If some of the stuff you’ve read has made you feel anxious or worried, you think you might have a problem with porn, or you just want to find out more – here are three simple steps to help you out:
Getting this topic (porn) out of my secret life into the open, and talking, talking, talking has been the biggest impact in breaking the cycle.
— Nick Willis, Two-Time NZ Olympic Medallist
1 | Know the signs
Here are some key signs that porn may have become a problem for you:
- You feel you have to watch more and more porn to be satisfied
- You feel agitated or stressed when you’re unable to watch porn
- You’ve tried to stop watching porn but haven’t been able to
- You need to watch increasingly violent and extreme porn to get aroused
- You think about porn a lot and miss it when you don’t watch it for a while
- You neglect other activities as a result of watching porn.
Still not sure? Try this self-check: This helpful self-check called the Problematic Porn Consumption Scale (PPCS) offers a guide for measuring how much porn may be affecting your relationships or day-to-day life. It’s not a strict rule but is a tool which some people have found useful.
2 | Make changes
The ABC‘s are a handy, easy-to-remember way to help someone change their habits around porn:
(limit your porn access)
One of the easiest, yet hardest, things to do is to restrict your access to porn. It takes a lot of discipline, but it is 100% possible, so here are some tips on how to break the cycle:
Limit your access
The most common time to watch porn is between 10pm and 12pm. So a simple trick you can get in the habit of is to leave your devices in another room. Then your bedroom becomes a place of sleeping. More sleep, less porn. Win-win. If you can’t access porn, you won’t see it.
Put a filter on your device
There are heaps of apps out there that help block your access or plug-ins that work as a filtering device for your modem. One option is SafeSurfer which is fast, free and super straightforward.
Take away the Internet
Ouch. How could you live in a world without the internet! Changing your device to one that has no internet capability may seem a bit extreme, but it’s the fastest way to create change. Many retailers sell devices without 3G/4G, which are only $25.
Removing temptation will demand a lot of self control, however remember you don’t have to do this alone. Point ‘C’ will cover that.
(KNOWING HOW IT TICKS)
Porn often fills a void. It’s super common to watch porn when you feel bored, frustrated, lonely, or stressed. It can be a comfort, stress relief or a time filler. But is it healthy?
Continuoulsy viewing porn over and over can create unhealthy ‘brain pathways’. Feeding the cravings doesn’t help you kick the habit. If you want to change a porn habit, you’ve got to ‘get out of the rut’ so to speak and teach the brain what it really needs when you’re feeling low. It sounds a bit cheesy, however it truly works. A few ways you could do this:
Surround yourself with friends and whānau
There will be people in your life who will want the best for you, keep them close and in the know about how you are doing.
Find a new form of stress relief
Do something that makes you feel good (sport, a hobby, music, reading).
Burn some steam
Exercise can really take your mind off things and a bonus is that you’ll feel better too.
you’re not the only one in this boat and no craving lasts forever. You’re in control.
Mates are awesome, but they’re not always the best source of advice.
Don’t be shy to confide in someone with a few more pearls of wisdom. If you don’t know who to turn to, a good place to start could be school counsellors, trusted family members, youth workers, sports coaches or a helpline. We’ve put some numbers below on Step 3.
Just start the convo. It’s an important step to making changes.