NoFap boredom is a withdrawal symptom that everybody MUST experience on their NoFap.
There’s no escaping the NoFap boredom.
If you’re on NoFap, expect the coming of boredom like the coming of winter (for my GOT fans).
So, the question shouldn’t be, “when will I get bored on NoFap?”
Because it usually starts around day 3 of NoFap.
The right question to ask is, “how do I beat the boredom that’ll happen to me when I’m on NoFap?”
Don’t worry; in this post, I’ll address how you can beat the NoFap boredom so that you come out on the other side better.
But first, let’s look at why you’re destined to get bored when you’re on NoFap.
What causes NoFap boredom?
Why you get bored when you’re on NoFap isn’t rocket science.
It’s because of a little something called Dopamine rebalancing.
When you used to Fap to porn, you used to flood your brain with dopamine. And not the natural-good-for-your-brain kind of dopamine. It’s the hijack-your-reward-pathway type.
With continuous porn usage, over time, your brain becomes desensitized towards dopamine.
Your brain reduces the number of dopamine receptors. And as a result, you won’t feel dopamine effects that much again.
But when you go on NoFap, you take away this dopamine from your brain.
And because there isn’t any other place to get the quantity of dopamine you used to get with porn, everything else will suck. You’ll be bored out of your mind.
You don’t get excited at anything else because it isn’t porn.
And if you aren’t careful, this can result in a NoFap relapse. This brings me to the next section.
Effects of boredom on your NoFap, and your life
When it comes to the concept of boredom, I can’t bring myself to quickly label it as something bad for you.
I can’t say boredom is a thing that will negatively impact every part of your life.
As a matter of fact, researchers have recently found that we’re most creative during our moments of boredom.1
Success can be hidden in the ability to successfully navigate the dreadful world of boredom.
Those that can stay with boring questions and boring tasks for long are the most successful of us.
I firmly believe that boredom—first and foremost—presents us with an opportunity to know the workings of our minds.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a very bored guy. And it used to suck! Because you’ll surely get bored as a withdrawal symptom of NoFap.
And its effects in the early days of my NoFap were quite devastating!
Boredom can lead to a NoFap relapse
If you’re also an introvert (like most porn addicts), boredom could compound on NoFap.
You might try everything you can to get busy, socialize, or call people over to your house, and you still feel bored out of your mind.
Just because everything else you’re doing to beat boredom isn’t porn, you might feel that they’re not working.
So, you’d be tempted to watch porn. You’d think that if you go back to PMOing, you’d feel excited and invigorated again.
You’d crave the dopamine rush, and you’d think it’ll solve your boredom problem.
But the thing is, the dopamine euphoria would only last for (about) 2 minutes, and you’ll be back to being bored (and feeling shameful for relapsing) for the rest of the day.
NoFap boredom can mask (or lead to) depression
There’s a famous saying that women don’t get as bored as men do. Instead, they often report being depressed.
Conversely, most men report being bored rather than depressed.
So, are these assumptions accurate? And if they are, what makes them true?
Do men really not get depressed?
Researchers have found that it’s not that men don’t get depressed.
Men merely have a problem with expressing themselves. So, they often label depression as boredom.
My point here is that boredom is an emotion that often masks deeper feelings.
When you’re feeling bored, your boredom is often masking one of these emotions:
- inability to delay gratification,
- feeling like a failure,
- fear, and so on.
Boredom can affect your life’s goals
The feeling of boredom is usually accompanied by nausea, fatigue, and irritability.
When all these emotions batter you, you feel less energetic and don’t want to work.
You feel lazy and don’t want to get off your couch.
Overcoming boredom is a science that you get proficient at the more you do it.
The only way to permanently overcome boredom is to learn the lessons that boredom’s trying to teach you.
Any other fix to boredom like escapism is a temporary solution.
Escaping boredom by keeping yourself busy is like a prescription for the symptoms of a disease. But, unfortunately, it’s never truly the cure.
Again, don’t get me wrong; there will be times you’ll need to escape boredom.
But you ideally don’t want to be escaping your states of boredom every time they occur.
So, the following list is (mostly) filled with permanent solutions to boredom.
11 sure-fire ways to deal with NoFap boredom
Be aware of the boredom and its undertone feeling
Like any other problem in life, the first step to solving that problem is to become aware of the problem’s existence in the first place.
Being aware of the time you’re bored is relatively easy.
The hard part is detecting the REAL emotion that boredom is masking.
How do you begin to do this?
The first thing is to do the opposite of what you usually do when you’re bored;
Don’t try to escape your boredom. Instead, sit with it.
Sit with your boredom
Allow yourself to be bored. Sit there and be bored out of your mind.
While you’re sitting with your boredom, ask yourself one or more of these questions:
- Aside from feeling bored, what else am I feeling?
- What are unresolved things I could be doing right now?
- Why do I detest where I am right now?
- Why do I want to be somewhere else doing something else?
These questions are like a thread that you pull that keeps giving answers to the workings of your mind.
Pull these threads enough, and the more profound feeling reveals itself.
When I do this exercise, these are some of the emotions (and circumstances) that often reveal themselves to me;
- I have some (unfinished) projects I’m trying to avoid,
- I have fear about doing something,
- I’m feeling inadequate and incapable of doing something,
- I’m unnecessarily impatient about something,
- Or I’m amped up on social media or movie dopamine.
The solution I’ve found for solving my boredom is to face that which I’m procrastinating on.
If that’s not the circumstance making me feel bored, I accept the present moment as is and enjoy my own company.
“Accepting the present moment is the only PERMANENT solution to boredom”
— Frank Daemon
To really know how your mind works, you should meditate every day.
To be able to sit with your boredom to detect your emotions, you should meditate every day.
To be able to accept the present moment as it is—so you’ll stop chasing nirvana every single moment, you should meditate every day.
Meditation is a practice in boredom. The more you meditate, the more you’re able to handle being alone and bored.
If you can sit and do nothing for 10-30 minutes every day, you can handle fleeting moments of boredom that occur during the rest of your day.
Hasten up the dopamine rebalancing process in your brain
Since dopamine rebalancing plays a significant role in why we get bored on NoFap, finding ways to hasten the dopamine rebalancing process will go a long way in alleviating NoFap boredom.
So, how do you hasten the dopamine rebalancing process?
Glad you asked.
You hasten the process by doing different dopamine rebalancing activities with your NoFap.
These activities help to build new dopamine pathways and revitalize dopamine receptors in your brain.
Some of these dopamine activities include reading, taking a walk every day, volunteering in a community-helping project, getting more sunlight, exercising, listening to music, and so on.
Reading builds learning pathways in your brain. The more you read, the more you build dopamine receptors.
And with time, reading becomes a habit of its own—that you can count on when you get bored.
So, in a way, reading becomes a (part of) permanent solution to boredom and can also act as an immediate escape route from boredom.
Take a walk
Taking a walk is good for you on so many levels.
And it can also act as a way to immediately escape boredom.
To get the dopamine effects of walking, you’ll need to make walking a consistent practice.
Also, when you walk, look at objects far away as this induces the secretion of feel-good hormones like dopamine.
Volunteer in your community
Helping other people is another dopamine rewiring activity that you can employ to cure boredom.
When we feel a part of something bigger than us, feel-good hormones are secreted in our brains.
We feel optimistic about life, and we become purpose-driven.
You’ll feel more a part of the world as a whole, and your feeling of loneliness and boredom will be gone with time.
Exercise (preferably HIIT exercises)
I can’t recommend exercising as a life hack enough.
When you exercise regularly, dopamine receptors quickly build up in your brain.
As a matter of fact, exercising is one of the fastest ways to reverse and rebuild dopamine pathways in the brain of ex-addicts.2
To build up dopamine receptors, the best forms of exercise are aerobics and HIIT.
Get more sunlight
Another dopamine receptor-building activity you can do is getting more sunlight.
Researchers can’t figure out the neurobiology of how this occurs yet. But it’s something they know happens.
A 2011 study found a significant increase in dopamine D2/D3 receptors in the participants exposed to sunshine for 30 days.3
Since in temperate regions of the world, there’s no sunshine around the year.
So, if you’re living in this part of the world, you have to be deliberate about taking in more sunshine.
Listen to your favorite music
Music is the first abstract experience researchers have found that can induce dopamine in the brain, aside from sex, drugs, porn, and alcohol.
This was shown firsthand in a study conducted at the McGill University Health Centre. Participants listening to songs they love saw an increase in their dopamine levels by a whopping 6-9%.4
To use music to produce dopamine in the brain, you have to listen to music you love and enjoy.
Because according to the study, there has to be emotional arousal before dopamine is secreted.
So, if you love and enjoy pop music, and you don’t fancy classical music, if you listen to classical music when you’re bored, it won’t rewire your brain.
Make no mistake, dopamine activities stack up over time
All the dopamine and dopamine-receptor-inducing exercises I just described above won’t just rewire your brain overnight.
All these activities won’t just replace porn overnight.
To permanently defeat boredom, you have to keep doing them every day, for months.
With time, your brain will get rewired, and NoFap boredom won’t affect you as it used to in the past.
Sources and Footnotes
- Approaching novel thoughts: Understanding why elation and boredom promote associative thought more than distress and relaxation
- Effect of Exercise Training on Striatal Dopamine D2/D3 Receptors in Methamphetamine Users during Behavioral Treatment
- Sunshine-exposure variation of human striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor availability in healthy volunteers
- The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal