top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureJake Kastleman

Still the Mind & Break Free From Porn Addiction

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

If we want to break free from porn addiction, we have to learn how to still the mind.



We go to porn as a way to escape our problems. The same is true for all addicts. One of the main reasons we do this is because our minds are so noisy and chaotic, and it seems that intensely pleasurable outlets are the only things that will dampen the constant mental thrumming that pushes us to addiction.


Throughout the years that I was addicted to porn, my mind was such a loud and stressed place. I felt like I could rarely get a break from my worries. My emotions were volatile, negative thinking was constantly in my face, and anxiety and depression were always just around the corner.


As porn addicts, we use constant distraction as a way to elevate our mood. We attempt to drown out the stress and negative emotions through TV, movies, video games, junk food, loud music, social media scrolling… you name it, we use it.


We do this to cope with stress; to soften the mental thrumming that wills us to give in to our destructive behavior. But we fail to realize that constant distraction only increases the frequency and intensity of the beat.



To Break Free From Porn Addiction, We Must Be Still

One of the things I didn’t understand as an addict (and truth be told I’m still learning it), is that constant distractions and stimulation were exactly the opposite of what I needed.


I thought that things like TV, food, entertainment, and video games would satiate my need for pleasure. I thought if only I could experience enough fun and enjoyment, my desire for porn would decrease.


How wrong I was.


I was trying my best to cope, and I thought that pleasurable activities were the key. My mind believed that distracting itself from the pain and insecurities I held inside would help me feel better. In truth, the very same tendencies and mental mechanisms that told me to use porn were the ones that influenced me to seek out constant entertainment as well.


If I wanted to recover, I had to find a new way of coping - a new way of living. Instead of distracting myself, I needed to engage. Instead of facing away from my problems, I needed to face towards them. Instead of seeking out constant stimulation, I needed to be still.



Why We’re So Stressed Out in the 21st Century

We live in a society that is blessed now more than ever with incredible technology and abundance. We have plenty of food, constant access to miraculous devices, easy ways to complete tasks and responsibilities, opportunities to explore and experience almost anything we want, and we can communicate instantaneously with others across the globe.


For generations people have dreamed of the ease, conveniences, and commodities that we now enjoy on a daily basis. They would be floored upon seeing the vast array of restaurants, forms of entertainment, and access to productions and creations we have from all over the world.


Yet, with all of this fantastic technology and connectedness, we are more miserable than ever.


Why?


Because we have neglected the deepest and most important parts of who we are - as individuals and as a society. We spend our days caught up in everything going on in the world around us, and we never give our minds or hearts a break.


We fail to recognize that it is not the fun or excitement in our lives that will bring us happiness, but instead the peace we experience on a daily basis.


Finding this peace can feel almost impossible. As addicts, our minds are so loud and chaotic we fear if we stop moving or distracting ourselves, the dam that holds all of our negative emotions and traumas might break and destruction will ensue. But this is the opposite of the truth.


The truth is that the more we distract ourselves from our thoughts, pains, and stresses - the longer we try to hold it all in - the more leaks sprout from the mental dam we have set in place.


We cannot escape pain by ignoring it, and in order to quit pornography we need to start looking straight at our emotions and processing through them effectively. To do this requires stillness.



The Effects of Constant Distraction on Our Mental Health

To recover from porn addiction, we need to quiet the mind. If we want to quiet the mind, we need to put down our smart phones, turn off the notifications, shut off the electronics, and just breathe. We need to do this multiple times a day - to give our brain the break it needs to process through our thoughts, worries, and successes of the day.


When we do not take time to do this - to sit with our thoughts and introspect - we increase mental pressure. The longer we distract ourselves and seek out constant stimulation, the greater the pressure becomes. Eventually we burst, and that often looks like anger, overwhelm, detachment, or a session with porn and masturbation.


Why are there such high rates of anxiety and depression these days? Why is our mental health so terrible on average? If we face less threats to physical existence than ever, why do we feel so stressed out?


While there are many reasons for this - disconnection from God and one another, instant gratification affecting our dopamine levels, the average western diet - our constant distraction and inability to stay present plays a part.



What Does It Mean to Be Still?

So, at this point, you understand that being still and quieting the mind is an important part of porn recovery. But what does this mean exactly?


To stop watching porn, we are taught that we must resist it. This is not true.


Though it sounds counterintuitive, recovery is not about resistance. Instead, it is about acceptance. It is about surrender. It is about being still.


Recovery requires us to take all of the things we think are so important or such a big deal, and lay them at the feet of God.


Of the Christian 12 Steps, Step 3 may be my favorite. It is to give our life and will over to God and to Christ.


“Be still, and know that I am God” - Psalm 46:10


There are many ways to be still. And I’m not saying I hold the whole truth of what it means, because I’m still learning, but for me, today, this is what it means.


To be still means to:

  • Put our phones and devices down and be here, now.

  • To take time to listen to our emotions and thoughts, instead of resisting them or drowning them out with distractions.

  • To accept this moment as it is; to embrace it and not judge it.

  • To lie in the grass and look up at the sky. To take our eyes off of our screens and appreciate the beauty around us without distraction.

  • To turn off the notifications on our phones and just be.

  • To be in the moment we are in, with the person we are with.

  • To whole-heartedly listen to someone and seek for deep understanding when they speak.

  • To know we do not need to be available to everyone every second, and to sometimes say “no” to the emails, texts, and communication bombarding us, and say “yes” to what is happening in the present moment.

  • To pray

  • To meditate



Action Steps to Break Free From Porn Addiction

Addiction cravings result from stress, and stress can only build when we ignore our feelings and seek escape.


There are many ways to practice stillness in your daily life, but I want to give you some action steps you can take right now to start feeling more peace and overcome pornography addiction:


  1. Set a schedule for when you will use your smart phone during the day. For me, I try to stick to checking texts, emails, notifications, etc. 3 times per day (morning, afternoon, evening) and no more. But your times are up to you. Other than allotted times, put your phone down and be present. But also know that on occasion you’ll need to be flexible.

  2. Turn off email notifications on your phone: I used to get pinged so many flippin’ times a day with email notifications on my phone. Ever since I turned them off and chose to simply check my email a few times a day instead, my ability to focus and stay present has improved, and my overall happiness has improved. Perhaps this’ll be good for you too.

  3. Cut down the number of needless distractions: Email subscriptions you really don’t need, mindless mobile or video games you play too frequently, TV shows that are violent or sexual…All of these things create noise in the mind and hinder our ability to concentrate, stay present, and feel God’s presence.


I hope you’ve learned some powerful truths to help you break free from porn addiction and find more stillness in your life. I know from personal experience that the things I’ve shared above can lead to a greater ability to focus, more happiness, deeper relationships, and a closer connection with God and the spiritual realm. I pray they’ll do the same for you!








Comentários


bottom of page