Mental energy is an important component of daily life.
You need it to organize your day, to focus on important tasks, and to fulfill your responsibilities. When you struggle with a compulsive behavior with pornography, sex, and masturbation, though, you’ve definitely noticed low energy levels from time to time.
That sense of mental lethargy makes it difficult to complete the things you need to get done. This is awfully inconvenient for a high-performing man trying to take back control of his life. What can you do to manage mental energy during your reboot?
Now it’s important to note that there are a multitude of causes for low mental energy. Pornography addiction might be one part of a bigger problem you’re dealing with. But today, I want to focus on the problem through the lens of your pornography addiction and compulsive behavior.
What’s Draining Your Mental Energy?
Before you can effectively manage your mental energy you need to know what keeps it low. Porn addiction and compulsive sexual behavior keep your mind active almost all the time. Whether you’re actively engaged in your behavior or you’re thinking about it, your mind is constantly consumed.
The negative emotions and self-image caused by your behavior affect your mental energy as well. Men feel immense guilt and shame about the porn they watch or things they do, or the slips that happen when they try to quit.
There’s also the general exhaustion that comes from staying up late when you act out. You might try to go to sleep at a certain time but completely blow it and stay up all night watching porn. Of course you’re going to feel depleted when you’re getting terrible sleep.
All of this makes sense when you look at it from a biological standpoint. You’ve destroyed the reward system in your brain after years of compulsive sexual behavior. You need something really exhilarating to get that dopamine release you’re looking for. Your mental energy is drained in every sense of the word. So what can you do to bring it back?
How to Manage Your Mental Energy
As you start working on your energy drain, I suggest incorporating a practice I like to call realistic optimism. Realistic optimism is when you accept the reality of the world, whether it’s positive or negative, but maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. You continue believing that things will turn out well in everything you do, in every area of your life.
Realistic optimism also accepts the reality of your situation. You recognize that your compulsive behavior impacts every area of your life, too. Your potential, your work, your family, your spirituality, your finances, and more all feel the fallout from your behavior. But you still remain optimistic even in the face of this.
Men in the Porn Reboot program realize they’re going to have a difficult time at first, that their behavior won’t change all at once. They know they might have their head on a swivel or may objectify women at times. They’re going to feel the pressure while out with their friends for a night. However, they’re still optimistic that the system will work for them.
There are three steps to developing this mindset of realistic optimism. It’s difficult to adopt it when you’re at the very beginning of your reboot, though. You need to first control your immediate behaviors before these tips can be effective. Once you start to have a hold on the problem, though, you can try these steps out.
1. Implement positive self-talk
Don’t knock this until you try it. It might sound simplistic but the way you talk to yourself has a massive effect on your mindset. If you spend the day telling yourself that you’re a terrible person, it’s going to affect the way you see yourself. When you believe you’re a terrible person it’s harder to overcome your harmful behaviors.
For example, consider how you talk to yourself when you slip. Do you call yourself weak or a loser? Or do you view it as a mistake you made and encourage yourself to make a different choice next time? The second view of things is far more productive than the first. Practice talking to yourself this way instead of the first way. Remember that most of your self-talk happens subconsciously, too. You have to make an active effort to catch negative thoughts as they crop up and change them.
2. Practice visualization
Visualization may seem like a new-wave approach to some of you but I’ve found it to be an effective practice in my reboot. The power of visualization runs deep. Your brain cannot differentiate between a vividly imagined experience and something you experienced in real life.
It works for things in the past so why shouldn’t it work for things in the future? Think about a time you lost a job or someone rejected you. Everyone can go back to a point in their life where this happened and recall those feelings of shame, anger, and humiliation. When you call that memory to mind you can actually feel it, too. It’s a physiological response to visualizing that past experience.
Now take the power of visualization and direct it toward the future. Purposefully put yourself in a state where you imagine doing things like successfully overcoming an urge or experiencing a healthy sexual relationship with your partner. Visualize yourself having a fun night out with friends or performing well in your career. Use that mindset of realistic optimism to apply visualization in any area of your life where you want to be successful.
3. Learn effective time management
Effective time management is a crucial component of any successful reboot. Time management is something that can be pretty difficult to gain control over, especially at the beginning. You’re used to following any idea or whim that comes to mind, usually down a dark spiral of out-of-control behavior.
Instead, practice effective time management. Effective time management doesn’t mean only getting the tasks done on your to-do list, though. It’s about being able to do these things in an efficient and effective way while still deriving some pleasure from them.
It doesn’t matter if you can fit everything into your day but don’t enjoy it because you’ll become resentful over time. You might not love everything you do but you need to find some appreciation for it so you don’t get irritated, say “forget it”, and go act out. Learning to effectively manage and enjoy your time will make a massive difference in managing your mental energy.
Taking the Next Steps
Managing your mental energy is some high-level reboot behavior. It’s okay if you aren’t successful right away. Continue practicing your skills and taking active steps to work on managing your mental energy. Over time you’ll notice that you’re more engaged and have more drive to do things each day!
We offer plenty of additional resources to help you along the way during your reboot. Check out our YouTube channel for hundreds of informative videos. Read through some of the posts here on our blog or listen to the Porn Reboot podcast that you can listen to on the way to work. Then meet up with us in the Porn Reboot Facebook group and let us know how you’re doing and whether you need some support!