How to Overcome Pornography, Even If You’ve Tried Before
Even though we all know that the struggle to overcome pornography is a journey, sometimes it feels more like running into a wall over and over again than going on a rewarding adventure. It’s easy to get concerned—especially when stories of people struggling with porn their entire lives get so much more publicity than the stories of people who overcome the issue and get to live normal, positive lives.
If this isn’t your first time trying to overcome pornography for good, you’re not alone! Many people have become addicted to pornography, struggled against it for years, and then, after some hard work, overcome the issue. It isn’t impossible. It’s doable, in fact!
In this article, we’ll go over some of the strategies that will help you to overcome pornography, even if you’ve tried before. We’ll address some actionable steps for you to try, as well as the importance of using some of the resources available to you.
Why is it Difficult to Overcome Pornography?
Understanding why you want to overcome pornography is essential. It could be due to the negative impact it has on your relationships, self-esteem, or productivity. Acknowledging the harm it causes is crucial in motivating yourself to make a change. Take a moment to reflect on how pornography addiction has affected your life, and use it as a driving force to propel you forward on your journey to recovery.
Overcoming any addiction is challenging, and porn addiction is no exception. Understanding the reasons behind the difficulty will help you develop effective strategies to overcome it. One of the primary reasons quitting porn is hard is due to the addictive nature of pornography itself. The brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, when exposed to sexual content. This creates a craving for more, leading to a vicious cycle of seeking and consuming explicit material.
Additionally, the ease of access to pornographic content makes it difficult to resist. With the internet at our fingertips, it takes just a few seconds to find. The constant availability of high-speed internet and smartphones makes it challenging to break free from the addiction.
Some Important Things to Remember as You Work to Overcome Pornography
There are a few key things to keep in mind as you work to implement the lifestyle change that is quitting pornography.
Create a Supportive Environment
Surround yourself with people who support your decision to quit porn. It will be much harder to quit if the people you spend most of your time with don’t support you in your goal. Share your recovery plans with them, and invite them to follow up as often as feels comfortable for you. Remember, your relationship with that person doesn’t have to become all about porn. It shouldn’t. But you should be able to call them for support if ever you need to.Create a safe recovery space for yourself by removing triggers from your environment, blocking websites, and deleting explicit content from your devices. Utilizing ad blockers or porn blocking software will only work if you don’t allow yourself to know or find out the passwords.
Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Identify healthy alternatives to cope with stress, boredom, or other triggers that may lead to watching pornography. You can’t just cut out the porn. That will leave an empty hole that your brain—in the moment where it’s craving pornography—will try to re-fill with porn. You need to replace the time you used to spend watching pornography with positive and healthy things instead.Try out a new hobby, get outside without your phone, or give your grandma a call. One of the most effective ways to lift your mood without turning to porn is serving others, so recovery is a great opportunity to get involved in making your community, family, or friend group, a better place.
Set Realistic Goals
Break your journey into smaller, achievable goals. Celebrate each milestone along the way, as it will motivate you to keep going. Remember, recovery is a process, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey.
Treat Each Slip-Up as a Learning Moment
When you’re hard at work trying to recovery from pornography, you will mess up. But that’s okay. If/When these slip-ups occur, study them! Ask yourself
- What happened that made me want to resort to porn instead of following my plan to quit?
- What was I feeling?
- Where did I deviate from my plan not to watch porn?
- How did I feel about myself after messing up?
- What steps can I take to avoid this in the future?Then make sure you’re reaching out to a loved one or a member of your support group to keep you from getting discouraged.
Practical Strategies to Overcome Pornography Even When You Haven’t Succeeded Before
If you've tried to overcome pornography in the past without success, don't be discouraged. Many individuals have faced similar challenges and managed to overcome their addiction. But, if you feel like you aren’t making any progress, it’s time to turn to more aggressive recovery tactics.
Seek Professional Help
Try reaching out to a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction recovery. They can provide you with personalized strategies and support to help you overcome your addiction. Consider finding a CSAT—a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist—who can help you understand the more nuanced nature of pornography recovery, and give you tactics you might not be able to find elsewhere.
Utilize Technology Tools
Take advantage of technology tools designed to aid addiction recovery. If you aren’t already in an online recovery support group, join one!
Here at Relay, we’ve created a unique recovery app and are having great success with it. We put you into a group of people working on the same exact thing that you are, help you to craft your own recovery goals, and then you and your group work as a team to meet those goals. Try it out here!
Focus on Self-Compassion
Understand that you’re doing something very hard. Make the time to engage in activities that nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being while you work on your recovery. Allow yourself to “waste time” doing things that are fun and make you happy.
Support Groups and Resources for Addiction Recovery
Support groups are a powerful resource for individuals seeking to overcome porn. Connecting with others who have similar experiences can provide a sense of understanding and encouragement. Online support groups, such as Relay's support-group based recovery app, can be accessed from the comfort of your own home. These groups offer a safe space to share struggles, receive support, and learn from others who have successfully quit porn.
Conclusion: Remaining Resilient in Your Journey to Overcome Pornography
Overcoming pornography is hard, but that doesn’t make it impossible.
By implementing the strategies discussed in this article and utilizing resources such as therapy and support groups, you can break free from the habit of watching pornography. Stay resilient, stay committed, and embrace the journey towards a healthier, happier life. A life without pornography addiction is the kind of positive life that you deserve.
Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment in the Relay Program for Compulsive Pornography or Masturbation
There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on pornography, masturbation, or sex. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at email@example.com.
A better way to recovery, right in your pocket.
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