I’m going to begin this article by saying that positive affirmations are an Unhealthy Coping Mechanism.
It’s one of those things which everyone thinks is positive and helpful, when really it’s quite destructive from a fundamental perspective.
Another similar belief that sets people up for failure long-term is thinking that porn addiction recovery is about keeping yourself as busy as possible, when really this is a huge misconception that leads itself to all sorts of unhealthy attitudes.
And certainly, I don’t blame anyone.
When all you have to go by are your existing coping mechanisms, which when you think about it at this point includes masturbation to deal with stress, then most people don’t have a lot to work with.
So let's talk about the dynamics behind positive affirmations, so you can fully understand why they don't work as a Healthy Coping Mechanism.
As a brief reminder, part of what makes Healthy Coping Mechanisms effective is that they help you develop control over your mind.
Usually by helping us become more aware of ourselves, as well as by assisting us on an emotional level by helping us remain calm and collected.
Positive affirmations do neither of those things.
Instead, positive affirmations are a form of emotional manipulation, and here’s how it usually plays out.
You discover that your mind is uncalm on some level.
Maybe you’re not feeling particular happy with yourself, perhaps you’re even feeling a little anxious or depressed. So instinctually, you tell yourself it’s simply because you need to be more positively affirmed.
So you start watching some funny YouTube videos. Maybe you try and read some motivational quotes. And it kind of makes you feel okay for a while, but instantly you return back to how you were feeling before.
So a small part of you decides to panic. You begin worrying about the fact that you're still down, which inevitably leads to self-criticism.
“Why can’t I just be happy? Why is it so hard to be motivated?”
And part of you thinks that maybe it’s because your positive affirmations weren’t strong enough. You know, because watching more YouTube and trying to feel more inspired, is going to work, right?
So you get yourself even more pumped, but then obviously it fades away again and you end up feeling worse about yourself, because now you’re feeling even more self-critical and hopeless than you did before.
Repeat this a few times, and you can understand why people end up relapsing, inspite of doing what they thought was the right thing.
So diving a bit deeper, there’s a few reasons why positive affirmations don’t work.
For starters, they don’t actually do anything to help us address the actual problem, which is that your mind is uncalm and has lost balance.
In fact, the term ‘positive affirmation’ is actually a lie. In reality it’s nothing more than a distraction. When you go and watch YouTube videos or seek any sort of affirmation to address how you feel, you are merely distracting yourself from your feelings.
At best it’s a form of escapism.
You see, seeking any kind of affirmation is the exact opposite to remaining calm and collected.
When you’re remaining calm, you’re not seeking nor reacting to anything. You are simply focused on yourself and your own feelings, not seeking outside attention to address them.
So why do we do it? Why do we panic and attempt to escape how we’re feeling?
As always, we do it because we don’t know better. In most cases, these are beliefs and agreements we developed as a child, from our parents and peers who also didn’t know any better.
In most cases, the agreement goes a little something like this.
My current feelings and emotions are undesirable, therefore I’m going to expose myself to positive and empowering agreements in order to make myself feel better.
Which sounds great in theory, but that’s not how emotions and feelings work.
Instead, emotions are cultivated through stability and self-control. And in order to change these habits, we need to address the underlying agreements we have about change.
An important thing to note about beliefs is that they exist irrespective of whether they're functional or not.
Furthermore, it can help to note that function exists irrespective of belief.
And in fact, humans often function a lot more efficiently without belief, which is to say that we can be happy irrespective of what we believe about what we think we bring us happiness.
Belief is just an abstraction on-top of action, which is why NeverFap Deluxe places such a strong emphasis on dissolving things like expectations and rationalisations, so we can keep our minds free from distraction.
In other words, in the context of porn addiction recovery, belief affects our ability to remain calm and balanced. Which is a huge no-no.
To truly highlight the absurdity of these agreements within the context of positive affirmations, it can help to create your own agreements which try to determine the same outcome.
“In order to be happy, I’m going to do ten jumping jacks, twenty push ups and run around clockwise for twenty minutes.”
Now it becomes even more absurd when you change the condition.
“In order to become sad…”
“In order to become angry…”
The fact is that we have all sorts of agreements that we’ve developed over the years, which are equally as absurd and are typically much more self-destructive.
“I absolutely have to masturbate once I get home from school, otherwise I’ll go insane.”
Which certainly isn't absurd in the sense that this is how a lot of people actually feel on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, the point is that you don’t need to have any agreements in order to experience an emotional state. You just need to acknowledge that you want to feel something, and that’s literally it.
These affirmations are merely an abstraction on-top of the raw feeling itself, because we haven’t been taught to think otherwise.
So the alternative to seeking affirmations is to not have any affirmations at all.
Instead, it’s about learning to remain calm and aware of yourself.
So you can be entirely in-control of yourself.