Here’s an interesting twist on how to avoid porn from Gary Wilson with YourBrainOnPorn.com. He suggests that you stop focusing on NOT watching porn because if you’re focusing on it then really, you’re still focusing on porn! And as long as you’re focusing on porn you’ll have a lot of trouble avoiding and forgetting it.
“The correct approach is to just forget about it.
Get clear that watching porn is not a part of your life anymore. It’s a thing of the past. Stop obsessing about what day you’re on, journaling about your misery, and hanging out too much on the recovery forums.
Focus your mind on the stuff that matters - your family, your dreams, your health, your career. When urges arise, watch them mindfully. Observe them. Do not react. Do not suppress them. Do not push them away. Just kindly smile and focus your mind on one of a list of activities that you have chosen in advance for moments like this (get your heart-rate pumping with push-ups, call a friend, take a walk, meditate, fix a healthy snack, take a cold shower, whatever).”¹
It’s the same thing as trying not to think about a green elephant by repeatedly saying, “I won’t think about a green elephant. I won’t think about a green elephant. I won’t think about a green elephant.” Obviously your mind is flooded with and consumed with green elephants.
Our subconscious mind functions differently than our conscious. It tends to overlook words like “shall not” “won’t,” “not,” and “can’t” when placed among a desirable word. If you’ve ever repeatedly told yourself that you weren’t going to do something and kept doing it, that’s a good example.
So back to our green elephants. “I won’t think about a green elephant. I won’t think about a green elephant. I won’t think about a green elephant.” What your brain hears is “green elephant, green elephant, green elephant,” the other words fall away. To make a real change, you must speak positively. “I’m a person of integrity. I love my wife. I value my marriage. I am strong.” Make your own meaningful list and start encouraging yourself.