By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
One of the greatest challenges in recovery from sexual addiction is learning to manage your thoughts. It’s tricky because there’s a fine line between trying to control your thoughts and learning to manage your thoughts. Sometimes you’ll have little control over thoughts that simply pop into your mind. However, you can take control over what you do with those thoughts – to manage them. Over time you can mold your mind and create mental habits that help you in recovery.
The reality is that you cannot always regulate your environment, so sometimes you will be involuntarily exposed to triggers or temptations. Obviously you should plan ahead to avoid and pull away from any that arise. But when this isn’t possible, you need to be prepared to use some “grit” and push through the temptation.
I would suggest the “Three-Second Rule” as a way to remember this concept. When an unhealthy or addictive thought pops into your mind, you train yourself to quickly get off this thought within three seconds. The longer the image lingers in your mind, the more likely it becomes that you will slide into addictive cycles.
It’s also important to realize that after three seconds your mind will start to produce chemicals that make your struggle more intense. The rush of biochemicals associated with sexual activity will intensify the temptation. When you start fighting your body’s chemical response the struggle will be greater.
Learn to get off the images as quickly as possible. Find ways of diverting your mind fast. Get into the habit of rapidly recognizing the thoughts have come and swiftly moving to distractions. Once this becomes a habit you will find that your recovery takes a positive turn.
If you need help with sexual addiction recovery, please give us a call for a free 15-minute consultation. We have a specialty program for sexual addiction in Mesa Arizona. (480) 668-8301.