come when it comes and until then use the other tactics listed above that you find / cultivate for yourself.
The last thing that I think is important as a more long-term solution to overcoming your addiction is to consider the psychological aspect of the addiction / habit. I have heard it said (I don't remember exactly how it goes but the gist is) that your actions / habits / addictions that exist in your life are there because they are helping you meet a (subconscious) need or desire. The idea is if you can figure out the need / desire that your pornography addiction is helping you
meet” then you can engage in other methods of meeting these needs / desires that you find more agreeable. And, maybe you find that there are no agreeable alternatives methods for meeting that desire directly and that's okay too, but at least you now understand yourself and that desire better and can perhaps partially meet it.
For me, I think that my masturbation / pornography addiction was in some ways trying to help me
meet” the need / desire for connection with a woman and human connection and also as a
depressant” for my anger at living at home, etc… I think a big underlying reason fueling my addiction after a certain point was that I was not getting enough human connection especially with people that I enjoyed being around and just felt lonely and sad and was suffering… I can't say that always get enough of the meaningful / deep human connection (maybe that is just a problem with my perspective?), but I am fortunate enough to be working with people that I enjoy seeing and I get to see them every weekday and it at least seems to meet some baseline level of human connection and is generally enough to ward off some underlying desire to engage in masturbation / pornography. I think this YouTube video on addiction ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg ) captures well this sense that addiction is in some way tied in to a lack of human connection and is very thought-provoking. I think this point of there being some minimal threshold of real-life human interaction that wards off this loneliness which, at least for me, was the breeding ground for the habits of pornography and masturbation is very important. I really liked VJ's comment on ways to gradually increase one's level of interaction with others – something else that I struggled with. Personally, I found dancing to be very enjoyable way to get this dose of human connection.
Honestly, I guess I should say I found breaking this addiction to be a battle, and it still is at times to keep these past habits away, but it is definitely worth it (at least I have found it to be so). It is definitely the most difficult at the beginning, but the good thing is that the struggle gets easier as time goes on.
You can do it; I believe in you!
And, I wish you more than luck on your journey to overcome your pornography addiction, and I am sending a lot of love and good thoughts your way (check your mail in about a week),
🙂March 6, 2018 at 8:25 am #196091
Over the last few weeks, my consumption of pornography has greatly reduced. I would be lying if I say it has completely stopped. But it has reduced considerably. I feel proud about it. Here are a few things I have been doing,
1. Instead of fighting off the urge, like before, I have now become more aware of the urge. I just sit with the urge and observe its manifestations in my body. I don't act on the urge. I breathe deeply and after a while the urge dissipates.
2. I have been doing Yoga and also go out for a jog/walk in the evening. I also play soccer on the weekends.
3. I have started playing my piano again after a while. I am also taking piano lessons on the internet.
4. I am gardening more than earlier.
5. I have installed NoFap app on my devices and also subscribed for NoFap reddit.
6. I head out to a nearby library to work/study during the day. I am limiting my solitude. I have also made a few friends at the library.
7. I have installed a porn blocking app on my devices.
8. I am journaling my thoughts everyday.
9. I am meditating more than before and have also started exploring Pranayama and Zen meditation techniques.
10. I question myself, “Why am I trying to quit?” I have written down few mission statements which I read out loud every morning. I am trying to find stronger life purposes.
Thank you all, for your support. I will continue these practices and keep you updated with my progress. I am very grateful for your guidance.March 6, 2018 at 9:23 am #196119
Quite impressive on all the positive steps you have taken! I really admire you for turning your life into something more healthy. You are a great example! Thanks for sharing your progress.
MarkMarch 7, 2018 at 2:24 am #196181
Its wonderful srk, to hear from you and about the positive progresses you have made. You are really setting an example to people with addiction by the choices you are making.