In order to change the way you act you have to change the way you think. Simple as that. While the truth of the matter may be simple, it is certainly easier said than done as your body and mind are sure to resist change. However, that just means it takes work to change. If you’re willing to put in the work required then you will experience massive change. You need to change the way you see the things that have been causing you to fall. You also need to change the way you see the things that make you happy. This is how you do it.
How to apply this to porn addiction. If you’ve been addicted to pornography or masturbation then you have been living in a fantasy world within your own mind. The addiction or prison you’ve found difficult to escape has been largely within the walls of your mind. Your mind and body try to run as effeciently as possible. Many times this means automating processes to save energy. Because you have used pornography and masturbation to feel temporary pleasure you have been associating fantasy-like thoughts with natural sexual urges of the body until the appetite of the body grows out of control. So every time your body feels a sexual urge it immediately and almost automatically associates these urges with thoughts and images of the fantasy world you have created in your mind. Of course you can get this back under control, it just takes work and time.
You need to change the way you see temptations to look at filth or masturbate. You need to start associating these actions with the real consequences and misery they bring. The moment you are tempted you must cling to reality and not let yourself be swept away into the unrealistic fantasies that have brought you into addiction. The reality is you only feel pleasure in the moment then soon after feel very low and miserable. Your imagination has very powerful effects that can be both good and bad. Use your imagination to create a negative image of the true results of looking at pornography or masturbating. Then when the temptation comes have this image ready to go to associate with the temptation. The more you do this the more your mind will remember these negative images and the power of the temptation will be decreased. Use whatever negative associations work for you. Everyone is different. Also, be patient, it will take more than a few times of doing this before it becomes habit. Just keep doing it.
You’ll need more than negative associations to break free of addiction. You have to learn to love your new life more than your old one. This is going to take some persistent positive associations. Here is a good example from workout guru, Pete Sisco, speaking of positive association when working out:
“Finally, take another 10 minutes at a slow pace on the treadmill to gradually cool your body down. Use this time to feel the warm afterglow and sense of well-being that intense exercise provides. Those endorphins are magic! Take a moment to associate that positive, relaxed yet invigorated feeling with going to the gym and doing your workout. For many of us this can shift our psychological focus from dreading a workout and doing it reluctantly to positively looking forward to it and to the sense of well-being it delivers.”
This couldn’t be more true. I’ve put this to the test myself and love going to the gym. So how do we apply this to addiction? Well, when I was struggling, I was using this technique and didn’t even know it. Here’s how. Every time I would have success, a day or two without slipping up, I would sort of meditate and ponder how great it felt to be free and have success. In my mind I would purposely associate these great feelings with abstaining from pornography or masturbation. This only increased my desire to have success. This increased desire helped me to work harder, and get up more quickly if I slipped up. I would think to myself, “I love the way I feel when I abstain from weakness, I don’t want to stay down, I will get up and try again and feel those feelings again.” You see, your mind and body want to do what feels good. You have to decide what feels good. You do this by changing the way you see things.
Go ahead and experiment with this great technique. Don’t expect perfection. Just expect a progressive change of desires. It takes time for desires and feelings to change. This is the work required to do so.