With the advent of the digital age, it has become increasingly easier for anyone to access almost any type of information on the internet within the palm of their hands. One would argue that this is the best time to be alive. It has also become increasingly easier to get access to pornography material. And as we all know, too much of something is poisonous. And when you take too much of something over a prolonged period, you eventually become addicted.
There are two schools of thought on this matter. One argues that you cannot be addicted to pornography and that there is no such thing as pornography addiction. This is because watching pornography can be compared to watching Netflix. Very many people watch extensive hours of Netflix in one sitting over several days but no one claims to be addicted to it. So why then would people claim to be addicted to pornography? The other school of thought argues that always having the urge to watch pornography day in day out can be classified as an addiction because you’ve been rendered unable to stop watching it. Whichever school of thought you belong to, in this post, we’re going to see how you can tone down the amount of pornography you watch. For the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to it as an addiction.
Please note that this is by no means expert advice and has only been drawn out of my own conclusions. Feel free to disagree with me.
- Acknowledge the addiction
The first step in getting over most addictions is acknowledging the addiction exists. Getting out of your cocoon and accepting that you have an addiction will allow you to view the problem with a new set of eyes and will put you in the mind frame that you need to be in in order to beat the addiction. Acknowledging it will also enable you to be more conscious of your habits, so you’ll always know what triggers you, your schedule for watching and many other factors that lead up to you watching pornography.
- Live with people
For some, it may be possible for others it may not. If you’re living alone, I would bet that boredom and idleness sometimes contribute to you watching pornography. You could try and quit cold turkey by thrusting yourself in an environment that makes it really difficult to get an opportunity to watch pornography. When you live in an environment in which people are always walking in and out of the living space, you won’t have the opportunity to indulge yourself since pornography is one of those things that people don’t openly admit to watching. Most people will watch it in private. If you’re one of those people, get a roommate or move in with others. However, I wouldn’t advise that you consider this as a long term solution because it’s more of running away from the problem rather than facing it head-on. So you might find yourself slipping back when you finally have some time alone. This method would serve best as a precursor to other methods you would like to use to quit the habit.
- Seek professional help
If you feel like you’re unable to deal with the problem alone, it’s best to seek professional help from an experienced practitioner. Therapists and counsellors most likely have experience dealing with this or other similar cases, so they will most likely know what to do and how to help you. They will also keep anything you tell them under strict confidence so you will not have to deal with the risk of other people discovering your addiction if you don’t want to. They’re mandated by law to keep your discussions private. This is definitely the best avenue to take when you’re having a pornography addiction. Keep in mind that this option will be more expensive than the others but the cost is well worth the results you will get from it.
- Stop procrastinating
Often you might find yourself putting off dealing with the addiction a couple of times. It is true what they say, ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’. You must make sure that whatever steps or measures you take you do not procrastinate about starting or executing them. It’s tough but taking the first step is very crucial in the road to getting rid of an addiction.
- Get rid of any pornographic material in your possession
Most often, if you’ve stored some porn somewhere in your hard drive, this is what will tempt you to fall back into or continue your habit. The best thing to do is to make it more difficult to access the material by getting rid of it completely, delete them and clear them from your recycle bin. If it’s in disks or magazines, get rid of them altogether. It is true that you can quite easily access more pornography online but that’s another layer of redundancy added that you’ll have to overcome in the event that you’re tempted to watch pornography. If you throw in the number of distractions that one can actually get online, you might even end up not watching any as compared to when the material is on your local storage.
- One step at a time
It’s true that you won’t get over your addiction overnight and you might actually fall back a couple of times. Don’t beat yourself too much over this as this is part of many people’s journey to recovery. Remember that building a new habit needs constant redundancy. Therefore, recognise the little victories you get and the small steps you take, celebrate those because when they compound upon themselves, they will change you completely. You could also establish for yourself a reward system whereby you reward yourself for any small feats you accomplish and you take something away if you fall back. This will help you keep the motivation up for kicking the addiction out of your system.
- Get yourself an accountability partner
For most people, it’s not easy to open yourself up to someone else about such a personal matter. But if you have someone you trust completely, it would greatly serve your purpose if you would enlist them as an accountability partner. It has to be someone you trust completely and are not afraid of opening up to 100%. Having an external body that you are accountable to usually puts in a fresh motivation that being accountable to yourself simply doesn’t always provide.
- Feel the consequences before they happen
If you’re here, it’s very likely that you want to kick the habit because it’s starting to interfere with your daily life. Be it relationships, time wastage or any other area of your life. The urge to watch porn is very strong, anytime you feel the urge to engage, summon enough energy to step away from your phone, computer or whatever the source is and think for a moment what you will be having at stake. This will very likely help you to start thinking clearly. It might not get you out of the mood completely, which brings us to step number 9
- Develop an exit strategy
It would be very useful for you to come up with a strategy that helps clear your head anytime you’re feeling tempted to watch porn. This could be something like working out for instance. Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and the urge simply isn’t going away, step away from the access point and do a few reps. Keep doing them until you no longer feel the urge. The beauty of such a method is that the urge either has to go away or you have to stay in your exit strategy until you are worn out. Activities that strain you physically are preferred because if the urge isn’t going, you’ll simply wear yourself.
- Recognise that you are not alone
Most often than not, we often think that we’re the only ones going through a certain problem. It will help you a lot to realize that there are other people out there that are going through or have gone through the exact same thing and if they made it to the other side, you can too.