The Downward Spiral Versus Praise and Affirmations

Whirlpool_Downward spiral of porn compulsionWhen I think of downward spiral my first thought is of a whirlpool. Or draining a tub where right above the drain a whirlpool will develop that sucks everything down to some black abyss. Or I think of an airplane at an air show that is spiraling down towards earth with a smoke trail behind it. And just when you start to think that they might not be able to pull out in time before hitting the earth, the pilot pulls out of the spin and zooms back into the sky.

Pornography addiction has an aspect that is similar to a downward spiral. Similar in an allegorical sense, in that it is a mental cycle that repeats itself and with each successive rotation of the cycle the person becomes a little more desensitized and perhaps loses a little more hope in overcoming the addiction to porn.

In porn the downward spiral is created when one starts to use the brain chemicals produced by porn addiction to cope with negative feelings. So the cycle usually starts out with a person who is TROUBLED. Meaning the person has negative feelings. The overactive Limbic System then makes a pull for the chemicals produced by porn. The individual goes through with the addiction and has a slip. Chemicals are released and the person has a temporary release from the TROUBLED feelings. Then immediately after the chemical release the TROUBLED feelings return plus the shame of the slip is added. The Limbic System then makes another pull to have another chemical release from porn. And the person will then have another slip that repeats the process all over again.

The downward cycle is a trap and it is an effective one. The cycle can take 30 minutes to complete or a day or two. But as the cycle is repeated, it only encourages the Limbic System.

What is the solution to the downward spiral? If you are familiar with the RAMP solution to porn addiction you will know about the “P” of RAMP which stands for “Praise” or self praise. When you are able do your modifying activity, even if it is after you have a slip, you need to give yourself praise. You got of the sofa and you got away from your computer and you went out and did something positive. That action deserves praise because that modifying behavior will eventually lead to your Limbic System to calm itself and allow you the option to choose a modifying behavior instead of the addiction.

Before we talk about affirmations I should tell you that I understand. I know if you are addicted to porn the last thing you want to talk about is feelings and affirmations. I’m not asking you to become a touchy feely person. I am certainly not one and I never will be or want to be a touchy feely person. But for overcoming and quitting porn for good you have to consider your mood and how you are feeling.

Right after a slip there is almost always a feeling of regret. Especially if you are religious or have family members that you just figuratively let down. I am telling you right now, this feeling of regret is not helpful. It will lead to the downward spiral and to another slip. Perhaps if you believe pornography and masturbation are not bad then you could focus on the regret to motivate you and to teach you that you need to change your ways. But that is not you. If you are reading this and visiting this website then you probably don’t need to be convinced that pornography is bad.

Because of the regret, affirmations can be very helpful especially right after a slip. Affirmations are simple but can be very effective. Just go into the bathroom or anywhere where there is a mirror and just look at your reflection. Look eye to eye and tell yourself something positive. Something you could say is “I am determined” or “I have everything I need to quit” or “This is another day that I learn more about myself” or “Every day I am becoming stronger” or “I keep getting back up” or say anything that changes that feeling of regret to one of determination and gratitude.

Looking at yourself eye to eye, you will be able to not only hear your determination but see it as well. Men tend to be very visual so to see the determination in your own eyes can be extremely convincing. And when you believe something with conviction, that belief will permeate throughout your being even down to your subconscious mind. Try affirmations the next time you have a slip and really feel the power that is within you. You will be amazed.

A life free from porn is much better than a mind trapped by porn!

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