What Are the Practical Steps to Quitting Porn?

There are many practical things to keep in mind when trying to break free from porn. Here are six:

1. Education – You need to educate yourself about all the things porn is robbing from your life, the way it’s negatively impacting your brain, your body, and your relationships—even your most cherished relationships.

2. Clean House and Set Up Boundaries – You need to make sure you clean house and set barriers between yourself and access to porn. That might mean getting an Internet filter, taking a different route home from work, or even locking down your phone so you can’t access the Internet from it.

Now you’re probably going to be tempted to leave some doors open because you don’t think they’ll be a big deal. Don’t do this. Remember this mantra: “When you’re are at your best, plan for your worst.” Right now, if you have resolve to avoid porn, remember, a day will likely come when you don’t have that resolve, so making sure you have built-in protections now is key.

3. Set Small, Measurable Goals – Don’t make promises like, “I’ll never watch porn again.” Start with, “Today, I will not watch porn.” You need to stop thinking about sexual freedom as a destination and start thinking about it as a daily—sometimes hourly—choice.

4. Write Down Your Exit Strategies – Write down the places and situations where you’re most tempted and then write down how you plan to flee from those situations in that moment. In the words of St. Josemaria Escriva, “Don’t be such a coward as to be ‘brave.’ Flee!” And when you write these exit strategies down, be specific.

5. Sexual Fasting – Fasting involves abstaining from a good thing for a period of time. If you’re married, then talk this idea over with your spouse. Remember, from a clinical perspective, a porn addict is hooked on the neurochemicals released in his or her brain during the pornographic encounter. This powerful neuro-cocktail of dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, vasopressin, endorphins, and serotonin is responsible for the physical aspects of porn addiction. Many addiction therapists recommend letting these neuro-circuits rest for 6-8 weeks.

Now, sexual fasting can also have a powerful positive effect in your marriage since it will enable you to be creative in ways you show love to your spouse. It’ll also show him or her that you view her as a person to be loved, not an object to be used. If you do this, I recommend talking it over with a counselor first.

6. Writing Down Positive Motivations – There must be some reason you want to stop looking at porn. What are those reasons? Write down a vision statement that says, “This is the kind of man or woman I long to become,” and then write down character traits and virtues that you want to have, things you know porn is robbing from you. Write it down and read it aloud to yourself every day. When you are tempted, pull it out of a pocket and read it again. Remind yourself of the person you want to be.

These are just a taste of the practical steps we can take. Learn more in the free book, The Porn Circuit.

covenanteyes.com · by Matt Fradd · May 8, 2015

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