In the last post, I embarked on the beginning of my reboot journey, sharing the history of my relationship with porn since a very young age, and what suddenly changed a couple of weeks ago. I've successfully completed 8 days today. Yay to me! In this post, I thought I'll share some observations that I found helpful for myself in staying away from porn so far. If you are new here, I highly suggest reading Your Brain On Porn by Gary Wilson. Onwards… Please keep in mind that I'm not a licensed medical professional. The following are my own observations while rebooting. Always keep your penis clean. It might happen that through smegma discharge ( completely normal ) your penis might be irritable, and you'd feel like rubbing and touching it to relieve the itch which might be a trigger. Have cold water baths if you can, they can really help. Don't wear nylon or any other irritable cloth for your below the belt clothes. Remember that brain doesn't understand what 'porn' is. It just looks for ways to get a dopamine release, which we train our brain to do when we watch porn obsessively and repeatedly. So while rebooting most of the times it's not enough to not just watch porn, it's important that we don't indulge in something that might trigger a significant amount of dopamine rush. It includes any kind of novelty: whether it is watching women in bikinis endlessly, getting hooked to the infinite Instagram reels scroll, etc… Remember it's the novelty and endless search for the perfect visual that craps up our reward system and makes us want to keep wanting more. So be careful. Timely exercise or playing physical games. It will not only keep us healthy but also help rewire our brains, because when we exercise/play physical games ( I started playing regularly ) healthy dopamine is released, which in turn increases our chances to want to exercise and be regular. But beware that you don't tire yourself to the level of fatigue. Fatigue can be a trigger for some of us: wanting to hit the bed but not sleep. For me, and I can't generalise this because it's a personal experience but maybe some of the people could relate, having left watching porn/masturbating for 8 days now my tendency to procrastinate has drastically decreased. In a single week, I got a lot of pending stuff done: I started learning how to invest money, fixed my motorbike which had been biting dust for over 2 years given covid, got my full body health checkup which had been pending for years, pitched a technical article to a prestigious online magazine, read a couple of books, finished a freelance project that had been pending for a while. I'm less distracted overall, I've been meditating again. I follow practices of Sudarshan Kriya and Sahaj Samadhi meditation, which I'll talk about in a separate post soon. I've also surprisingly been more aware of some of the other bad habits I have: internet addiction in general, doom scrolling, not picking up tasks in time, not having short term and long term goals to give a direction to life. I've become more aware of teasing one finger with another forcefully and almost as if involuntarily in a way that severely affects wrists joints. At one point of time I thought it was caused because of typing too much at work and that it was causing repetitive strain injury. I've had this bad habit of teasing one finger of a hand with another since years. I'm finally getting a control over it slowly. I think it's the shame in the subconscious that aids procrastination, feeds denial and encourages more porn use. Gary talks in his book about this. Shame leads to wanting to not feel that way – resulting in binge watching which temporarily comforts oblivion when feelings of shame strike, but when it's done, it triggers the shame again, resulting in an endless vicious cycle. I also realised that because of this shame at the back of the mind — not always evident when you are awake — was also the reason why I tried to stay away from people, among other reasons. Somehow somewhere, I'd feel ashamed of this secret I carried everywhere, amongst my closest friends and confidants. I can't begin to tell you how free I felt when I connected with many of them suddenly with a newly found freedom. I'm not known to be a talker, but I'm talking. It's been 8 days and I'm more aware of when urges arise, and I've set plans as to what to do when they come. The first thing that I do is to throw any electronic device near me away and do something productive impulsively giving myself small deadlines: cleaning the desk, cleaning the room, doing some push ups, reading a short story, taking a stroll outside while listening to a podcast or songs. I'm becoming more mindful of not wasting time that I can't afford to waste — on Netflix, loitering around. I think I'm going to make it. I think you are going to too. I hope this helps.