Things to avoid during Nofap – Dos and Don’ts

representation of a man meditating alone nofap

Published in Reboot

Porn and compulsive sexual behavior researchers have extensively studied why people attempting abstinence often relapse into prior patterns of excessive pornography use otherwise known as Nofap.

But Nofap can be overwhelming. So this article will help you understand what to avoid and how to avoid during Nofap. This will help you stay away from relapses and manage through the flatline better to live a porn free life.

By understanding the science behind addiction, you can identify and thoughtfully prepare for known relapse triggers. With compassionate self-awareness, concrete prevention tools, and support systems, freedom from porn is possible. So let's understand what scientists and researchers have discovered first.

Then we will get into what helps me during Nofap streaks.

What to avoid during Nofap according to experts

Digital Triggers and Setting Media Boundaries

Studies by Vaillancourt-Morel et al. highlight pornography as the biggest threat to maintaining sobriety goals, rapidly unveiling cravings and overpowering intention.

Dr. John Foubert recommends in an interview the protecting devices with parental control software, pursuing new hobbies that keep hands occupied, and scheduling intentional offline social activities. The American Society of Addiction Medicine focuses on radically reducing tempting screen time rather than trying to “resist peeking”.

External Stimuli and Alterted States

Neuroscientists describe the “chaser effect” where seeing erotic imagery sparks renewed drug-like hunger through existing neural pathways for short-term pleasure at long-term life cost.

Substances lowering impulse control also demonstrate relapse risk as evidenced by over 50% of Alcoholics Anonymous members also battling porn addiction. Stress and difficult emotions similarly drive escapist tendencies. Same also applies for supernormal stimuli.

Cognitive-Behavioral Coping Techniques

Many CBT practitioners advocate noticing when harmful ideations arise, writing out cognitive distortions like “I deserve relief”, then purposefully shifting to something wholesome rather than suppressing reactions.

Building new pathways involves mindfulness without judgement about stumbling, self-compassion through progress over perfection, and trusted accountability partners for objectivity.

Digital Distractions to Avoid During NoFap

The biggest threat lurking online comes from porn portal pathways prepared to hijack executive functioning and self-control the moment frustration hits or a moment of boredom strikes. 

Just a few minutes on an adult site risks catapulting you into a full-blown edging and porn binging session, undoing days or even weeks of nofap progress. But staying vigilant by taking preventative measures significantly reduces exposure to digital temptation interference:

  • Install site-blocking tools like Unplugged or porn blockers to make devices porn-proof 
  • Unsubscribe fully from all email newsletters peddling salacious imagery or erotic stories 
  • Turn on strict adult content filters across all browsers and enable Google's safe search 
  • Have an internet accountability partner who can access your browsing history

Slamming the door firmly on porn access options slashes availability that fuels relapse triggers. Dedicate yourself fully to the nofap commitment by erecting barriers to unstructured internet surfing whenever the urge arises.

The Heavy Toll of “Innocuous” Provocation 

While porn poses the most obvious and extreme danger, even non-explicit images showing suggestive skin subtly activate addiction neural circuitry over time. Each lusty look serves astacit permission for your brain to justify “just a little peek” at more graphic sexual visuals.

Skimpy selfies, alluring Instagram influencers, dating app photos showing cleavage, beach bikini model ads - all carry a heavy toll during early nofap stages. We assume glancing doesn’t count as porn butfail to realize the gradual domino effect on our wiring.

The most effective approach?

Unsubscribe and unfollow friends sharing provocative photos, retain conscious control by redirecting attention on something mundane whenever alluring imagery appears randomly. Starving neural pathways of artificial sexual stimulation accelerates the rebooting process.

Is Some Media Too Risky? Setting Healthy Entertainment Boundaries 

What about enjoying the occasional movie or show featuring a steamy intimate scene? Since graphic sensuality inherently promotes objectification antithetical to nofap’s purpose, avoiding mainstream media until you stabilize your reboot makes logical sense. 

But an absolutist ban on films, songs and books referencing sexuality also overly limits balanced living. We must incorporate conscious choice about entertainment based on mindset:

  • If you feel centered, confident and in control, avert eyes during hot segments without judgement then refocus attention on the creative storytelling.
  • But if you’re already depleted from stress, lonely or waivering in motivation, it’s wise avoiding hypersexualized programs given unnecessary landmine exposure. 

Assess your genuine emotional state before consuming provocative entertainment.

Hidden Stashes Enable Weak Moments 

It feels excruciating to permanently clear gigabyte archives of tantalizing porn built up over years. But retaining access guarantees moments of frustration or validation seeking eventually erode once-disciplined consciousness.

Commit fully to the nofap lifestyle by deleting all stashes - this forces your mind to find healthy highs rather than addictive escapism. If needed, secure non-porn media assets on external drives.

Remember, each piece of content reinforces well-worn neurological associations between toxic digital fantasy and stress relief. Erasing quick access prevents late night moments of weakness from sabotaging all progress when resolve wavers.

Sources of Artificial Sexual Stimulation

When rebooting from porn addiction, what specifically constitutes “crossing the line” varies individually. As masters of trickery, our minds constantly rationalize loopholes allowing us to satiate primal urges through “permissible” options aside from watching explicit adult video. But beware - artificial stimulation from:

  • Reading erotic literature 
  • Participating in online sex chatrooms
  • Sexting with strangers
  • Seeking audio porn 
  • Fantasizing about past encounters

Keeps addiction’s grasp firm by perpetuating porn pathways mentally through imagination even without visual stimulation.

If success matters, stop usage of this “softer” material completely rather than bargaining ways to keep enjoying temporary pleasure fixes hindering reboot.

Substance Use Plays Russian Roulette

Alcohol, cannabis and other disinhibiting substances seem harmless initially when willpower stays steadfast after starting nofap. We believe we can casually drink or smoke socially without repercussion. But mind-altering impairment simultaneously shoots up likelihood of gives into relapse by reducing impulse control and rash decision making.

A night out dancing with friends, bachelor party with the guys, stressful work week - these represent high-risk conditions. Despite feeling confident in our restraint, lowering our guards through vice use frequently ends in binging intensely due to withdrawal and wanting that quick fix.

By retaining presence of mind and conscious intentionality when frustrated, we less easily fall prey to unhealthy habitual patterns keeping us enmeshed in addiction’s cycles.

Mastering Mindset Over Difficult Emotion 

Along the nofap path, piercing insight surfaces about the true nature of our addiction. We realize porn previously masked coping with life’s ordinary frustrations and stressors. 

Now when waves of anger, disappointment, shame or sadness strike, we may unconsciously yearn to open an incognito window for quick mood alleviation despite understanding the painful costs.

Retrain yourself through this vital mindfulness skill - pause when experiencing an emotional flash flood, consciously decipher the true reason for unpleasant feelings rather than act rashly to suppress them, then employ healthy coping mechanisms like:

  • Going for a long walk in nature
  • Confiding openly in close friends 
  • Listening to uplifting motivational podcasts
  • Reading pages from inspirational literature
  • Journaling about lessons from failure

This builds resilience navigating daily struggles without numbing out through digital fantasy escape hatches. Healing from addiction requires sitting with discomfort, not avoiding it.

Setbacks will happen on the nofap path, but without self-judgement, promptly get back on track using fresh momentum. Each small victory further rewires the neural framework supporting long-term success.

Harnessing Nofap Community Support 

Nobody undertakes this journey alone. Fellow fapstronauts walking the path serve as vital resources:

  • Connect with comrades through subreddits and forums
  • Locate an accountability partner to share pitfalls openly with 
  • Internalize inspiration from those further along resisting relapse 
  • Comment on threads when crises of temptation hit to crowd out unhealthy thoughts
  • Soak in the motivating success stories demonstrating recovery is possible

We draw courage recognizing our shared human capacity for discipline and restraint. You can also join UnplugNation Telegram community to stay accountable.

Common NoFap Relapse Triggers FAQ

Q: I accidentally saw a triggering meme or image online. Did I sabotage my reboot?

No. Avoid overthinking or judging yourself for an unintentional glimpse. Note emotions arising without attaching meaning or shame to them, then consciously shift your mind’s focus onto something productive or inspiring.

Q: What about allowing masturbation without porn?

Manual stimulation still activates addiction’s neural circuitry, prolonging recovery. Avoid it entirely rather than attempting to bargain temporary relief. White-knuckle through the tension. 

Q: Can I look at porn if I manage not to masturbate or orgasm?

No. Deliberately viewing with “strong willpower” still exposes your brain to risky dopamine influxes that negatively impact progress. Do not put yourself in temptation’s way.

Q: My goal is moderating porn when I relapse rather than completely quitting forever. 

Addiction research conclusively shows moderation eventually escalates back into dysfunctional compulsive patterns for addicts. Pursue full sobriety from porn without exceptions to change life.

Q: Seeing my ex’s social media triggered intense urges. Did I lose all my progress?* 

This is known as the chaser effect - when lingering attachment or resentment towards a person activates cues leading to renewed cravings emerging. But don’t despair; recognize it will pass without giving in.

Concluding Thoughts 

Avoiding the tangled web of behavioral triggers, sneaky thought justification patterns, and digital temptation requires immense self-awareness and concerted effort daily. But framed positively, each small victory further detaches your self-worth and purpose from addiction’s strangling grasp. 

Through mindfulness meditations like Vipassana, accountability and resilient self-compassion, the next porn-free chapter awaits. Joining support groups and other Nofap communities can also be of great advantage. If Nofap Reddit is not your way, Unplugnation telegram is a free place to connect with like minded warriors.

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