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

Last Updated: February 15, 2019

Leigh Seger
Leigh Seger

Leigh Seger served as an Internet Safety Consultant with Covenant Eyes from 2009 to 2015. While at Covenant Eyes, she made a positive impact on individuals and families by helping them protect their homes against harmful online content.

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. 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.” 

Why a Porn Blocker Alone Often Fails

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 remove 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 this year different! 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!

  • Comments on: The Best Way to Block Porn (It Isn’t What You Think)
    1. Diane Coleman on

      For anyone interested, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is also a tool for creating new neural pathways in the brain. My husband and I are trying it with his addiction and he seems to have gotten some relief. His addiction goes way back to childhood, so we’re trying to change over 40 yrs of negative pathways. So far, the EFT and Covenant Eyes are the only things that have helped. Besides prayer of course, and I believe those prayers are what led us to both of these tools.

      God Bless…
      Diane

      Reply
    2. Deacon Teo van der Weele M.A. on

      I have used Blessing as a tool to help victims of trauma with a negative self image, to reframe the patterns of their mind by starting to think blessings. Blessing is seen as thinking good thoughts about others in Jesus name. Only thoughts have already effect on others, if they are open to it (eg. “mirror-neurons”). Some of my students, in the metro on her way to work, decided to just bless people, asking Jesus what she can bless them with. One can never make an embarrassing mistake in this, as one doesn´t say anything. She reported three different reactions, a head that turns away, a questioning/angry look and a friendly looking reply, often with a light smile. This has helped her to realise how rich she is in Jesus, that she can do that, in His name… One only needs to decide: “I want to do that” and let one´s eyes do the rest…

      Reply
    3. Sven Maric on

      I liked Romans 7:15-24 for years. But when I realized that I am addicted to porn, I suddenly saw this Romans 7:15-24 in lights, like explanation of symptom of addiction: at the same time you crave for your addiction and you are aware that you wont stop with it; at the same time you like addiction and you don’t like your addiction.

      Reply
    4. Harold Isaac on

      I was reading the article about the ultimate porn blocker and was intrigued by the comment “With any addiction, the choice to re-wire our brain and begin blocking porn from our thoughts is never easy and takes hard work.”.
      I had an addiction for close to 50 years and tried the hard work methods but was ultimately delivered and believe it or not it wasn’t hard work!
      If it’s hard work it won’t work.

      Reply
    5. martin gonzalez on

      In the past I tried but I feel helpless. I guess I’m reaching out for help. I can’t do it alone. And with the constant problem I had for decades I think I lost god and his active force. So now I’m in a worse state.

      Reply
    6. martin gonzalez on

      Am I beyond help? And yes its true your brain gets warped.

      Reply
    7. martin gonzalez on

      God has tried to help me but I think he’s fed up with me.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hello, Martin – there is no pit dark enough or deep enough to separate you from God. Please read Romans 8 for encouragement, especially the end. NOTHING can separate you from His love. Anything you might feel that comes against that is from the enemy, the father of lies. Have you read the parable about the prodigal son? That’s you. God is standing arms wide open.

      • Encouragement on

        I’m pretty sure that God Never gets fed up with us but I think we get fed up with ourselves and with just feeling stuck. After any failure try again… might just be the secret of life?? All the best.

      • Marco Fonseca on

        Martin that is the game that Satan plays, he want’s you to feel that way, pray, meditate on God’s word and you will see changes and sin will decrease. Stay strong bro.

    8. Roje on

      It is good to know that i am not the only person hoe struggling with this, i red through your artical i will implement in my life and give you feed back. Thanks for your blog my you belessed .

      Ps thank You Father for this in Your son Name Jesus amen

      Reply
    9. Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg on

      Excellent, as far as you went, but you missed the basic point. Thinking is controlled by the mind, but the mind, biblically, is controlled by the heart. Change the heart (God’s work), change the mind, thoughts and behavior. God changes the heart, the center of our will, when we submitt to the will of God. This is the basic principal of all real and lasting change.

      Reply
    10. Kathryn E. Hurst on

      When I’m lonely, afraid, or down, it seems I am most vulnerable. Help.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        So I think you’ve answered your own question: you know that loneliness is the problem! Connection is the answer! Find a counselor, join a group, call a friend, talk to your mom or sister… Shame keeps us isolated and alone, running the same self-destructive patterns over and over again. Peace to you, Kay

      • Marco Fonseca on

        Trust in Jesus He will make your weakness your strength.

    11. Sam on

      Thank you for this article. I have been trying for so long to break the addiction and finally getting some break through this September. Along the line though, I was having the urge and that was how I stumbled upon this article.. Really blessed me.

      Reply
      • Samantha Groll on

        Hi Sam,
        Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on reaching a breakthrough! We know that the road to recovery from porn addiction is long and winding, and will include setbacks and challenges that are sometimes unforeseen. We try to produce content to help with every step of the journey. If you ever need any recommendations or are wondering about something in particular, just let us know! :)

        Praying for you on this journey!
        Samantha

    12. Sam on

      I think God in his infinite Mercy made me understand that I need to be wise and understand what his will is.
      I’m starting to realize Christ wants me to be blameless and spotless and at that, I need to present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.
      So personally, I keep reminding myself everyday.

      Reply
    13. Wendy on

      As a 23 year old female with a porn addiction for 9 years, this gives me hope. I was clean for about 10 months, but I stopped reading my Bible every day. Ultimately proved to myself that God is my only deliverance and relief. But I failed Him. I need to get back to reading and praying everyday. It’s the only way

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Wendy!

        Thank you for sharing a part of your freedom story! I am so glad that you are finding hope in Christ. He truly is our only deliverance. I will be praying for your continued journey. Cling to Christ and HE will give you strength!

        Love,
        Moriah

    14. Nnabest on

      Please how will I stop watching and block anything about porn in my phone??

      Reply
      • Keith Rose on

        Thanks for reaching out! If you’re a Covenant Eyes memember, you can put Covenant Eyes on an Android phone or iPhone.

        If you have any questions about this, contact our team at 989.720.8000, or support@covenanteyes.com.

        Blessings,

        Keith

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