“For as he thinks, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
How do you get clean? You have to make the choice to stop looking at porn either cold turkey or gradually. Regardless of which way you choose, ending porn use, masturbation or other unhealthy sexual habits gives your mind and body a chance to regain its normal responses. It’s also an opportunity to undo many of the negative effects. Some people call this process “rebooting.”
Rebooting is a Process
Experienced rebooters say that it takes 90 days porn-free for this to happen. So the 90 days (cold turkey) is the process which will result in a change of your thoughts and emotions. IT could take a bit longer if you do a gradual tapering off, but that might be necessary for some people. Any prolonged period of abstinence–whether 3 days or 30–is helpful and something to celebrate.
Research tells us that it takes at least 60 days to really change any habit. That means 60 days of creating new habits, not just avoiding the old habit. You have to replace it with something better even though those new activities might not feel better at first.
- Basics about rebooting, at YourBrainOnPorn.org
Expect Ups and Downs
There are different skills needed to run a marathon versus a sprint. The latter requires a burst of speed, the former demands pacing and stamina.
Both are necessary for successful recovery. You will need a surge of strength to get beyond a temptation or stick to the new regimen. Also you will need to do it over and over and over again, despite days when you’re tired, sad, or can’t remember why you want to change.
Don’t let the moments of victory trick you into thinking, “I’ve got this licked.” And don’t let bad times deceive you into thinking, “It will always be this hard.”
- Surviving the ups and downs of recovery using mindfulness, at PaulGarrigan.com
Believe You Can
The first step towards this intimidating goal is to believe you can do it. “Porn free for three months!,” you may think, “I can’t even go three days!”
Just as when you began considering this change process, you need to look for inspiring success stories for encouragement. Also, think about your own history of overcoming challenges. You may have comparable victories in your past–training for a sport, studying a hard subject, learning a difficult skill. You can do this, and we’re here as part of your support system.
- How to “reboot” your sexual response and what to expect, at RebootNation.com
- What you might want to include in a 90 day plan for abstinence, Covenant Eyes, habits_of_freedom
- Introducing the NoFap Community of porn and masturbation abstainers, at TED Talks