The Best Way to Block Porn (It Isn’t What You Think)

Why a Porn Blocker Alone Often Fails

Probably one of the most obvious and simple ways to stop looking at porn is to employ some kind of filter to remove the junk. There are many Internet filters on the market today. Covenant Eyes also has a filter. And, for many people, using a filter is a good thing, particularly if there are young people in the home. In Psalm 119:37 it says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” If we choose to keep our eyes clear, it “gives us life.” 

man covers eyes to block porn

But, for anyone struggling with consuming pornography who has employed a filter as their primary method for changing their behavior, most find that nothing really changes by attempting to block porn. Have you ever seen a sign on a wall that says, “Don’t Touch–Wet Paint?” What are most people automatically inclined to do–at least be tempted to do? That’s right–touch the wall! That rebellious nature in every human heart is drawn to that which we should not do–especially in the midst of battle if we are trying to break free.

Even St. Paul understands our struggle when he says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). For many caught in a porn addiction, a filter alone simply becomes a challenge to beat, and many are highly successful in finding “holes” in the filter and continue to look at porn.

Maybe there’s a better way.

Maybe the reason for the low success rate regarding resolutions is because the root cause of our many habits and hang-ups is never addressed: our thinking. Even more specifically, the purity of our thinking.

For years, we’ve heard about the power of positive thinking—and with good reason. There is actual science behind this. But, can positive thinking actually help us block pornography?

The Brain Can Change (Neuroplasticity)

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” –James Allen (author of As a Man Thinketh)

At the heart of all the “New Year’s goals” lies the desire to simply be a better, purer person this year. Maybe your goal is to be kinder in thought and deed to others. Maybe it’s about being less critical, judgmental, or breaking negative thought patterns about oneself. Maybe it’s about heavier issues like struggling with various forms of addiction.

The Brain That Changes Itself, the acclaimed book by Dr. Norman Doidge, shares the amazing science of brain plasticity and ways to harness its power to make lasting positive changes.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Doidge shares the story of Michelle Mack, a woman born with literally half a brain. The left hemisphere of Michelle’s brain was missing—the hemisphere that controls speech and thought. Yet to meet Michelle, Doidge shares, the deficiency was not overtly obvious. This patient was able to work a job, vote in elections, and had a great sense of humor. This was possible because Michelle’s right hemisphere took over the job of the left.

While the vast majority of the population will never suffer from a neurological disorder, Michelle’s story illustrates that our brains are equipped to do some pretty heavy lifting. The ability to “re-structure” the mind gives great hope to those who struggle with mental illness, addictions, and other negative or destructive thought patterns.

As positive thinking changes the brain in a physical way, pure thinking can do the same. Taking what we know about the effect of positive thinking and applying that to the power of pure thinking can set the stage for some inspiring change in one’s life.

This way of thinking allows us to actually chart the course of our thoughts by trudging new pathways in our brain. Through repetitiously focusing on the purity of thoughts, the old pathways become less traveled and more difficult to follow. For those who want to block porn out of their life, this is incredibly positive news.

Pure Thinking Is the Ultimate Porn Blocker

For individuals dealing with emotional or addictive issues, the science of neuroplasticity and the power of pure thinking play a huge role. Take pornography addiction for example. Numerous studies and years of research have shown that viewing pornography changes the neuropathways of the brain. These pathways become more ingrained as one continually looks at pornographic content, resulting in a “path of least resistance” in the brain. This then leads to desensitivity to the content and fuels the addiction process.

However, knowing what our brains are capable of is an exciting reassurance in conquering the battlefields of our minds. Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, a leading expert in neuroplasticity, had this to say in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

“When you understand how the brain works somewhat better, you can use that information to literally enhance your own perspective, broaden your own sense of your capacities and, with that awareness, learn to focus on other things knowing that if you focus on other things consistently you can change what’s there. You can change the way that real estate is used.”

With any addiction, the choice to re-wire our brain and begin blocking porn from our thoughts is never easy and takes hard work. One cannot buy a product to “fix” this—it has to come from within. Thinking purely takes daily focus, determination, and patience.

Author and licensed counselor Michael John Cusick shares his expertise on how to reboot our brains in a positive, pure direction. Each of these actions can also serve those who want to block porn from their lives:

  1. Cusick first instructs on the need to practice intentional thinking. When we shift away from the negative issue or thinking, our brains will start to do the same.
  2. Next, pursue alternate passions. When one is in an addictive holding pattern, tunnel vision sets in and many cannot see past the confines of their addiction. By trying new things, the focus begins to shift away from the addiction and begins to rewire the brain to have more affinity towards the new experiences it is taking in.
  3. Lastly, employ the power of repetition. As shown earlier, repeated behaviors create structural changes in the brain. Just as those behaviors can be negative, resulting in addiction and other disorders, they can also be changed into a positive by repetitious thinking and actions. Cusick notes that as an athlete develops muscle memory, so does repetition lock behaviors in the brain.

Additional Ways to Block Porn and Change Our Thoughts

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”Philippians 4:8

As individuals focus on changing their purity of thinking this year, here are some additional ways to stay inspired and keep the momentum going:

  • Engage in positive self-talk. Positive and encouraging messages to one’s self lead to a greater success in changing the direction of thinking and breaking habits and addictions. If you struggle with pornography, it might include positive messages like, “I can block pornography from my mind!”
  • Practice daily gratitude. Psychologists show that consistently practicing this helps to reframe the nature of our thinking. On difficult days, maybe when you are finding it difficult to block porn from your thoughts, take time out to think of the things that you are most thankful for. Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow. Taking a few moments to do this shifts one’s ‘state’ to a better place.
  • Be an example to others. The change in your thinking will start to become outwardly evident and may even start a change in someone else.
  • Be accountable. Have someone help to keep you on track with your thoughts and actions. Practice daily or weekly check-ins to discuss your progress. Finding a trusted friend to help you change behavior is one of the most effective ways to stop watching porn or block any other bad habit out of your life for good.
  • Pray and meditate. The quiet time spent will help to consistently re-focus and re-affirm your goals. Be specific with these prayers and say, “God, help me take my thoughts captive! I want to block porn from my mind. I need your help to do this!”
  • Exercise. Not just good for us physically, exercise helps to clear the mind and relieve stress.

Let’s make 2017 different! This year, instead of just changing what you do, let’s make it the year to change what you think. You can block porn out of your life!