Masturbation is a healthy, normal way to explore the body and feel pleasure. However, it can become a problem if it interferes with daily life and relationships.
If masturbation is causing problems, talk with a counselor or therapist who specializes in human sexuality. They can help you find other ways to get the same satisfaction.
1. Identify Your Triggers
Identifying your masturbation triggers is the first step to stopping this habit. Make a list (mental or written) of activities that cause you to feel arousal, such as looking at pornography or fantasizing about sex. Then, remove these triggers from your environment.
Changing your lifestyle can also help prevent masturbation. If you often feel bored or lonely, find new ways to entertain yourself. Try playing a sport, working on a project, exercising, or taking a class. These activities can give you a sense of purpose and make it more difficult to turn to self-stimulation.
If you’re concerned about your masturbation habits, consider seeing a mental health professional. A trained therapist can help you identify your triggers and provide you with healthy coping skills. In addition, therapy can help you find alternative outlets for your emotions. You can also seek support from friends and family members, or join a masturbation recovery community.
2. Change Your Lifestyle
Masturbation often occurs when a person is bored, and keeping busy with other activities will help reduce the number of times you have sexual fantasies. You can do things like exercise, practice mindfulness or yoga, find a new hobby, or spend time with friends. Getting to know yourself better can also help prevent masturbation because you will have more self-awareness.
If you find yourself masturbating in certain situations, such as when you wake up, take a shower, or right before bed, try to change those habits. Talking with a therapist may help you identify these behaviors. There are also online support groups for people who struggle with sexual behavior that feels out of control.
Consider joining one. You can also eat a healthy diet and minimize the consumption of aphrodisiac foods. In addition, you can learn a new skill that takes time to master, like playing an instrument, painting, writing, or cooking.
3. Seek Help
Masturbation is a normal part of sexual expression and can relieve stress, but it can become compulsive and addictive. If masturbation is interfering with your life, it may be time to seek help.
Talk therapy can help you understand your triggers and learn to cope with them in a healthier way. A therapist can also teach you techniques to reduce your masturbation and provide encouragement and support as you work towards a better, healthier you.
Staying busy and keeping yourself occupied is another great way to avoid masturbation. Try exercising, writing in a journal or even taking a walk around the block. Often, masturbation becomes a habit because you are bored or looking for comfort. Instead of filling that need, find something else to do with your time like reading a book or playing guitar. It will take practice but if you stick with it, your urges to masturbate should decrease.
4. Stay Active
In some cases, masturbation can lead to negative feelings or interfere with certain aspects of a person’s life. This is when it becomes a problem and needs to be stopped. Several strategies can help individuals stop masturbating and instead seek pleasure through other means.
Taking up a new hobby or cultivating a skill can refocus the mind away from sexual fantasies. Keeping physically active can also reduce tension levels and positively redirect energy. Activities like jogging, swimming and even walking can boost positive moods and increase self-discipline.
Putting sex toys away, turning off pornography, and using sex-blocking software can all help to curb compulsions to masturbate. Counting blessings, writing in a journal and participating in routine meditation can also redirect the mind away from sexual thoughts and erotic images. It may also be helpful to learn something that requires a great deal of time to master and thus force the brain to think in terms of delayed gratification.
5. Keep a Journal
In many cases, masturbation is triggered by boredom or feeling lonely. Finding ways to occupy your time and stay busy with activities other than masturbating will help you stop the cycle of self-indulgence.
Consider removing porn videos from your phones and laptop, discarding pornographic magazines from your bedroom and library and finding new friends or social activities that will keep you out of your alone time. Keeping a journal is another helpful tool that can help you track your progress and find ways to curb masturbation urges.
Identify the times in your day when you tend to masturbate, such as when you wake up or take a shower, come home from work or school, or before going to bed. Replace these times with other activities that you enjoy, like watching a sports game or a movie at the theater with friends. Try doing something physical to distract yourself, such as playing tennis or hiking.
6. Count Your Blessings
Having thoughts that lead to sexual fantasies and masturbation is not only sinful, but it also distracts people from the positive things in life. Spending less time alone and occupying the mind with something other than masturbation can help. One way to do this is by meeting with friends, taking a class, or exercising. Exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can cause masturbation urges.
If watching pornography is a major trigger, consider installing porn-blocking software and moving your computer to a room where you can’t easily access porn sites. Also, throw out any pornography or dirty magazines you may have in your home. Then fill your mind with other positive and productive activities like reading a book, volunteering, or playing an instrument. In addition, be sure to urinate often to avoid masturbation. A lot of the time, masturbation is simply a result of excess energy that you have not released.