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Feeling Bored Really IS Better Than Looking at Porn

Uncategorized May 15, 2020
Imagine: You just sat down to relax. You have no more "pressing responsibilities" to complete at the moment. You're bored. No one is around.
 
Question: Is porn more exciting than boredom?
 
A lot of us might think "This is a no-brainer! Porn is way more exciting than boredom."
 
Although porn is stimulating and momentarily alters our body chemistry in a pleasurable way, I'm going to explain to you why boredom is actually more exciting than porn.

First, Let's Appreciate That...

An activity like porn, particularly with masturbation, is really appealing to the lower, unconscious brain.
 
The lower part of your brain is wired to:
  1. seek pleasure
  2. avoid pain
  3. and be energy efficient.

The lower brain is all about survival.

It literally thinks that porn is something that will increase your chances of not dying.

1. Pleasure

Sure, porn "feels nice" in a way. That's a big part of why we do it, right?
 
That concentrated hit of dopamine, the neurotransmitter for pleasure, is something our brain is designed to go after.
 
To the lower brain:
 
dopamine = survival. 
 
more dopamine = more important activity

2. Avoid Pain

The pleasure from the dopamine, endorphins, and other biochemicals is particularly nice when we're uncomfortable.
 
Porn almost gives you a break from the pain, right?
 
And not just physical pain. But also emotional pain or discomfort.
 
To the lower brain, feeling uncomfortably bored could be perceived as a threat to your life.
 
This is why it can be so instinctual to avoid/resist/react to a feeling like boredom.
 
So your lower brain says, "let's get away from the pain and focus on the dopamine from porn."
 
 Lower brain:
Pain bad. Pleasure good.
 
Although porn doesn't remove the pain, it sure is a nice distraction from it, even if only temporarily.

3. Energy Efficiency

Dopamine also reinforces all the thoughts/feelings/behaviors that lead you to look at porn.
 
Certain cues have all been part of setting the stage to look at porn in the past.
 
Maybe the cues of the past have been a combination of:
  • feeling bored
  • sitting down on the couch
  • alone
  • during free time from responsibilities.
If you've repeated the pattern of looking at porn in this situation, your brain wants to keep doing what it has practiced and been rewarded for.
 
So, your brain not only automatically craves porn when it recognizes the setup, but also finds ways to recreate the setup to get more dopamine.
 
Repeating what it already knows takes much less energy for your brain than trying to change the pattern.
 
Also, the actual act of looking at porn/masturbating does not require a lot of energy. Especially when compared to the energy required to resist/avoid an emotion like boredom.

No Wonder!

It's no wonder why the lower brain thinks porn is a good idea.
 
It presents a very compelling case.

The Lower Brain is Wrong. Boredom is Better Than Porn

Let's take a moment to use our upper brain to explain to our lower brain how it is wrong about porn.
 
But it is our upper brain that has the final say.
 
This is the part of our brain that separates us from the animals.
 
The part that helps us do things like cure diseases, fly to outer space, talk to each other from across the world while looking at each other's faces on a screen.

Porn Creates More Boredom

Porn is an unnatural, man-made, concentrated source of pleasure. Because of the dopamine overload it creates in our brain, our dopamine receptors adjust down.
 
As a result, other, more natural, activities become less pleasurable.
 
We thought porn brought satisfaction.
 
But porn actually creates the dissatisfaction that only it can partially (but never fully) satisfy. It digs a deeper and deeper whole of dissatisfaction.
 
So looking at porn makes it more likely that the rest of your life seems boring.
 
Rather than having a short moment where you feel boredom. You create conditions in your brain where the rest of your life seems more boring.
 
This is why removing porn actually increases your overall satisfaction in life.
 
Porn never really was sustainably satisfying. It only created a deficit.
 
Some of you have seen where this leads. Porn can become more appealing than things like:
  • work
  • real self-care
  • being engaged with loved ones
  • providing for yourself or family
  • eating healthily
  • exercising
  • sleeping
  • achieving
  • connection
  • going after your dreams

If porn becomes more appealing than providing for yourself, eating healthily, or sleeping, there is a strong case that porn actually decreases your chance of survival rather than contributing to surviving. Let your lower brain know.

Once you remove porn for long enough to rebalance your brain, the genuine pleasure from these natural activities is far greater than porn.
 
Do you really enjoy porn as much as you think you do?
 
Sitting with your boredom instead of looking at porn actually increases your overall pleasure in life.
 
Maybe you can even use your boredom as an opportunity to get creative and spice up your life in a genuine, sustainable way.

Porn is More Painful Than Boredom

We're not talking about all the pain you think you are causing other people with your habits. Let's leave your wife's pain out of this and focus on you. 
 
Porn, for you, is more painful than your boredom.
 
Besides, it's the resistance of feeling boredom that causes most of the discomfort. Once you drop the resistance, the feeling of boredom isn't threatening at all.
 
But you've trained your brain to resist feeling bored. So it knows that if it automatically resists boredom it's more likely to get the big dopamine hit from porn.
 
You've trained your brain that porn is the remedy for pain. And you've trained your brain to create more pain so that you can turn to the "remedy" of porn.
 
So the patterns associated with your porn use actually train your brain to increase the level of pain in your life.
 
Let your lower brain know: porn does not reduce the amount of pain in my life. It actually increases it.

Looking at Porn Requires More Energy Than Boredom 

Think of all the energy we use trying to manage the aftermath of porn. Energy you spend regretting it or beating yourself up. Energy you spend trying to plan and avoid it next time.
 
And the energy spent on the urges before we look at porn. Trying to fight the urge, trying to control the environment so we don't break our commitment to ourself.
 
Have you ever looked at porn instead of sleeping when your body could really use the rest? This drains more energy than it replenishes.
 
Feeling boredom doesn't use up energy. It's not the experience of boredom that uses up energy. It's the resisting of it.
 
Allowing the feeling of boredom to process through is an enriching, sustaining, rejuvenating experience. It saves your body more energy than it uses.
 
For me, getting better at boredom really helped me with my sleep troubles. I started trusting that laying in my bed with my eyes closed, in the dark, during designated sleep time, was still a rejuvenating activity even if I wasn't sleeping.
 
If I felt bored while laying in bed not sleeping, I grew my capacity to allow that experience.
 
What if you could say:
"I can do boredom. No problem. I actually prefer boredom to porn."
 
What would that mean for you?
 
How would that change your approach?

Sum Total of Pleasure

Let's say you added up all of the pleasure from sporadic, concentrated hits of dopamine in the life of a guy who uses porn regularly.
 
Now let's add up all the pleasure from the life of a guy who is porn-free.
 
I believe that the porn-free life has more overall pleasure than the life with porn.
 
No matter how much porn you have looked at, or how long you've been looking at porn, the porn-free life with a greater overall amount of pleasure is available to you.

Boredom + Dreams

OR

Porn + Stunted Growth

Looking at porn instead of allowing, processing, and learning from emotions inhibits your growth.
 
To reach your dreams you will need to grow.
 
Using porn in this way can literally cost you your dreams.
 
It is never too late to start going after your dreams.
 
Feeling bored instead of looking at porn can take you to your dreams.

Summary

  • Porn decreases overall pleasure in life.
  • Porn makes chances of more pain more likely.
  • Porn drains more energy than it replenishes.
Turns out, feeling bored really is better than looking at porn.

Exercise:

What is your strategy (your decision ahead of time) for next time boredom arises?
When might it arise?
Write down your plan.

Need help learning the users' manual for your brain?
Check out my How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free consultation with me. Find out more about a consultation: click here.

And, as always, feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions or just to connect.

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