When learning any new skill or behavior, it’s inevitable to slip up once in awhile and revert to old habits. Relapses are common in the beginning of the process of change. This usually happens during times of high stress when you just go without thinking for what is familiar and comforting.

A Slip Up Is Not Failure

This slip up or lapse can be minor–like grabbing a donut when on a diet. You can quickly get back on track, or you can spiral downward rapidly. Before you know it you’re back into your full-blown habit, called a relapse.

Getting smart about these lapses and relapses is vital to longterm success.

Bouncing Back from a Relapse

A relapse happens when your new coping behaviors get overwhelmed by too many stresses at once. You backslide to what soothed you in the past. The key is to know how to pick yourself up and get back to where you were, without missing a beat.

A big part of this is cultivating constructive thinking. Instead of, “oh, I failed again,” you can think, “I did very well, since I had been porn-free for 12 days before I caved in.”

Also it is crucial to see any backsliding as a learning experience. What happened? What was the crack in my defenses? How might I prepare better for that kind of thing in the future?


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