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  • Writer's pictureJake Kastleman

3 Thought Strategies to Prevent Porn Addiction and Cravings



Group of guys laughing and putting arms around shoulders

Porn addiction is a silent battle many of us fight, often in the dark corners of our minds.


The constant cravings, the shame, and the relentless grip it has on our lives can feel overwhelming.


But what if I told you that there is a way to break free from porn addiction, to quit porn once and for all, and to reclaim your life?


Today, I want to share with you strategies I am living and using with my clients every day who are getting results, helping them overcome pornography addiction not just by fighting off cravings, but by removing those cravings through structured mindset and lifestyle habits. Let’s dive in.


1: Understanding the Real Battle

When I first started my recovery journey a decade ago, I believed that porn cravings were my main enemy. I thought that if I could just resist these urges, I’d be free.


However, through years of working with men around the world and living recovery first-hand, I've come to understand that porn addiction and cravings are just symptoms of deeper issues.


The true battle lies in preventing these cravings from emerging in the first place.


Beyond the Surface: Identifying the Root Causes

Porn addiction and cravings for porn are just the tip of the iceberg. Below them lie negative emotions, and beneath those emotions, we find shame, fear, and ultimately, our mindset and thought processes.


For instance, many of my clients feel triggered when they go to the gym and see women in revealing outfits. This was also the case for me.


Lust and fantasizing may be seen as the main issues. However, this is not the case.


When we break down the lust and fantasizing, there is always shame, judgment, and often perfectionism under the surface.


One of my clients, for instance, recently discovered that underneath his lust and fantasizing, he feels a large level of self-judgment for experiencing physical attraction (feeling ashamed of his arousal).


He also feels judgment for the women dressed immodestly, because they are behaving "immorally" by the way they dress.


I've seen these themes repeated time and time again with clients, and they are extremely similar to the mental habits I had.


In addition, my client experiences thought patterns of perfectionism about the human body. This part of his mind compares people's bodies to the "ideal, perfect body" - making all sorts of judgment calls on how the person looks. He also does this with his own body.


This could be seen as an OCD, shame-oriented challenge of sorts. There is obsession about physical perfection, as well as shame about natural sexual attraction.


These negative, challenging thoughts fuel the cravings and porn addiction by coupling sexual arousal with intense negative emotions (shame, fear), and then we suffer the compulsion to go watch porn in order to nullify these uncomfortable emotions.


This can often happen with Christians who have been taught that sex is shameful or sinful. And this is often taught inadvertently and implicitly (on accident), not overtly.


It's also worth noting that my client who experiences these challenges faced intense body-shaming as a child. This is common among those I've worked with.


Processing Thoughts and Emotions

The first key strategy to stop porn addiction is to continuously process our thoughts and emotions. This means looking beyond the cravings and understanding the underlying issues.


For example, when I felt arousal at the gym, I began to ask myself why I was reacting so strongly. Was it just physical attraction, or were there deeper insecurities and judgments at play? By breaking down these layers, I started to see that my porn addiction was driven by unresolved emotional pain and shame.


And this is not just pain and shame to do with the sexual attraction of seeing the woman at the gym, this is the general mental suffering I am experiencing day-to-day: insecurities, feelings of inadequacy, self-judgment, anxiety, depression, etc.


Once I began to understand the root causes of these emotions, and built habits of talking myself through them each day, my cravings for porn began to fade.


2: Embracing Gratitude

Gratitude might sound cliché, but it’s a powerful tool in combating pornography addiction. When we focus on what we have and what’s going well in our lives, we reduce the expectations and pressures that often drive us towards addiction.


Gratitude shifts our perspective from scarcity to abundance, helping us to appreciate the present moment and the blessings in our lives. This adds to our positive emotions, which slowly replaces negative emotions that the addict part of our brain attempted to escape using addiction.


Practical Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

Incorporate gratitude into your daily routine. Whether it’s through journaling, prayer, or simply taking a moment to reflect on the good in your life, gratitude can help you rewire your brain to think more positively. The more you do this, the more automatically your brain will think positively over time.


This doesn’t mean ignoring the challenges, but rather acknowledging the good alongside them.


3: Building Strong Routines

Having a structured routine is crucial for many people's recovery. A consistent routine helps us stay grounded and focused, reducing the chaos that often fuels addiction. Here’s a glimpse into my own daily routine that has helped me stay sober:


The Triple 15: Spiritual and Mental Wellness

Every morning, I dedicate 15 minutes to studying scripture, 15 minutes to prayer, and 15 minutes reviewing my recovery plan and completing a specialized daily inventory (the same one I give my clients).


This practice helps me connect with my faith, set positive intentions for the day, and keep my goals in sight. This routine didn’t come overnight; it took years to build and perfect, but it has become a cornerstone of my recovery.


Physical Health and Nutrition

Exercise is another vital component. Whether it’s lifting weights, running, or just getting out in nature, staying active each day helps me feel good physically and mentally.


I also focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. This might sound like a hippie diet, but it provides the nutrients my body and brain need to maintain energy, focus, and wellness. This assists in building a good internal environment for sobriety. What we eat directly impacts our mental health and our susceptibility to addiction (or to recovery).


Porn Addiction Help and Support

Recovery is not a journey you have to take alone. Working with a mentor or therapist can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate the complex emotions and challenges of overcoming porn addiction.


I’ve had the privilege of helping many clients through their recovery, and I can attest to the power of having someone by your side who understands what you’re going through.


Personalized Approaches to Recovery

Each person’s journey is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. That’s why a personalized approach is so important. By regularly assessing challenges and breaking down thoughts and emotions, we can develop tailored strategies that address the specific needs and triggers of each individual.


Most programs teach you how to face cravings. These might include CBT techniques, Internet filters, accountability buddies, talk therapy, church or religious programs. These often don’t address the roots of your addiction. 


You don’t need to figure out how to “stop watching porn”, nor do you need to use special techniques to deal with cravings. Instead, you need to get to the root of why your brain craves porn, and remove that root. Don’t waste time trying to figure out your cravings. Instead, use daily mindset and lifestyle practices that retrain your brain over time so that you don’t crave porn in the first place. 


The No More Desire Intensive Recovery Program guides you through each step to build these recovery mindset and lifestyle practices to remove the roots of your addiction. This mindset and lifestyle is developed through Weekly 1-on-1 Sessions, Daily Assessments & Accountability, a Structured Recovery Program, Hands-On Exercises, and a Tailored and Personalized Recovery Plan.


To get started, apply for a Free Evaluation Call. During the call, we’ll talk about your story and get to the roots of your addiction. You will gain highly valuable, personalized insights for recovery. I’ll also answer any questions you have about the program. Set up your FREE Evaluation call now.


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Transcription of Episode 59: 3 Thought Strategies to Prevent Porn Addiction and Cravings


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