Stop punishing yourself. Consider it this way: if you’re constantly dwelling on the disapproval of masturbating, you’re still thinking about masturbation all the time. Don’t just trade in your masturbation addiction for another one — they’re so closely related that you won’t resolve anything. Instead, acknowledge that this has been a problem for you, but you will persevere to stop the impulse.
- Remember, you’re human. Humans make mistakes, and they have sexual urges. Neither of these things makes you a bad person. Forgive yourself, and keep in mind that you are more than the sum of your mistakes.
- Resist the urge of sinking into despair by remembering the times spent feeling sorry for yourself when it could have been spent relinquishing your addiction.
Remove anything that tempts your urge to masturbate. Some common enablers include:
- Access to pornographic material: If you have a collection and you’re serious about quitting masturbation, you’ll have to dispose of it. Burn or shred paper, wipe your hard drive, and set up parental controls on your Internet browser that block adult content.
- Certain times of the day: If you have problems before going to bed or in the shower, refrain from any temptation to masturbate. For instance, if it’s a problem late at night, drop to the floor and do push-ups until you’re too exhausted to do anything but fall asleep. If you find shower time too tempting, start using ice cold water only — you won’t want to be in there for long.
- Boredom: If you have so little to do that your mind frequently wanders to sexual thoughts, occupy your schedule. You’ll find it gets easier to avoid masturbation if you’re too busy or tired to spare any energy for distractions.
- Loneliness: If you masturbate frequently because you feel lonely, find ways to limit your solitude. For instance, instead of watching the game at home by yourself, watch it at a sports bar. Even if you’re not hanging out with friends, you will not be alone, ultimately having no time for masturbation.
3. Find another outlet for your time and energy. Fill your life with engaging activities. The excitement of doing something different can help replace the urge to masturbate, and you’ll have a go-to distraction next time you’re tempted. Try some of these options:
- Get creative. The process of turning sexual urges into creative output (called sublimation) is something on which monks and sages have relied upon for centuries. Start writing, learn to play a musical instrument, paint, draw, or do whatever else makes you feel like you’re doing something productive.
- Do sports. It takes discipline and persistence to excel at a sport. Develop an interest like running or swimming, or a group sport like soccer, football, basketball, or tennis.
- Eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables have healthy effects on the body and provide nutrients necessary to increase your energy to be more active throughout the day.
- Find a new hobby, or cultivate a skill. Learning something that takes a while to master can refocus your brain on the delayed gratification of achieving goals instead of the instant gratification of masturbation. Try skills like cooking, woodshop, archery, baking, public speaking, or gardening.
- Volunteer your time. Devote your energy to helping people who’ve been less fortunate than you, such as working at a shelter, tutoring low-income students, cleaning up blighted areas, or raising money for a good cause. You’ll get an altruistic feeling from helping others, and you’ll have less time to stray from your goals.
4. Be persistent and patient. Stopping a masturbation addiction won’t hit you like a lightning bolt. It’s a process that requires commitment, and you might make mistakes or relapse on occasions. The real struggle is persevering, so commit now that you won’t let little mistakes stand in your way.
- Set up a reward system. Bribe yourself to stay on-track with rewards for good behavior. For instance, if you can go two whole weeks without masturbating once, treat yourself to a small indulgence like a new game or an ice cream cone.
Know when to seek help. If you’ve tried everything and just can’t seem to get your addiction under control, it might be time to tell someone else about your problem and ask for assistance. Don’t feel ashamed, and remember that many people have similar problems like an addiction. Seeking help is a brave action, and most people you ask will see it as such.
- Ask your religious leader for guidance. If you belong to a church, consider asking your local clergy for help. Keep three things in mind: First, these people become part of the clergy because they’re dedicated to helping their congregations. Second, they’ve probably already assisted someone with a masturbation addiction before. Lastly, they’re bound by strict confidentiality. Request a private appointment with your pastor, bishop, imam, rabbi, or other religious leader, and see if his or her advice can help you.
- Make an appointment with a medical professional. Counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists are all trained to help people with varying levels of addiction. Start by seeing a therapist in your area, who can assess your addiction and refer you to more specialized help if necessary. Several treatment options are available, from cognitive-behavior therapy to medication.