EDIT: I won't be editing and adding stuff to this first post. It is already a wall of text. If you are interested in learning more about the Four Steps and how I am applying it to my life, keep reading this thread. I will be updating it as often as possible, and I will provide you with many examples of applying this Four Steps to urges. If you are just wanting to end this addiction, but are not willing to put required effort and persists during difficult times, you can stop reading right now. Wanting won't get you anywhere unless you are ready to put required effort. Ending any addiction is a very difficult task, most people are fooling themselves thinking it will be easier next time. Every time they are faced with strong urges they relapse, telling themselves: "I will relapse right now, and this will be the last time!" Your brain is trying to find a way to get to you relapse, it will use every single trick to force you do so and to get its fix. If you are serious about ending this addiction, you have to accept the fact there will be times when your brain will play those tricks, and it will be hard to resist. But it is not impossible. Every single one of us have many things they want to accomplish in their lives, but we are not ready to put required effort and go trough pain. Her is an example: Let's say I have always "Wanted" to do 1-arm push up but I was never ready to invest required effort and actually achieve this goal. So my dream always stayed at that wanting. If I was serious about achieving this goal, I would have to accept the fact that doing a couple of push ups now and then would not do me much good. I would have to put some serious effort and work on my upper body strength as much as possible, design a weekly exercise program and follow it no matter what. I would have to do it even I felt like not doing it. The same is true for ending this addiction, you have to prepare yourself and stick with your plan no matter what. But ending this addiction is even harder because you never know when you will have urges. If you are still thinking you can do this without having urges, well... I am sorry to tell you but that is just impossible! No matter how many times you relapse, and tell yourself "it will be different next time", it won't be. You will be faced with strong urges again and again. If you relapse every time there is a urge, you will be stuck here forever. Number of days doesn't matter. You can be clear for a week, two... but if you were busy during that time, or you were in the flatline and you had zero urges, that doesn't count. What count is that moment when you are having extremely powerful urges and everything is telling you to relapse. This is when it actually starts to count! In the past you have relapsed every time you were faced with such powerful urges, but that needs to change. Otherwise, you will just be wasting time and keep spinning in circles. YOU WILL FEEL LIKE SHIT FROM TIME TO TIME and you will have extremely powerful urges!! You can expect to have many BAD DAYS, days when you will feel defeat and when you would do anything just to change how you feel. But you will have to endure. Educate yourself about porn withdrawal symptoms and be prepared for them. Here is a great link about what to expect. Withdrawal symptoms are correct, but not the order they can appear because that is different for everyone. This "Method" has nothing to do with physical urges. If you are having an erection there are other ways to "kill it". What works for me when I having a morning wood, is simply getting out of bed. Morning wood is gone in the matter of minutes. You can also take cold shower or... I don't really know because I am not struggling with this. There are many ways, and you can find them online if you are willing. If you are like me, you are rarely relapsing when you are actually having an erection, you relapse most of the time because your brain is constantly attacking you with toughs about how ok it is to relapse, and eventually you do so. This is the part I want you to change. Remember this statement: You are not responsible for thoughts, impulses, urges, cravings, and physical and emotional sensations you are experiencing. Your brain is! But you are responsible for your ACTIONS! What you do with those thoughts, impulses, urges.... is what actually matters. So, before moving on I want you to ask yourself and to answer to those questions: Why I want to do this? (this is very important, if you don't have a meaningful reason for ending this addiction, you will find yourself relapsing over and over). Am I really ready to put required effort and to persevere during difficult times? I kept relapsing over and over until I was able to actually find a meaningful reason for doing this. For me, masturbation was the problem, not the porn. Now I know you might think "Masturbation is healthy and this guy is stupid!" I will give you a link to my comment regarding this question. You should definitely read it. That is pretty much the main reason I am doing this. I have become dependent on masturbation and I am using it as a way to cope with everything in life. At first I did it just because I wanted to "feel good", but as the years passed I have been using it to help me fall asleep, calm my anxiety.........the list goes on. I have wanted to write how habits are formed in details and what is happening in your brain. In fact, I have tried doing so and spent a hour writing but I have decided to delete it all mainly because I can't describe it so good like it is described in the book from which I am taking this method "You are not your brain". This book is highly recommend for everyone who wants to change his life. It's a must read! There are many personal development books and I have read most of them over the past couple of years (I love reading, and I love finding ways to improve my life) but none of them was so helpful like this one. Why? Because reading is fine, but actually applying things from the books is very difficult. Not with this book! Because entire book is focused on convincing you to do things when you don't feel like doing them. More about this after I introduce you with the FOUR STEPS and how you can apply them to porn addiction. (You can actually apply them for everything in your life, from procrastination to addictions and even panic attacks). NOTE: In order to get most from this book (or any book you are reading) you need to actually MASTER IT! Read and reread it as much as possible until you know it in details and until you are applying everything it teaches you. If you have a basic knowledge about neuroplasticiy, addiction, how habits form and if you are familiar with mindfulness and meditation you don't even need to read that book. You just need to apply those Four Steps into your life. "Random" tips before moving on: -Join one of the challenges run by @2525 and post there daily. It is much easier to go trough this when you are surrounded with the people who are doing exactly the same thing as you are. Perfect place to start is 7 Days challenge. If you decide to join this challenge, please don't just write the number of days you are on. Counting is useless. Write about your experiences, difficulties and interact with other people. You can even form meaningful connections there. It can especially help people who are dealing with loneliness. -Check Success Section of the forum often, read as much entry's as you can and don't be lazy to press "Like" or even write a comment. That will mean a lot to people who made it to 30+ Days and it might even encourage them to keep moving forward. But the main purpose of reading this section is not to motivate others, but to motivate yourself!! There you can read plenty of story from people who were at the rock bottom but they GOT UP! They are free now! If they could do it, you can do it too! Finally, we are moving to practical part, the way you can apply Four Steps when dealing with strong urges. Here is the picture of what you do in each step: Now I will offer you some explanation: Step 1: Relabel -You will be using something called "mental notes" every time you are faced with urges to masturbate. Mental Notes are short phrases that you tell to yourself and they are supposed to help you see that those cravings, urges, physical and emotion sensations are not you. Examples of mental notes: -Wanting to watch porn -Urge to masturbate -Anxiety -Depression ... whatever works for you. Step 2: Reframe -The goal of this step is to add distance to those thoughts, impulses, cravings, physical or emotional sensations by telling to yourself that those thoughts are not you. They are coming from your brain. You can say something like this to yourself: -This is not me, it's just the brain. -I am having a bad brain day. -This is my addictive brain. You can use something what the author of the book "You are not your brain" calls: "Wise Advocate". Wise Advocate is somebody who care for you and who wants only the best for you. This "somebody" is supposed to be a role model for you. It can be your mother, father, God, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha... whoever you chose. For me it is Buddha, because he was definitely somebody who was living the life I want to live. Now, you ask yourself: What would my Wise Advocate tell me to do? In my case it looks like this: Buddha: This is you are addictive brain speaking, you don't actually want to watch porn. If you wanted to watch porn, you would be watching it every single day! You wouldn't be spending your time on NoFap forum and you wouldn't be trying for years to end this addiction. No matter how bad you might feel like now, relapsing is not an option. If you do it, you will hate yourself and you will eventually have to start this over. Step 3: Refocus This step is crucial!!!! Remember, in order for your brain to learn something, you need to repeat that behavior often and focus your attention on it. You did that in the past with porn and that is why you are here. Now it is time to do something else. So, when you have urges to watch porn, you do something else instead. That's it. It sounds easy and simple but in fact it isn't. But, those circuits will remain in brain for the rest of your life. Meaning, they can be activated anytime. That's why forum is full of the people who have relapsed after being clean for 3+ months. Even if you are clean for months and you suddenly got triggered by an image, seeing a sex scene in the movie, or simply having thoughts about how good it is to watch porn and masturbate. If you give your attention to those urges and thoughts and you focus your attention on them, you are FUCKED! The more you focus on them, the closer you will be to relapse. What they say in alcoholic anonymous can be applied to this too. Instead of "Don't take the first drink", you can say "Don't take the first though because it spirals from there". You are not to blame for having those thoughts or urges. You have no control over them. But you and only you are responsible for your actions!!! If you explore the thought "How good it would feel to masturbate right now" and you give it your full attention, you will have a really hard time. But, if you do those steps you wont: Step 1 : There is a thought "It would be amazing to watch porn, it feels great" Step 2 : This is just my addictive brain trying to get its fix. Wise Advocate: If you do it now, you will throw away all your progress. You know you won't be able to just watch porn today and to keep on moving like it never happened. If you are having thoughts like: "It will be different this time", "I will do it in moderation" , "If I could have done it for so long I can do it again"- Those thoughts are simply deceptive messages that are coming from your brain. You don't need to act on them. Step 3 : Refocus - Now you find one healthy activity to focus your attention on. What works best are activity that requires your attention and where is pretty much impossible to think about something else. What works best for me are BRAIN GAMES. When I am having urges I simply play those games for a couple of minutes and my urges are gone. If they return, I repeat step one and two and then i play some more games. It works perfectly. But in order for this to work, you must be willing to try. And you won't try it unless you have a strong reason for doing so. If you are having a really hard time, promises yourself that you are going to play those games for at least 15 minutes before acting out and masturbating. Ideally, you would not relapse after 15 minutes, but instead you would play those games for another 15 minutes or for as long it takes for urges to go away. You don't have to chose Brain Games as your refocus activity, you can do whatever you want. The goal is to pick activity which requires your focus and attention and which doesn't allow your attention to wander. When I am playing those games, I can't think about anything else. They require your full attention and focus! And that is ideal for rewiring your brain. You will learn to not pay attention to those urges for porn and at the same time you will stop feeding them. It works really really great! I have tried meditation but it doesn't work! It is very difficult to focus on your breathing when you are experiencing strong urges. You will most likely think about porn, and that is bad! Remember, in order for your brain to learn anything you need to focus your attention on it! Your brain doesn't care if you are aware of that or not! It will learn and wire itself accordingly. Idea with the Four Steps is the more you use it, the faster it will become a preferred choice. Your brain will learn it and use it every time you are dealing with urges. You can use it for procrastination too, here is an example. Step 1: Using mental notes you are able to identify all the excuses your brain is making so you don't have to practice those "stupid" Four Steps. -I don't want to practice this -This is stupid -It will never work -I will do it some other time -I am not ready yet, I need to read some more and I will start tomorrow -I am feeling tired, I am not in the mood Step 2: Those thoughts are not me! They are coming from my brain. I am not my brain! What would my Wise Advocate tell me to do? Buddha: Those thoughts and feelings are not real! They are coming from your brain. You have procrastinated in the past and it got you nowhere. It is ok to start practicing this method, you don't have to do it perfectly! Step 3: You do what needs to get done and you focus your attention on the task instead of how you feel and what "you" think. That doesn't matter at all, what matter is how you ACT! With time, you will teach your brain to stop making all those excuses and you will most definitely stop procrastinating! But it takes a lot of time and practice. Step 4: I won't write about it here because it is essentially a faster way to do those first three steps. But that comes with a lot of practice. I think this is it for now, if you have any questions feel free to ask. You can use this thread to write your success and failures, you can also share your results if you are playing those brain games. We can even compete You can also share your ideas as refocus activity's. We can also talk about this book. NOTE: What I have wrote might not make much sense to you. In order to understand this all you will need to read that book. If you do, you will understand it all more fully. Those methods are scientifically proven and they will work, all you have to do is to practice! You can practice Four Steps many many times during the day. You can apply them to many aspects of your life. The more you practice, the better you will become. I have made a lot of progress in the past 2 months, but I have a lot of room for improvement. How often and how much you focus your attention on something, decides which habits stay in your brain and which one goes. If you find some typing errors or any other mistakes, please inform me. I have lost patience and just wanted to post it here. I will check it later, right now I need a break!