4.2 Habits

Planted: September 1, 2022
Last tended: February 25, 2023


Video Transcript So that was the theory behind porn and behind dopamine and behind doing things when we actually don’t want to do them. And now we can talk about habits habits are what determine a surprising majority of our decisions. Habits are essentially neural pathways that we do without thinking. For example, you might wake up in the morning and eat some breakfast. And maybe you do this without ever thinking, do I want to breakfast. Or maybe you brush your teeth without actually deciding to brush your teeth, it’s just a thing that you do. That’s because it’s a habit. When it comes to porn, this is a very easy habit to form. And it’s important to consider the processes that go on and habit formation. So we can use this to our advantage and take control. All habits have a trigger, a process and a reward. This structure is behind every habit we have. Firstly, the trigger is something that sets off the cravings in our brain for the reward, our brain then pushes us to engage in the process, which eventually gives us the reward. With porn, the reward is obviously just dopamine, perhaps sexual satisfaction. The process is obviously just watching it, the trigger can be a number of things. And this is the most important thing to be consciously aware of. You need to work out your own trigger, and here are a few possible ones. Maybe the time of day is what triggers the urge. Maybe it gets the evening time about bed, and that is the trigger. Maybe it’s a sex drive. And that may seem obvious, but for a lot of people, they will start watching porn before they even have an erection. Maybe the trigger is loneliness that’s perfectly possible. More specifically, is unmet needs which can be a powerful trigger. With inadequacy we feel worthless and awful at the core. But when we experience sexual stimulation and climax, we have available an all encompassing and powerful pleasure. And this pleasure can take the place of any other need. unmet needs can be converted into sexuality to feel good. A young boy who learns never to need anything emotionally from his parents is faced with a dilemma whenever he feels needy or otherwise insecure. And if masturbating has been his principal source of good feeling, he may resort to masturbation in order to restore good feelings about himself at times when he is experiencing needs quite unrelated to sexuality. This confirms this conversion transforms any needs into the need for something else. If it’s not sexual stimulation, it can be food, money, anything. So watch out for unmet needs being converted into a craving for sexual pleasure. And remember that unmet needs drive inadequacy, so they affect the Fetish side of the problem too. Anyway, your trigger could be anything. Whatever you think yours may be, you need to identify it. So you can be aware. Scientists studied a monkey in a lab, where they put the monkey in front of a screen. And every time a shape appeared on the screen, the monkey would have to pull a lever. And if you did that, you would get a drop of juice as a reward. And this monkey really liked juice. They studied the brain activity of this monkey. And this is what they found, as you would expect, every time the monkey got the juice, they saw an increase in brain activity associated with pleasure and happiness. And this is normal. The monkey became happy as he got the reward. However, over time, this changed, the reward response started to happen before the monkey got the juice. In fact, it happened upon seeing the trigger. Whenever that monkey saw the shapes on the screen, it would feel the sensations associated with the reward. And this is essentially the neurochemical explanation for how habits form, how neural pathways form and how porn can become addictive quite easily. So how do we change this? So we’ve talked about the trigger the process and the reward and identifying the trigger being the important step. The next step in this process is hijacking your habit. What this means is keeping the trigger and the reward, but replacing the process with something more conducive to your growth. Something more helpful in your life. And eventually this will rewire your brain to crave that new process instead, a great example is exercise. Because exercise releases chemicals that make us feel good. So when you next, feel the urge, go for a run or do some push ups, or maybe even go all the way and go to the gym. And if that’s not enough of enough of a reward, just feeling those good brain chemicals, you can add other things too, like having some fruit as a reward, or maybe a mental reward of the good feeling associated with getting a better body and becoming a better person, whatever. But here’s an important point to make the trigger must then be removed too. Because if you come back from the run, and what wherever you’ve been the same trigger is still there, it will just trigger the urge again. So you need to deal with your sex drive or meet your needs, or whatever the trigger is, if it’s the time of day, and it’s just before bed, then you know, you need to go to bed earlier. Just keep busy with the rest of your evening routine. We don’t have to do this with just one thing. By perhaps you identified other bad habits when we spoke about the control and the release. Remember, porn is just one way to release. But if you have other ways and ways of appearing to have control, these all intensify toxic shame. The more you control, the more you need the release, and the more you release, the more you crave control. So we should deal with all of these bad habits. In the same way. If you had dieting, working, cleaning or any compulsive self improvement, anything you need to do to be good. Or any binging substance abuse, anything self harming you know, we need to look at all of these and become aware of the habits behind them. And that does not solve the underlying problem. By the way. Identifying habits is just the way to speed up the recovery so that we don’t habitually keep doing these things once we’ve solved the core problem of inadequacy. Lastly, just to give you a sense of timescale, a habit forms once you do it every day for 30 days. And then it takes another 30 days on top of that to strengthen and then another 30 days on top of that to actually become a habit for life. If you skip a day, then it doesn’t form. This is a weird thing. If you want to read more about this, I learned all of this from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Again, I’ve given you all you need to know it’s cool book and it’s worth mentioning

The very first video was about conditioning. This is why; conditioning plays a role in arousal and sexual behavior. It also plays a role in all other behavior. Throughout this course, you’ve probably come to realise that this is more than just changing your fetish, it’s changing your life. You’ll need to understand conditioning, reconditioning, and habits to take control of that.

Habits are what determine a surprising majority of our decisions. Habits are essentially neural pathways that we do without thinking. For example, you might wake up in the morning and eat some breakfast. Maybe you do this without ever thinking β€˜do I want breakfast’. Or maybe you brush your teeth without actually deciding to brush your teeth. That’s because it’s a habit.

I know a lot of people struggle with addiction to porn. This might help alongside solving the deeper problem. This video is also biased towards that purpose.

Habits have a trigger, a process, and a reward.

For whatever habit you want to change, you need to identify your trigger.

You can change your habits by replacing the process but keeping the trigger and reward (and then make sure the trigger is no longer present)

Or, remove the trigger altogether in the first place.

To create new habits, keep it up for 90 days without skipping a day.


Author(s) || Connor McGonigal

Website || howtostopbeingacuckold.com

Article || 4.2 Habits

Date || Between January 27th and November 14th, 2018


tags: [“evergreen”]

contributors: ["Connor McGonigal"]

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