I don’t care how awesome you are—or how great your life is, the NoFap challenge will be one of the most difficult things you get to do in your life.
And when you achieve something difficult, as humans, it’s natural to want a token that celebrates that achievement.
It’s human to want a badge of honor for your bravery in resisting those porn urges.
In comes the several NoFap trackers and counters.
But apart from the fact that trackers and counters help you stroke your ego, they are actually helpful in achieving your NoFap goals.
This isn’t a statement I made up. It’s a statement that researchers have shown to be true.
But for all the good trackers can do for your NoFap challenge, there are some dark sides to using them.
I reveal all of their good and dark sides in this post. So that you can make an informed decision when choosing whether to use NoFap counters or the NoFap counters to go for.
The psychology behind NoFap trackers and Counters
Habit tracking is mainstream nowadays.
There are lots of apps that offer this functionality. Some of these apps can even help you take your habits public like IPOs—by helping you link your tracker to your social media accounts.
But why are trackers and counters for NoFap or any other habit so mainstream these days?
Why is it something you should consider using for your NoFap challenge?
Researchers have found that the brain tends to discount positive progress.
In simpler words, your brain isn’t adept at letting you know how much progress you’re making—or how awesome you’re becoming by sticking to the habit you’re trying to cultivate.
The feedback of the brain for positive habits is quite slow. The rewards aren’t usually immediate as those of negative or destructive habits.
For instance, let’s compare these two habits;
- Doing fifty push-ups every night.
- Eating chocolate cake every night.
After the first week, you’ll not see the rewards of doing fifty push-ups every night. Rather, your brain will clearly communicate the pain associated with your daily pushups. And this is why most people give up after a couple of days.
On the other hand, the reward of eating chocolate cake is evident on the very first night. Forget your brain’s feedback, you’re literally able to taste the reward. As the molten chocolate melts on your tongue, everything is right with the world. You’re in paradise.
At that moment, your brain isn’t telling you the pain the chocolate cake can cause you in the future. Your brain isn’t telling you that you’re paving the way to obesity and several heart diseases.
Here’s where counters and trackers for habits come in.
If your brain won’t tell you how good it is that you’ve done your push-ups consistently for a week, you’re taking matters into your hand by employing trackers and counters.
The habit trackers and counters provide a visual representation of your small successes. The more you add days to the counters, the more successful you feel.
And the more successful you feel, the more motivated you become.
The benefits of using NoFap trackers and Counters
Can increase your motivation
When it comes to NoFap, it gets to a time when the benefits you’re getting from the challenge start to stagnate.
At this time, you might start flatlining and your brain might start telling you that the NoFap challenge isn’t worth it.
At this time, your counters and trackers can be handy in getting you out of this rut.
By physically seeing your streak, you can become motivated to stay on the NoFap wagon.
By looking at the streaks you’ve managed to put together, you might not want to throw away all the hard work for two seconds of pleasure.
And for some people, this might serve as a source of motivation not to relapse.
Can serve as your virtual accountability partner
When you’re using NoFap trackers that counts and shows your NoFap streak publicly, you’ve taken the functionality of NoFap trackers to the next level.
Being public about your NoFap streak means you’re not the only one counting the streak.
With this, the stakes are higher. You don’t want to disappoint the public. And this makes you a little bit accountable.
This can have either of two effects;
- Either it holds you accountable and this, in turn, motivates you tremendously to stay on the NoFap wagon
- It puts you under tremendous pressure and this, in turn, leads to your relapse
If you’re lucky to get the end of the former stick, that’s an added advantage of using public NoFap counters and trackers.
Helps you learn more about yourself
This is why I do encourage people that are new to NoFap to use a counter or a tracker at the beginning of their NoFap journey.
These trackers provide a visual medium to recognize your pattern.
You’ll get to know the days of the week that you relapse the most. The number of days that your streaks last before you relapse. Which months of the year do you have the longest streaks? And so on.
Recognizing these patterns help you to plan better and do better on your NoFap to avoid a relapse.
Instances when using NoFap counters and trackers can go wrong
The truth is that as amazing as NoFap counters and trackers sound, they’re not meant for everybody.
There are some personality types that trackers won’t have the beneficial effects on. Instead, it’ll have negative effects.
And apart from that, there are other ways that trackers can have negative effects on your psyche and even perpetuate your relapse.
Here are three ways that counters can mess with your NoFap;
When you aren’t mindful of your personality type
Let’s say you start your NoFap and you’re using a NoFap counter.
But as you see the streaks building up, you keep relapsing. That means you’re not the type of person that trackers motivate.
Visually seeing the streak might be putting more pressure on you subconsciously than you currently need.
At this point, your mind might be making NoFap seem like more than it is.
This might be the best time to ditch the NoFap tracker.
Also, if you’re the type of person that feels pressure instead of getting motivated when the public sees your tracker on Reddit, you might consider making it private or get rid of the tracker altogether.
When Trackers and counters can cause a NoFap relapse
Let’s talk about the chemistry behind how trackers and counters motivate us.
When you look at your tracker and you see your NoFap streak, chemically, a little bit of dopamine is secreted in your brain.
That’s why you’re able to feel motivated in the moment you see that tracker.
One thing about the business of dopamine is that your brain will always want more of it.
And the uniqueness of porn addiction is its relationship with dopamine—how much dopamine it can instantly flood your brain with.
So, when you get dopamine from your counters and your brain wants more, it wants to go to the source of dopamine it knows the most; porn.
This happens a lot and most people can’t explain how one minute they’re looking at their tracker showing them a 30-day streak, and the next moment, they’re binging on porn.
This is the reason why it’s not uncommon to see people putting their NoFap trackers and counters on a pedestal.
What’s happening here is that they’re substituting the dopamine from counters with that of porn.
But in the end, it’s never enough.
When they start hindering your identity shifting process
Do you know the fundamental difference between a porn addict and a person who isn’t addicted to porn?
A porn addict is a person that needs to watch porn to get dopamine hits while the person that isn’t addicted doesn’t need porn for dopamine.
What’s now the difference between a recovering porn addict and a person that isn’t addicted to porn anymore?
The recovering porn addict wants to stop watching porn while the person that isn’t addicted to porn anymore is a person that doesn’t need porn anymore.
The difference is all in the narrative. The story we tell ourselves about who we are. Our identity.
You’re doing NoFap to change this identity. No matter how difficult NoFap is for you, the day you make the identity shift on the subconscious level—from someone that wants to stop watching porn to someone that doesn’t need porn, that’s the day you break your addiction to porn.
The idea is if you keep doing NoFap, you keep chipping away at this old identity of yours. And one day, you would realize you don’t need porn anymore.
The toothbrush analogy
The more you go on NoFap and the more you keep using trackers, the more these trackers reinforce the identity that you want to stop watching porn.
Think about it. If you’re on day 365 and you’re still looking at trackers, you’re telling yourself that day 366 might be the day you watch porn.
In contrast, if you ditch counters after the first three months of NoFap, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that NoFap is now your way of life. Relapsing is no more an option because you’ve already proven it to yourself that you don’t need porn anymore.
You need to brush your teeth every morning. You don’t need to be told to do so because it’s your way of life.
And after you finish brushing in the morning, you don’t go and track the number of days it’s been since you’ve been brushing your teeth.
How to get the best out of your NoFap counters and trackers
If you must use counters or trackers on your NoFap, here are some tips that’ll help you utilize their benefits and not fall victim to the dark side of these trackers and counters;
Use them based on your personality type
I can’t say this enough;
Use the NoFap trackers to record your streak only if it motivates you.
But if you keep relapsing despite your streak trackers, maybe it’s time to flip the script and start tracking relapses instead.
This is another way to track.
If that doesn’t work either, consider ditching the trackers.
Don’t pay attention to it
I know it sounds funny, but don’t pay attention to your counters.
Don’t let your counters be the center of your NoFap universe.
In other words, don’t put them on a pedestal.
NoFap isn’t a challenge; it’s a way of life
I’ve probably said this a million times on this website.
If you make NoFap a challenge, your brain will also make it a challenge.
This post made an argument supporting NoFap trackers and counters and also against using them.
Because the truth is; it’ll work wonderfully well for some people, and it won’t work for some.
And it’s okay to want to use it, or not want to use it. It’s not the end of your NoFap journey.
At some point in my NoFap, I was using trackers and they didn’t really work for me. So, I ditched them. But that’s me. That’s my personality type.
I would advise you to try them out first and see how they work for you.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.
Till the next time we speak;
STAY FAP-FREE, STAY HEALTHY.