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Awareness

Tips To Improve Your Self Love & Help Shift Your Relationship With Your Partner

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Photo by CMDR Shane on Unsplash

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Psychologist Dr. Eli Finkel developed helpful “love hacks” to fix your relationship with your partner, but these love hacks can also be tweaked and used to strengthen your relationship to yourself as well.

  • Reflect On:

    What can you do to improve your relationship? Sometimes it requires some self work, and looking inward at oneself.

Self love can be a difficult subject for many people to address, especially because it’s one that society frowned upon for a while. Strengthening your love for yourself was often viewed as vain, and even to this day it’s mistaken as being selfish.

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What we sometimes fail to recognize is that you cannot treat others with compassion and kindness if you cannot even extend that same level of respect toward yourself. How can you be expected to make others feel loved if you yourself feel incredibly unloved, or worse, unworthy of love?

By increasing your own self love, you simultaneously strengthen your ability to connect with others. Being honest and vulnerable with yourself can be difficult, but it’s necessary for growing your self love. By feeling our emotions completely and being more compassionate with them, we develop a greater ability to empathize and be vulnerable with others, thus increasing connectivity in our relationships.

So, where do we start on our journeys? Psychologist Dr. Eli Finkel developed helpful “love hacks” to fix your relationship with your partner. However, after reading them, I believe that these love hacks can also be tweaked and used to strengthen not only your romantic relationships, but your relationship to yourself as well. Of course, love isn’t a “one size fits all” subject, but certainly these could help you along your journey!

Physical Touch 

The first “love hack” involves physical touch. According to Dr. Finkel, simply touching your partner can help to increase connectivity between the two of you, even if it’s just holding hands. This experiment found that couples who were told to touch one another while watching a video felt more confident in their partner and more loved in comparison to those who were instructed not to touch one another.

Physical touch can work in increasing your own self love and feeling of well-being too, regardless of whether or not you have a romantic partner. Even just hugging another human being can make you literally healthier and happier. When you hug someone or even just hug yourself, you release oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone,” which can improve heart health, decrease stress levels, and more.

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Don’t Assume the Worst

Even if you’re super optimistic, occasionally our minds jump to the worst possibility. Whenever this happens, recognize that you are jumping to a conclusion that may not be the truth, and that there’s no way of knowing the truth until it’s discovered. So, you might as well not waste your time worrying about your partner, your job, or whatever else you’re stressing over.

Sure, it’s totally natural to weigh the possibilities, but if a story you’ve created in your mind is causing you unnecessary stress, then it’s probably best to just let that go. If you find that you easily assume the worst in situations, there’s a technique I discovered through listening to a Kevin Trudeau podcast called “cancel-cancel.”

Basically, you allow yourself to live in your stress for a few moments and imagine the absolute worst possible scenario. Then, when you’ve completely envisioned it, you yell “cancel-cancel.” You literally communicate to yourself that you want to cancel that thought, and that you will not allow it to become your reality. Even just screaming can be super empowering, let alone telling yourself that you refuse to believe your own pessimism!

Picture Conflict From an “Outside Perspective”

Sometimes, when we’re so wrapped up in our emotions, we come at everything from a state of “victim consciousness.” This is a term used by Michael Bernard Beckwith, and it basically refers to a state of consciousness in which you always think “poor me” or ask “why me?”

When we’re assuming the role of the victim, it becomes difficult to empathize with the individual we’re having a disagreement with. Try to imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes as best you can, and recognize that sometimes you may not know the full picture. That individual could easily just be projecting their emotions onto you rather than dealing with their emotions themselves.

Instead of matching anger with anger, try meeting it with compassion. Why fight fire with fire when you could literally put it out by using compassion and love? Don’t express anger toward the other person. Instead, ask them why they’re feeling so angry and upset in the first place. Sometimes, when people lash out at us, it’s really a cry for help.

When we take a third party role, it allows us to really see things from a bigger picture. This is helpful in not only romantic relationships, but in all relationships as well, including those that we hold with ourselves.

If I get upset, I’ll often ask myself what the root cause of my anger or sadness is, and then put things into perspective. Do I really need to be wasting my time complaining about the small things, or would I rather live in a healthier and happier state by focusing on the things I love and that truly matter, and not sweating the small stuff?

To be clear, I am not suggesting you suppress your emotions, as it’s important to feel them out. But “letting go” and taking an objective approach is another way to help you understand your emotions better and truly connect deeper with yourself and your partner.

One of the best ways to improve your relationships is by creating more self awareness in yourself. Take CE’s 5 Days of You Challenge to explore yourSELF deeper.

Make a Gratitude List 

I can confidently say that when I started to make a gratitude list, my life drastically changed for the better and my self love strengthened rapidly. By writing down all of the things, people, places, etc. that you’re grateful for, you begin to focus on all of the incredible parts of your life and the beauty within this universe, rather than the darkness.

Of course, duality exists for a reason, and it’s important that you face your hardships head on. It’s equally as important, however, that you recognize how incredibly blessed you are to be alive and living your life. If you have difficulty listing off numerous things you’re grateful for, you can start with the stuff we often perceive as being “small” but are actually so incredibly important, like our breath, fresh water, food, and other necessities.

To apply this to your relationship, Dr. Finkel suggests writing down a list of things your partner has done to truly invest in your relationship. What are you grateful for that your partner has done?

Accept a Compliment 

Dr. Finkel suggests recalling a time that your partner complimented you, and take not of how you felt when you received it. What does your partner appreciate about you? Often times, we create these fake stories in our heads of why we’re “unlovable,” so by establishing why your partner loves you and accepting that, it could in turn improve your relationship with your partner and with yourself.

If you’re single like me, you could try either giving yourself a compliment or recalling a time you felt loved and appreciated thanks to a compliment. I’m not necessarily referring to a typical compliment like “you look pretty,” but rather a comment that deeply touched your soul and made you feel loved, whether that be a love you felt for yourself or a love you felt from another.

Try just writing down one thing you love about yourself. It could be anything, but recognize that there are so many reasons that you are incredible, starting with the fact that you’re alive. Did you know that there was only a one in four hundred trillion chance that you’d be here right now with your exact DNA? Now that’s a reason to love yourself: beating the insane odds of your very existence.

Celebrate the Small Victories 

Dr. Finkel suggests that whenever your partner shares something with you that he/she is excited about, get excited over it too! Sometimes people are so passive towards their partner’s accomplishments, as well as their own accomplishments. that they forget it’s okay to express excitement. You find five bucks on the floor? Great, let’s celebrate! Your partner had an awesome presentation at work today? Let’s rejoice!

This reminded me a lot of Neil Pasricha’s Book of Awesome, in which he highlights some of the awesome moments in life that so many of us fail to recognize. The person standing in line in front of you bought your coffee? Awesome! A random person came up to you and asked for a high five? Awesome! Your grandfather asked you to play a game of cribbage with him? Awesome!

We let so many of life’s most “awesome” moments pass by us without even recognizing the sheer magic within them. Sometimes it’s the small stuff that really makes life so grand. Celebrate the small stuff, people.

Final Thoughts

Remember, self love is not a destination; odds are that you won’t just reach a point where you love every single thing about yourself forever. It’s completely natural to cast a bit of doubt upon yourself or question your actions and decisions occasionally, and that can actually be a huge part of your growth process. As you’re learning and growing as a person, your self love is bound to shift and evolve with you as time goes on.

Self love is a journey, one that requires constant attention and care. Don’t just tell yourself you love yourself once; remind yourself of how incredible you are over and over again, even if you don’t believe it. Tell yourself that until you start to believe it, and then continue to remind yourself of that so your self love can grow even stronger.

By having compassion for yourself, you can extend more compassion to others. Study after study has shown that the happiest people are those who not only extend a helping hand to others, but will also take the time to use both of their hands to help themselves.

No matter where you’re at in life, whether you have a partner or you’re single, or if your self love is relatively high or low on the spectrum, I think we could all agree that there’s no such thing as “too much love.” So, let’s work at spreading more love throughout the world, and let’s accept that in order to do so, we need to start with building up our own self love first.

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Awareness

The Physicians For Informed Consent Ask If The MMR Vaccine Is More Dangerous Than The Measles

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What Happened: The Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) are a group of doctors and scientists from around the world who have come together to support informed consent when it comes to mandatory vaccine measures. Their information is based on science. Their mission is to deliver data on infectious diseases and vaccines, and to unite doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, attorneys, and families who support voluntary vaccinations. Their vision is that doctors and the public are able to evaluate the data on infectious diseases and vaccines objectively and voluntarily engage in informed decision-making about vaccination. 

You can check out their directors, advisors, and founding members here.

The organization itself is much bigger than the founding members, and includes a coalition of organizations, doctors and scientists.

On their website, they’ve put out some excellent downloadable PDF’s with regards to the MMR vaccine. One of them deals with “what parents need to know about the measles vaccine” and another one presents the information that has them questioning if the MMR vaccine is safer than the measles. They point out that the chances of dying from measles and make many comparisons to the vaccine.

According to a MedAlerts search of the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, as of 2/5/19, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid out approximately $4 billion to compensate families of vaccine-injured children. As astronomical as the monetary awards are, they’re even more alarming considering HHS claims that only an estimated 1% of vaccine injuries are even reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

Contracting measles is not dangerous in the developed world, and natural measles  provide immunity and also has a number of health benefits, like the reduced risk for cancer. That is sourced within their PDF, as well as other potential treatments.

I can go on and on, but for the sake of a short read I am pointing you, the reader, towards the PDF’s.

The PDF’s are well-sourced and laid out in an easy to read and understand type of manner, and quite detailed. Their arguments are quite compelling, and it would be interesting to present this information to a physician on the opposite end of the spectrum in order to hear or read their rebuttal. So feel free to take a look at them if interested!

Why This Is Important: When it comes to both our individual and collective health, all of us simply want what’s best. Nobody can really deny that, especially for our children. The issue is, many people have been made to believe that vaccines are for the greater good of everybody. We are made to believe that children, for example, who are not vaccinated are actually a danger to the vaccinated children.

The Physicians for Informed Consent are well aware of this argument, and they present a lot of information on why that’s not true. At the end of the day, in order to produce “herd immunity” from vaccines, the vaccines must be 100 percent effective for everybody, all of the time. We already know that that’s not the case and that a large majority are susceptible to vaccine injury. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act alone is enough to argue against mandatory vaccination and the idea that the unvaccinated are a risk to the vaccinated. In fact, vaccines have been known to spread diseases. This has happened with polio as well as the measles.

For example, during the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences. The media (Pharma-owned) generated high public anxiety. This fear-mongering led to the demonization of unvaccinated children, who were perceived as the spreaders of this disease. Rebecca J. McNall, a co-author of the published report, is a CDC official in the Division of Viral Diseases who had the data proving that the measles outbreak was in part caused by the vaccine. It is evidence of the vaccine’s failure to provide immunity. (source)

There are actually decades of examples when it comes to the measles.

The Takeaway

Vaccinations are quite a controversial topic, and vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among not only the global citizenry, but among doctors and physicians as well, which was also expressed at the recent World Health Organization vaccine summit. You can read more about that here.

In today’s day and age, it’s important to ask ourselves if measures taken under the guise of goodwill are really necessary and good for us. Take terrorism, for example, the idea that those who fund the problem, arm the problem, and in some cases create the problem then propose the solution of foreign infiltration, again, under the guise of goodwill.

So what were the real intentions, to stop the terrorists or to take over the country for natural resources and economic power and control?

Are people capitalizing off of the coronavirus? Not just for profit but for control, like Edward Snowden mentioned?

It’s also important to note that pharmaceutical companies hold tremendous lobbying power, even more so than big oil. (source)

Ask yourself, should we not have the right to decide for ourselves what goes into our body? Especially when there is a tremendous amount of flawed logic with the idea of mass vaccinations? Should we not have access to appropriate double blind placebo controlled safety studies? How come there are none for vaccines?

Why are there massive ridicule campaigns against organizations, professionals and people who create awareness about vaccine safety? Is vaccine safety not in the best interests of everybody? Should we not be analyzing and questioning instead of simply believing?

We must ask ourselves if we want to continue to give our consciousness and perceptions about certain medications over to these global and federal health authorities or, is it time to start asking more questions and pointing out facts that don’t really resonate? Why is discussion being discouraged, censored and even punished?

Why is Julian Assange in Jail? Why do we jail those who expose crimes and identify with those who commit them?

At the end of the day, vaccines are not a one size fits all product, and that’s quite clear. There are risks associated with vaccines, and evidence suggests that they are nowhere near as rare as they’re made out to be.

If we can come together as billions and shut down for the coronavirus, imagine what we could do if we come together to oppose measures that we as a citizenry, and as an entire collective, do not desire.

 

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Alternative News

Soft Drink Companies Caught Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Lure Young Children

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents obtained by researchers clearly outline the unethical and immoral actions Tobacco companies used to 'hook' kids onto sugary drinks. They use the same tactics they did for smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do and have our federal health regulatory agencies allow such products to be approved as safe for consumption when they are clearly linked to a variety of diseases, like cancer?

Many moves made by multiple big corporations are extremely unethical, immoral, and downright shocking. These corporations have completely compromised our federal health regulatory agencies, and it’s quite clear that they do not care about the health of the human race and will do anything when it comes to the success of the products they manufacture, including taking illegal and/or immoral actions.

One of the more recent examples comes from the tobacco industry. Companies within the industry used colors, flavors, and marketing techniques to lure and entice children as potential future smokers. They actually used and applied these same strategies to sweetened beverages starting as early as 1963, according to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

As the Sugar Scientists point out:

The study, which draws from a cache of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library tracked the acquisition and subsequent marketing campaigns of sweetened drink brands by two leading tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. It found that as tobacco was facing increased scrutiny from health authorities, its executives transferred the same products and tactics to peddle soft drinks. The study was published in the March 2019 issue of BMJ.

“Executives in the two largest U.S.-based tobacco companies had developed colors and flavors as additives for cigarettes and used them to build major children’s beverage product lines, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Tang and Capri Sun,” said senior author Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Even after the tobacco companies sold these brands to food and beverage corporations, many of the product lines and marketing techniques designed to attract kids are still in use today.” (source)

The new papers, which are available in the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, a subset of the UCSF Industry Documents Library, reveal the close and tight knit relationships between the big tobacco and big food industries. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, these companies conducted taste tests with mothers and their children to evaluate sweetness, colors and flavors for Hawaiian Punch product line extensions. The children’s preferences were prioritized.

Kool-Aid Joins Marlboro

Meanwhile, tobacco competitor Philip Morris had acquired Kool-Aid, via General Foods, in 1985. The company flipped its marketing audience from families to children, created its “Kool-Aid Man” mascot, and launched collaborations with branded toys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. It also developed a children’s Kool-Aid loyalty program described as “our version of the Marlboro Country Store,” a cigarette incentives program. (source)

“The Wacky Wild Kool-Aid style campaign had tremendous reach and impact,” said first author Kim Nguyen, ScD, MPH, who is also with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Lots of kids in the ’80s dreamed of getting swag from the Wacky Warehouse. What is really ‘wacky’ is that the Kool-Aid kid program was modeled after a tobacco marketing strategy designed to build allegiance with smokers.”

The tobacco giant also acquired Capri Sun and Tang, and used similar child-focused integrated marketing strategies to drive those sales.

“The industry claims that these tobacco-inspired marketing strategies are not actually targeting children and should be excluded from these industry-led agreements,” said Schmidt. “But the evidence cited in our research shows that these product lines and marketing techniques were specifically designed for and tested on children.” (source)

The UCSF Industry Documents Library was launched in 2002 as a digital portal for tobacco documents. Today, the library includes close to 15 million internal tobacco, drug, chemical and food industry documents used by scientists, policymakers, journalists and community members in their efforts to improve and protect the health of the public.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that government health authorities and the corporations we buy our food from, among other things, really don’t care about us. This has become extremely evident, as they are responsible for the sharp rise in numerous diseases. It’s not uncommon to see parents buy their children products similar to the ones listed above, and that’s due to mass brainwashing and the fact that we’ve been made to feel that these products are actually safe. This is why awareness is so critical.

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Awareness

Why A Growing Number of People Are Abstaining From Porn & Masturbation

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They are known as “fapstronauts,” and they are part of a growing community of hundreds of thousands of men and women who are abstaining from masturbation to internet pornography.

Their community is called “NoFap,” and its founder, Alexander Rhodes, is a man on a mission to educate and inspire the world about the damaging effects of masturbating to porn.

What could possibly be wrong with harmless masturbation, you might wonder? Aren’t we meant to enjoy the simple pleasure centres of our bodies?

According to Rhodes, masturbating to porn isn’t harmless at all. In fact, it is a silent epidemic of disastrous proportion.

“The emergence of internet pornography has changed the landscape of sexual development and relationships in a way never-before-seen in human history,” he said during his speech at the Out of the Shadows national press conference. “As a result, countless people are having their sexual tastes shaped by porn producers rather than real, human, experiences. These days, exposure to pornography seems to be a virtual certainty and young men [and women] are therefore automatically ‘opted-in’ to potential addiction, relational difficulty, porn-induced erectile dysfunction, and more,” he continued.

During his speech, Rhodes discusses the idea that porn is a relatively new variable in human evolution, and we are only beginning to see the repercussions of its use arise in the current generation of men and women.

He says exposure to porn is so rampant that it is practically mandatory for children to come into contact with some image or video before puberty. He quotes an Australian study which asked 258 male participants about their exposure to porn. Only one reported they’d never been exposed. Even more concerning, the median age of first exposure was 13 for males and 16 for females.

In this way, Rhodes says, kids are learning about sexuality through porn before their first kiss.

Frequent masturbation to porn is causing erectile dysfunction in a generation of men.

Today, a large community of “fapstronauts” is coming forward to talk about the impact this exposure has had on their lives. They report heavy reliance on porn and masturbation is manifesting in disturbing ways­ — erectile dysfunction (ED) and anorgasmia, the inability to orgasm during partnered sex, being a few of them.

According to a Kinsey report, in 1948 less than 1% of men under 30 had ED. In 2012, Swiss researchers found this number at 30%.

And the effects of watching porn span far beyond the physical, says Rhodes.

“Different studies on porn users are showing associations with sexual dysfunction, brain hypofrontality, desensitization, sensitization to porn cues, increased stress, less motivation, relationship problems, decreased sexual satisfaction, and other life-altering detriments.”
(For an extensive list of research articles on the effects of porn, click here.)

Numerous scientific studies have found that excessive porn use has biological and behavioural ramifications.

Rhodes also stresses that he and the NoFap community are in no way ‘sex negative’:

Being skeptical of pornography is not the same thing as being sex negative – there’s a huge difference between pornography and sex. In porn, the viewer is a voyeur, rather than a participant. It is on a screen. It is available in virtually endless amounts and pirated all over porn tube sites without monetary cost. It is always accessible, just a tap or click away. To our brain’s reward system, this can be an especially enticing quick and repeatable path to an orgasm, compared to partnered sex. In fact, many people who are quitting porn are doing so in the pursuit of better sex. Quitting porn is sex positive.

He notes many NoFap community members are there to improve their interpersonal relationships, whether it be for a marriage, a relationship, or single life. For others, it is simply a challenge of willpower — to seize control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers.

“There are many, many different reasons to join but we’re all on NoFap with one goal – to help each other abstain from PMO (porn/masturbation/orgasm).”

Men And Women Report Incredible Life Shifts After Quitting Porn and Masturbation

Within the many pages of the NoFap forums, whether directly on the NoFap website or within the large and fast-growing Reddit community, it is easy to see the profound shifts taking place for people who’ve succeeded in the NoFap challenge, which consists of setting an intention to abstain from masturbation and watching porn for a certain amount of time and then riding it out.

The NoFap community is growing at a rapid pace.

Participants report diverse and overwhelmingly positive results from their efforts, like increased confidence, reduced anxiety, improved focus and memory, increased concentration, improved social skills, deeper sleeps, enhanced abilities to feel emotions, less brain fog, and even seemingly being more attractive to females.

While some might say these are rather normal powers, fapstronauts say that after years of feeling depressed, scattered. and unmotivated, the onset of these new changes feel as incredible as real ‘ superpowers‘ would.

One user, “borninthenorthwest,” said committing to NoFap altered his attitudes toward sex and women entirely:

My relationship with porn began at the age of 13 with nude Playboy photos of Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. This was in the days of dial-up Internet, and I was initiated by my childhood best friend at the time. Although this did not seem pornographic, relative to what my peers were beginning to look at, I now see that this was the beginning. It began a cycle where every woman I met was judged by these photogenic standards, and felt no real attraction towards most girls in high school, despite being popular and well-liked for my prowess on the guitar.

He explained his warped attitude toward women posed issues in his sex life.

“None of the girls I met in college could compare to the standards in my own mind. What few girls I was attracted to, I felt incapable of asking out for a date, and often would simply fantasize about them instead.”

He admits he developed an addiction to porn, and at 31 he discovered the NoFap community.

“Since then my relationship with both pornography and far more innocent triggers is vastly different. I no longer use porn at all, and no longer place the celebrity notion of beauty on the pedestal either, and am interested in real life and real people, slowly but surely engaging in reality.”

“Fapstronauts” claim that abstaining from porn and masturbation improves their overall confidence and sex lives.

Here is what a few other fapstronauts had to say.

Thesexymountainman:

“Went to a dance last night and asked a bunch of girls to dance. Felt like a boss. A few months ago I would have been sweating and shaking doing that. I would’ve been looking at the floor with my head down like a whipped puppy trying to ask a girl to dance. Stay strong everybody! There’s life after PMO, and it’s awesome af!”

Amadadado:

“Today I am walking around with random erections all day long, like a teenager. I am in my 40s, so this feels strange.”

IronWide:

“Life is amazing and it’s only been two weeks! I have found out how much more confident I am in public, and how much more secure I feel about myself.”

TheGaurdian97:

“I finished a 300 page book in one sitting today. Before I would fall asleep or procrastinate and play on my phone. Now I can read and actually remember what I read.” 

The Most Important Takeaway

Today, Rhode’s mission is to get the message out to parents so that healthy conversations can start happening at an early age.

Educating children about sexuality and the effects of watching porn is a crucial component in preventing porn addiction and porn related side effects.

“Families need to educate their children about pornography – and they need to do so before the porn producers do, since right now minors are getting hooked on porn long before they are made aware of the potential negative effects.”

And for the ones currently suffering from porn related side effects, he offers that the treatment to these symptoms simply comes down to one thing— removing porn from their lives:

We simply want people to ask themselves the question, how is porn impacting my life and relationships? And if they do not know how porn is impacting them, they can simply take a quick break, changing one variable in a self experiment, to see what impact it might have on their lives and their relationships. Already, thousands have made the personal decision to leave porn in the past, and have gone on to live more fulfilling lives with improved interpersonal relationships. It’s time we think about and openly discuss our heavy usage of pornography. In the meantime more and more people around the world will continue to declare their autonomy and reclaim their sexualities from the porn production companies.

If you are struggling with porn addiction, or are simply curious about what others are reporting from abstaining from masturbation, join the NoFap communities through their website or on Reddit. NoFap offers many resources as well as a global support network to help you transition away from the addictive influence of porn.

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