11 Positive Effects of Not Watching Pornography
If you have been consuming pornography excessively and are thinking about slowing down, the evidence is in your favor: there are many benefits to not watching pornography. Pornography is made to be addictive, so it can be very difficult to stop watching it. However, committing to do so might just be in your best interest.
In this article, we will talk about the addictive qualities of pornography, give some tips to slow down or halt your pornography viewing and share some of the positive things that can happen if you curb your habit. Read on to learn more, or if you're ready to see the benefits of not watching porn, take the survey in our app to get a personalized plan.
Why Is Pornography So Addictive?
First of all, we have to recognize that pornography is incredibly addictive. There are several scientific reasons, but the main one is conditioned responses and rewards.
A neurologist named Ivan Pavlov once conducted a famous experiment in which he would ring a bell and then give his dog a treat, consistently, time after time. Eventually, the dog became so conditioned to this experience that he would salivate at the mere sound of a bell, whether or not a treat was administered.
When it comes to pornography viewing, the concept is the same. This is what links pornography to all other kinds of addiction. We become conditioned to certain activities ("addictive behaviors") at certain times of the day, and in certain places and situations.
When we give ourselves a hit of that feel-good chemical (dopamine), our brains and bodies crave it. Thus, when we find ourselves at a location where we tend to engage in a certain behavior, we may start to crave it, even if we weren’t planning on doing it.
How Can I Stop Watching Pornography?
This is a tough one and a question of not only emotionality but also practicality. It’s not easy to stop doing something that has become an addiction. Now, the jury is still out on whether or not pornography viewing can count as a “real” addiction.
This is actually a fairly sensitive issue. Many mental health practitioners disagree about whether or not pornography addiction is a real addiction.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not recognize an official porn addiction diagnosis. However, for individuals who feel the urge, the temptation to obsessively watch pornography can still lead to very real issues, and stopping can feel impossible.
However, we have some tips that might help you change your habits. If your tablet has been seeing too much action lately, here are some proven ideas to stop watching pornography.
- Talk to someone. Getting this off your chest can be a huge relief, whether talking to a certified therapist or even a friend or loved one. We know it’s not easy to admit it, but it’s often a good first step.
- Keep a journal. It might sound a little corny, but writing as an act of catharsis truly can work. Jot down how you feel when you want to watch, how it feels when you can abstain, and record any little victories you have throughout the day.
- Ditch the shame. It’s not easy, but try not to get down on yourself. Think of this as the marketing ploy of the century. It’s not a fluke that you’re addicted. Porn is big business, and the product has been made addictive on purpose, not by accident.
- Keep electronics away. It’s true what they say: out of sight, out of mind. Well, kind of. We doubt that keeping your laptop in your backpack will keep you from thinking about watching porn, but if it’s inconvenient for you to get your device, you may think twice. That moment of pause could be enough for your willpower to take over.
- Remember the reality. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is somehow just who you are or that you can’t stop. You are in control of your life; you just have to do a little work on yourself.
What Are the Positive Effects of Not Watching Pornography?
If you have started to feel like you watch too often, you probably already feel some of the negative effects that excessive pornography viewing has had on your life. Maybe you’ve shirked some responsibilities at work, maybe you’ve started feeling less satisfaction in your real relationship, or maybe you are having a hard time climaxing at all lately.
Some definite, scientifically proven (and anecdotal) benefits to quitting the habit exist. Read more here!
1. Rewire Your Brain
You can actually change your brain. Evidence suggests that with time and abstinence from porn watching, your brain can revert to how it functioned before porn. This concept is called neuroplasticity, which assumes that your brain pathways can heal and regenerate.
2. Gain Some Clarity
If you’ve been struggling with this, you are probably aware of the brain fog caused by watching too much porn. If you stop watching, believe it or not, that brain fog goes away. You might find that your head is clearer, and you can think more quickly.
3. Get in Better Physical Shape
We know that this one may be a correlate and not a cause, but many people report that when they lessen the amount of pornography they watch, they tend to get in better shape and lose weight. It only makes sense: less sitting in front of a computer and more exercise.
4. Rekindle Relationships
One of the best side effects of quitting porn is that you will likely see a huge increase in closeness between you and your significant other if you have one. A relationship that may have been on the outs could be rekindled as you move away from a toxic relationship with porn.
5. Decreased Depression and Anxiety
Sadly, depression and anxiety are common friends of porn addiction. We often tend to try to cope with sad feelings with destructive means. If you stop watching porn, you may find that you are filling that time with things that make you happier.
6. More Socialization
The best way to get away from your computer is to go outside. You may even go out with friends, your girlfriend, or a sibling. Either way, the odds are good that you will be moving closer to people if you move away from the screen.
7. Reduce Social Anxiety
Perhaps it's because of the socialization above, but in a poll of more than 2,500 people who had recently reduced their porn viewing and masturbation, 53 percent said that they “absolutely” felt as though they had less social anxiety after quitting. Those are some strong statistics!
8. Improved Self Esteem
Most people report a renewed sense of purpose and self-esteem when they stop watching porn. It could be that when you’re not constantly worrying about how to get a handle on the problem, you have more time to work on and feel good about yourself!
9. More Sexual Satisfaction
By now, you might not have noticed how much your (real) sex life has suffered. When you step back and take a hard look at things, you might realize that things could be much better. And when you stop watching porn, you’ll be surprised at how much better they can be.
10. Increased Enjoyment of Everyday Life
This sounds a little broad, but it’s really true. Our pleasant feelings in daily life are produced by a typical dopamine experience in the brain. However, porn causes the brain to shut down many dopamine receptors because it overstimulates them.
As a result, many daily activities are seen as less joyful than they formerly were. When you quit watching porn, some of that joy can return.
11. Gain Back Your Motivation
In life, we are motivated to accomplish certain things. Watching porn can change the pathways in our brains and affect our motivation.
We are no longer motivated by the things that used to motivate us; we only want to get to our next visual fix. Stop watching, and you will see your motivation and drive skyrocket.
Watching pornography to excess has many negative side effects, but conversely, if you quit, you will see great benefits. From reducing anxiety and depression to increasing motivation, happiness, and sexual satisfaction, the decision to quit is a no-brainer.
Watching porn is not healthy. Quitting might seem impossible, but you can do it!
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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