Simple Practices to Get Your Brain Back

By now, you are probably a little concerned with the prospect of spending your life enslaved by your reptilian and emotional brains.

The unfortunate reality is that our brains have the capacity to get better at the behaviors that we repeat consistently. So if you’ve spent the past 5-10-15-20 years of your life practicing an emotional brain response, chances are you’ve gotten really good at it.

The good news is that our brains have the capacity to get better at the behaviors that we repeat consistently.

So the trick is to practice the healthy behaviors. To consciously work on strengthening your thinking brain, as well as learning to recognize the behaviors of your emotional brain.

Over time, old emotional associations will become weaker, and the new, healthy ones will get stronger. Eventually you will be able to walk away from pornography because it feels good to walk way. This however, will not happen overnight.

In succeeding chapters, we are going to look at a systematic way for you to fight your addictive response. This process will take time, so here are a few simple things you can begin practicing today to help strengthen your thinking brain.


Notebook on the clear page.

Image via Wikipedia

Remember how I asked you to keep track of your emotions and thoughts throughout the day? I also recommend for you to begin to journal about your observations.

Make sure that your journal is private, and that nobody else can access it. It is extremely crucial that you be completely honest and open with your journal.

Journaling is not keeping a diary, but rather looking back at your day, and consciously analyzing what was driving your emotions and behaviors throughout the day.

This practice will allow you to strengthen your thinking brain, as well as to get in touch with and better understand your emotional and reptilian brains.

Delaying Gratification

Find something that is very pleasurable for you and practice postponing it for 10-15 minutes.


Image via Wikipedia

For example, first thing that I want to do every morning is to check my email. I choose to do my morning practice instead (we will talk more about morning practices later). By doing so, I practice my thinking brain response.

In comparison, on the days when I skip my morning practice and go straight for my email, I practice my emotional brain response.

We are faced with opportunities to strengthen our thinking brains on a daily basis. Even if stopping pornography might be too hard for you right now, there are other small steps that you can take to help your thinking brain get stronger.

Delaying Your Actions

This one is similar to delaying gratification.

If you feel a strong emotion forcing you to do something, practice postponing this behavior for a short period of time.

For example, if you get angry at your co-worker, you can type up a response email, but don’t hit the send button. Let it sit there while your emotional brain cools down. Or if you come up with a really exciting business idea, write it down and leave it alone for a while. Come back to it the next day and see if it still looks feasible.

Controlling Your Breathing

Just like I mentioned before, breathing is the secret key to your reptilian brain. So anytime you notice yourself react with the reptilian or emotional brains, try practicing deep breathing.

For example, if somebody cuts you off in traffic, causing you to feel anger, immediately begin to breath.

Similarly, if you see something on the street or on TV that triggers your addiction, try to do the breathing exercise.

Meditation © by h.koppdelaney

Ten breaths in, hold it for 10 seconds, 10 breaths out. Repeat it until you feel better.

These four tips are simple but they are very powerful! Make sure to practice them, simply reading this book will do very little for you.

Our society does not do a very good job helping people to develop their thinking brain. In contrary, our entire media industry is built on training people to make decisions (buy) with their emotional and reptilian brains.

Unfortunately by this point in your life, your emotional brain has caused you so much pain that it forces you to look for help. But this can be good news.

Looking back at it, my addiction is the best thing that ever happened to me. No, I am not happy with all of the pain and sorrow that it brought into my life and the lives of my loved ones. I am not happy about all of the time that I’ve spent fueling my addiction. I am not happy with all the dreams that I gave up on, choosing to act out.

But I am happy that I am finally awake; that I am finally able to see things around me for what they really are. I am glad that I have the rest of my life. I have the rest of my life, not my addiction, not the media, and not the porn industry.

And I believe that you will have a similar experience, even if you might not feel like it just yet.

In the next chapter, we are going to take a look at how to create your recovery plan.

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Call (916)259-3827 For Professional Help

P.S. Recommended Resources:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
    I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
  • Mindful Habit Course by Coach Craig
    Great advice from a great person.
  • Free Podcast and Mini Course from Candeo Can
    I owe my first 90 days of continuous sobriety to this program and highly recommend it.
  • Internet Accountability Software
    Using this software allowed me to get truly honest with my internet usage for the first time in my life. For some reason knowing that my every step was being observed and reported on, made it really easy to use internet only in a healthy way.
  • Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner Ph.D.
    I have read over 15 books on Pornography and Sexual addiction and this truly is one of the best books on the subject. The reason is I recommend this particular book is because it is full of excellent actionable steps. Other books do a good job describing the problem, but don’t really offer a realistic solution.
  • Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens Ph.D.
    I know that about half of visitors to our site are spouses of people who might be suffering with pornography and sex addiction. To the best of my knowledge this book is one of the most helpful books for the partners.
  • Free Consultation from Coach Craig
    Coach Craig has been a good friend and supporter of this site since January 2013. He has worked with people from all over the world, including famous musicians and other high profile individuals. Yet, he is only a phone call away and would be glad to give you a free consultation. Call him anytime, with any question you might have, and I am know he will be extremely happy to help in any way he can.

Relavant Keywords:how to get your old brain back


  1. Anonymous says

    I’m frustrated because I have ALL the motivation in the world right now (since i JUST relapsed) and I know I will be fine for 3-4 more weeks without ANY temptation but I WILL fall again in a month nth and start back over again…going on 15 years that way.

  2. mike says

    To the fellow…. JUSTME? Sounded like hes in the same boat with this addiction as the rest of us,, EXCEPT that he hasnt gotton honest about HIS addiction, I just think he got his covers blown, and got a little fired up aboput it, Ive quit drugs,coke,drinking, and smoking, this…on the other hand, has been part of my life for more than 30 years, and Im 52. If it was THAT EASY, it wouldnt be an billion dollar industry…would it??. He prob realizes now,,,how silly and thoughtless his comment was,

  3. Anonymous says

    I have never said it outloud but I have a problem with porn. In my church to be forgiven of this magnitude of sin you have to go talk to your bishop. Which is a family friend. How do I get passed the awkwardness of telling him!!?!

    • anonact says

      I know how difficult that can be, if you are a man try to get his attention about telling him that there has been something that has been haunting for quite a long time and it’s so difficult to discuss it with someone. Those words makes a person expect anything and will positively respond to it. I also had a similar problem but now I’m not afraid to tell my pastor about any personal problem that I have because I get relieved each time I confess.

  4. xyz1234 says

    Hi everyone,
    i’m also a porn addicted teenager this is my early teenage life. i don’t like watching porn and masturbating i really feel shame, hopeless, dirty i want yo stop this thing. I have lost my devotion to god also. My one friend shared hus experience he sad. He is also addicted to porn he thinks that if he will not good grades in subjects he will not be anything in life. Same thing i also think. I want to stop this habit. And i want my brain as it was before 3 years. When i used to believe in god. having a positive impact on everything. I wish yo god now, that he will make me fine soon. And i wish for those persons who are facing problem like me. Please give me any advice as reply to stop this thing. Please!!

    • Your Friend says

      Brother I am compelled to comment as I find myself in the same situation as you even am a teenager 15yr so It does affect studies no doubt but still strong I stand just have a healthy diet and your brain should be fine enough for studies so relax and keep working on quitting this habit because finding you in such a situation I am going to QUIT this habit once and for all no excuse and thus no regret I amm there with you.》(^_^)

  5. Anonymous says

    Hi, i’m really young like still in my early teens and I became exposed to porn before i was a teenager. this really affected me because at that young age it was such a new concept to me to see such things therefore you can only imagine my curiosity and excitement. soon, i was addicted and then i stopped. man, i really did. however, due to the sexual exposure around me mostly with my class mates, i began to watch porn again. i don’t even like it! its boring and it makes me feel guilty when i masturbate which i have been telling myself time and time again i will not do and yet i do. i didn’t want to admit that i was addicted but it’s time i did something about this. Thanks, your site has been really helpful.

  6. Tom says

    I just don’t know what to do anymore about my porn addication. I understand the power of addiction because I have family members that are addicted to many type of drugs. I have seen the effect on there lives and how they lost everything time and time again. I can see what the drugs have done to them over the years by just looking at the outward appearance of all of them. I’m sure that the inward man is dead because of the many years of drug association.
    I’m in the military and have a good life according to my family. They think I have it all together. if they only knew of the struggles that I have in my mind with my addiction to porn. I feel awful inside and it feels like I have a vice pressing on my brain after I look at porn. The feeling is good when I’m looking at the porn. However, the moment I receive my self gratification, I feel like a thousand pounds is place on my mind. I feel so ashamed. I get upset really easy after I look at porn. . I don’t look porn everyday, but when I do, the desire stays around die a few days. This has been going on for years. I just want to craw under a rock and hide at time. I feel so unworthy of God’s grace and mercy.

    • Anonymous says

      man I know exactly what you are going through. this is a constant battle with me on a daily basis. I do everything I can to stay away from porn but the urge will suddenly overpower me and I am losing my control. I feel so ashamed and feel that God is starting to lose hope in my recovery (though he never gives up on us). I pray all the time for help and it seems to work but suddenly its like the devil just comes around to sneakily leave a little trigger to my addiction in a show or movie that I will be watching. I know the same and pain you are going through it sucks to feel that way it really does I only hope that we can over come this addiction. I am losing grip of my control on this and it sucks. I too will soon be joining the military I can only hope that I will be too distracted to think about porn.

      • Will says

        Be very careful. The military is full of porn addicts. I was in the military for many years and porn is what many used to overcome the stress of the job. Don’t think you will escape. Basic training will help you get back to a more normal state but once you go to your unit. Then the porn will be back. The best advice I could give, if you do go into the military, is to choose your friends carefully. If they are continually going out on the town and looking for girls, chances are they are not the ones to hang out with.

  7. A friend of mine is battling with porn it he does nt knw hw to quit, he really needs a therapy. If you have a solution send it to this email: and our good lord wil reward you says

    Pls help

  8. koit says

    hey thank you so much for providing this network, i am a first year student and addicted to porn .i have a boyfriend but at times we dont connect that much because i dont want to have sex with him and the only way i can keep myself a virgin is by watching porn and masturbation.but this i dont like either, every day i do this and yet i know i will be sinning against God ,i want to stop this and create a good relationship with God. i dont want to live a lie no more.

    • Anonymous says

      At the moment all we can do is pray for our God to help us through this. I know exactly what you are going through and I feel so ashamed knowing that I am continuosly sinning against God. I want no part in that sin anymore. I can only pray that this gets better and trust me I get the trying to stay a virgin I to am doing the same (I am a guy) and it sucks all this temptation that is around us only makes things harder on us all. All I know is that in the end I want to be like the others in church who will give anything to praise God and live day by day by his side and love every moment of listening to his word. Because those people know the true love and the true meaning behind Gods word.

  9. Jesse says

    Here’s a word of advice for anyone who wants to increase the power of your thinking brain. When you feel like watching a movie or television, don’t. It will trigger emotions and instincts while allowing you to abandon your thinking brain. Instead, play a video game. Play games that involve complex problem solving and logistics like “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” or “Starcraft.” I advise avoiding games like “Call of Duty” or “Super Smash Brothers Brawl” that exercise your fight or flight reaction rather than make you think. They often cause both the thinking and emotional brains to shut down and leave only the reptilian brain. Trust me, this works, and it provides the same satisfaction as a movie.

    • Randal says

      yes,you are right but sometimes in comes back to mind I really hate it.I want to stop and I tried these techniques but still doesn’t work

  10. adityan says

    I have been a porn addict since I was a teenager. I am now in middle age. I have been married for decades.

    In the good old days, I had to go out and buy pornography and face the embarrassment and social stigma of getting caught procuring porn. And the porn you could buy was relatively tame.

    The internet has made things MUCH worse because of ease of access, endless and ever-changing variety, low or no cost and absolute privacy.

    My relationship with my spouse has been severely impacted in a most negative manner, likewise my health and my ability to attend to the everyday details of life and work.

    I have just discovered this website, and I have some hope that I can begin to get over this obsession. Anyone who expresses an opinion which minimizes the gravity of the problem has simply not had the same sort of experience with this great, silent social ill.

    While everyone has the right to express an opinion, those of us who are struggling must be thick-skinned enough to just ignore the doubters and concentrate on our goals.

  11. Zee says

    I’m Zee and only recently have I found this website, my addiction is still quite new but I do hope that in time this website will help me get back on the right path. Porn makes me feel guilty and dirty but it will be a challenge for me to undertake and get over.

  12. justme says

    This is soo stupid and lame. U need a life changing course to stop looking at porn?!? pathetic. How about u go fuck your girlfriend or wife get over it. ur relationships would be better there for ur lives would be aswell. I mean stop thinking of urselves for just a sec and think of what maybe it might be doing to ur partners? how do u think they feel? and if u cared about them at all ud stop and show them the attention. and if u loved them u should be able to convey in them all of ur needs openly. This site is so bogas. U dont need a course u need a reality check. And if ur single ur single because ur so used to watching woman/men rather than interacting with them. losers

    • Shadow in the Wind says

      Justme, go trolling somewhere else… We want to do something with their lives, watching porn is a problem for us. Yes, porn doesn’t harm only the addicts, but also their partners (if they know about it) and this site is for people who want to stop this harm. Someone can watch porn even if he / she has a partner, but do you think they can stop with it just by interacting with another people? If it only would be so simple… Maybe it worked for you but it doesn’t have to work for all of us.

    • Kevin says


      Please do not go around criticizing an addiction you clearly do not understand. Sex addiction is a highly complex psychological issue that many people have and that cannot be cured through the methods you suggested. Therapists often report that their sex addicted patients actually DO care very much for their partners and do have regular sex, but are STILL unable to quit using pornography–it is just that powerful.

      Furthermore, the people on this site are not selfish but are actually trying to quit for the sake of their partners and families. Rather than being rude and calling them losers, you should be applauding them for trying to get their lives back together and save their relationships with those they love.

    • Truth says

      Hi, I’m so glad to have found this site. First of all I never thought that watching porn and masturbating was a problem, until recently.
      I realized that I have been single for 8years and that I am terrified of asking a girl out. And I don’t have any friendships.
      I’ve decided that enough is enough, I want to get married to the right person and have plenty of kids.
      I also recently got my dad to buy me a Bible, as I have noticed that I was drifting away from God and his plans for my life. Reading the Bible will give you a lot of answers and solutions for the problems in your live (most of the time the origin of your addiction). By continuing with your addiction, I have found, you will remain isolated and will never ever be happy, and that is just what satan wants.
      I guess being properly motivated, should not make it difficult to overcome any addiction.

    • Gilgamesh says

      To the all knowing, all seeing, all wise justme, get a life!!! Its really sad when you have to go to positive, constructive sites that actually help people with overcoming their addictions and spew your obscenities and hate. I wish they would delete your comment because it has no place on a website such as this. People are very unique and what works for one may not work for another. My father was an alcoholic and my grandfather was an alcoholic, yet, while I have occasionally enjoyed an alcoholic beverage, I have never been drunk. I have never had an issue with alcohol, but I would never think of telling an alcoholic who was actively trying to overcome his addiction that he was “pathetic”. It appears this site has been very helpful for a large number of people. Your comment was of no help at all to anybody. Apparently, you need to lift yourself up by stepping on others, that sort of behavior is truely “stuped and lame [and] pathetic.”

    • Anonymous says

      One of the main reasons I am here is because I don’t have a girlfriend or wife to “go fuck and get over it”. I don’t have anyone to share sex with because every time I feel sexual desire I act upon it using masturbation and pornography. It also doesn’t really help to tell the people on this site who are seeking help to “stop thinking of urselves for a sec”. I am actually here because it is a STRUGGLE for me to think about myself, because I HATE myself for watching porn and masturbating almost every day. I want to be able to stop worrying about other people and how absent sexual relationships in my life are so that I can focus on fixing problems in myself, and to criticize anyone for doing that is discouraging and rude. I AM single because I’m so used to watching women online that I don’t interact with them in public even when they want to interact with me, and that is something I am trying to accept about myself and I am doing everything I can to find a solution. I can’t speak for everyone on this site, but I can speak for myself, and when I read a comment like yours I feel even more discouraged about the problems I have in my sex life. If you feel that it is appropriate to troll people who are here to support each other and seek guidance in this battle with a problem your comment suggests you know almost nothing about then YOU’RE the one who needs a reality check.

      • Anonymous says

        I have struggled with porn addiction for this year. I have found that what really helps is reading the bible and the Book of Mormon. Through the divine love of the atonement of Jesus Christ we can all get through this. The LDS church is open to all and can really help for it is Christ’s church. Try and find the missionaries in your area if you are not already a member. We do not need a reality check, we need help. This a real struggle tag we go through every day. This site is an amazing resource an has given me the courage to talk to my bishop. If any of you are afraid to talk to him remember that he gas gear the worst. He will help us get through this. Remember Seek out the Mormon missionaries in your area if you are not a member. I have an amazing friend who I love so much. She is the world to me. If you aren’t close to someone, try to find love and that will also help because you will also be doing It for them and your future family together. I know that we can all get through this by the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I know he died on the cross for us and because of him we can all be healed.

        • Anonymous says

          Yay! Another member! Please help me!:( I have been stuck for so long. Almost 5 years… I never thought about it until 2 years ago. I don’t want to tell my bishop because I am afraid that my parents will find out. I am sick of this. I can’t talk to him though…. Why did I ever start doing this?????????

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