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6 Ways Watching Pornography Affects Your Mental Health

5. Hyper-Multi-Sensory Stimulation 

Mindfulness—the ability to willfully focus one’s attention during adverse circumstances—is a significant contributor to mental health. Pornography is nearly the complete opposite of mindfulness.

Pornography uses sound, site and tactile sensation to pull an individual from their actual world into an artificial, fantasy world. Combining multiple senses with an enticing narrative makes it increasingly difficult for less stimulating activities (which is most of life) to hold an individual’s attention.

If the previous point was about unpleasant emotions, this point goes further; now merely unstimulating activities are increasingly difficult to meaningfully engage in for an extended period of time.

Consider how much of basic life management (i.e., budgeting, staying on schedule, honoring commitments, asking good questions in a mundane conversation, etc…) become difficult when we condition ourselves to avoid unpleasant emotions and mundane tasks. Then consider how doing a poor job at basic life management tasks negatively impacts one’s mental health.

6. Time Lost to Constructive Activities

The final point is more about what pornography prevents (indirect impact) that what it does (direct impact). Time spent viewing pornography is time not spent doing something more constructive (i.e., investing in hobby, talking to a friend, exercise, reading a book, etc…).

The more we invest in things that are meaningful and substantive the better our mental health will be. Pornography robs many people of their hours in their week when they would invest in these constructive pursuits and gives them nothing in return.

The more we engage in pornography the less time we have for good mental health habits.


Based on these observations it would make sense that an individual wanting to be a good steward of his/her mental health would abstain from viewing pornography. As you read through this list, the question you should ask yourself is, “When I have viewed pornography which of these affects have been most pronounced in my life?” The answer to this question should add to your motivation to honor God not only by abstaining from pornography but pursuing those things that would contribute to your purity AND your mental health.

This article was originally posted at Covenant Eyes on May 10, 2018.

If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Pornography” post which address other facets of this subject.

A recommendation for anyone struggling with pornography is to install Internet accountability software on all of your electronic devices. An excellent provider of this software is Covenant Eyes. Their ministry provides a many articles, for which I am a frequent contributor, for you continued growth and encouragement.

This article originally appeared here.