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How to Stop Porn Addiction: The First 5 Steps

If you are wondering how to stop porn addiction, you may be feeling trapped. Addiction is powerful, and overcoming it can feel completely overwhelming. But you are not alone. Addiction can be overcome, and you can start making healthy choices right now. Here’s how to get started:

1. Realize that you need help

The absolute first step to overcoming any addiction is realizing that you have an addiction in the first place. In AA meetings, everyone introduces themselves as an alcoholic. They are acknowledging, out loud, over and over again, that they have an addiction. It is a part of the healing process. Once you acknowledge that you have a problem, you’ve taken the first huge step. Understand that being an addict does not define you; this is not who you are at your core, and things can get better.

2. Tell someone

Tell someone you trust about your struggle with porn. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your partner, (yet), but you need to tell someone who you know will be in your corner. Shame is a powerful force. It can cripple you into silence. Telling someone about your struggle takes shame’s power away. It throws open a window and lets the light in.

3. Break your “habit loop”

Breaking a habit loop is a relatively simple, concrete way to start overcoming your porn addiction. Your goal is to identify the cues that trigger your porn surfing routine, and then to substitute that routine with something else while keeping the reward the same. Each time you do that, you’re creating a new reward connection that can eventually become stronger than your porn routine connection. With porn use, the reward your brain is craving is dopamine, so the most effective way to hack your habit loop is to replace it with something that gives you that hit. Here are some activities that produce dopamine:

  • Eat a carby snack
  • Exercise
  • Play video games
  • Take a nap
  • Work on a goal
  • Call a friend who can make you laugh

Obviously, some of these dopamine-producing activities aren’t the healthiest, and we’d encourage you to work towards replacing your porn addiction with a healthy alternative.

4. How to stop porn addiction? Cut off the porn!

Clear out your computer completely. Get rid of any physical media you have at home (burn it if you have to.) Lock your computer and smartphone down with serious parental control and/or accountability software. If you really want to overcome an addiction, you have to cut it off at the source.

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5. Desperately long for a porn-free life

If you want to overcome your pornography addiction, you have to want something so much more than you want the temporary reward of porn. So what do you want? A healthy marriage? An incredible sex life? A mind that is clear and free and focused? Fantastic. And you can have all of these things and more. And it starts with breaking free from porn. Start here. Start today.

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