Feeling unable to resist the urge to lust after a person -- or a lot of people? Overcoming lust is a personal choice to make; it's not something that can be imposed upon you or that you can simply switch off. Rather, you'll need to work at a result that distracts, replaces, or softens your lustful thoughts. Here are some approaches that might work for you.
Part 1 of 4:Dealing with the Root Cause
1Stop tempting yourself. Learn to stop seeking out things which make you lustful. This mainly means training yourself to fight the temptations of pornography but it can also mean not going to movies or avoiding driving on certain parts of the highways. This is difficult, but lustful habits are just like any other bad habit and can be broken. Be persistent!
2Learn respect for yourself and others. If you allow lust to be the driver in your daily relations with others, then you're not connecting fully with yourself. You are allowing your bodily desires to determine who you are and how you behave, rather than letting your mind and personality do some of the thinking. Similarly, you are not respecting them by viewing them in this lustful way. If you truly have feelings for them, you will work hard to fight these feelings and do right by them (and yourself!).
3Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol remove your inhibitions, making it harder for you to fight lustful feelings. If you partake in these, stop. It will really help a lot! You can still go out to bars with friends, just ask to drink any soft drink or apple juice instead (both look like alcohol, so you won't feel awkward).
4Acknowledge your needs. Most holy books acknowledge that sexual desire is normal, so don't feel bad about having sexual needs. Acknowledge them, because not doing so can create a very unhealthy mentality and make those feelings even stronger! Let yourself feel sexual feelings but do not act on them.
5Look for alternative philosophies. There are lots of different kinds of lust and lots of different ways of looking at lust. Now, if your lust is causing or may cause someone else physical harm, then yes, it is a problem that needs to be dealt with. However, if your sexual feelings are released between two consenting adults, that may be okay. Sexual feelings are natural, and if your concern with them is only based in your religious teachings, it may be time to further explore other religious teachings. Different sects will take very different positions on the matter.
Part 2 of 4:Distracting Yourself
1Be prepared. If you go in unprepared, then of course you're going to have problems. Acknowledge that you have issues with lust and then prepare yourself when you know you will be going anywhere with temptations. Preparing yourself mentally and having a game plan is half the battle.
2Bounce your eyes. When you go somewhere where temptation is strong, follow the practice of bouncing your eyes. This means that if you see something that can cause lust, immediately find something else to look at. This is a very handy practice and can help a lot.
3Focus on a hobby. Another thing you can try is to focus on doing something you enjoy. This is a great trick for when you're having lustful thoughts at home or in other areas where your temptation is within yourself and not from an outside cause. Having an activity which is mobile is especially helpful, since these thoughts can occur at any time.
Consider learning decorative braiding, or other creative hobbies which are easy to do anywhere.
You can also challenge yourself to memorize as much holy text as possible.
Another method would be to volunteer. This is an activity which can not only distract you but it can also help you do God's work.
4Pray or recite a memorized verse. Another way to distract yourself would be to recite, either aloud or in your own head, any verse you know. This can remind you of God's love and help you keep his laws.
5Avoid the causes of your temptation. The best way to avoid lust is to remove the causes of your temptation. For many people the main cause of temptation is pornography. If you find that you can't focus on the important parts of life and your pornography collection is building up like the pyramids in Egypt, it may be time to take a break. Set up a filter on your computer to keep you from looking at the images.
Part 3 of 4:Finding Better Ways to Interact
1Hang out in groups. If you cannot avoid the person who causes you to lust, you'll need to find a healthier way to interact with them. One option would be to only spend time together when you are with other people. This will help keep you from saying or doing things you shouldn't.
2Spend time together in safe places. If even spending time only in groups isn't helping, another option is to spend time with them only in places like a church, temple, or other holy meeting place. God will protect you and help you focus only on Him and not on your lustful thoughts.
3Look at their eyes. When you look at them, make sure you focus only on their eyes and not on any body part which excites your lust. They say that eyes are the window into the soul, so focus on their eyes in order to see their soul. This will help make you more respectful and remind you how God would want you to treat them.
4Partake in friendly activities. Only do things with them that respectful friends would do. Do not do activities which may seem like dates. Just look at any situation you're in and think about what your grandmother would say about what you're doing. If she would approve, then you're probably okay.
5Do not touch them. Touching them, even if you just touch them in reasonable places like the hand or arm, can sometimes make lustful thoughts worse. Try not to touch them at all, if you're really having trouble. This can help a lot.
6Do right by the object of your affection. If you really can't keep your behavior in check around your boyfriend or girlfriend, it may be time to get married. This is God's intention and why he created husbands and wives, so that they can exercise these feelings in a way that pleases him.
Just keep in mind that you should marry someone who is a good match, spiritually, physically, and mentally, for you and only get married if you are ready to be serious about each other. If you can't take your relationship that seriously, you may not be ready for a sexual relationship.
Getting married to give yourself an outlet for sexual feelings should be a last resort. Marriage is a serious undertaking and should not be approached lightly.
Part 4 of 4:Getting Help
1Acknowledge that you need help. If you do not have the option of marriage and the other tricks aren't working, you may need to acknowledge that you need help. You know what they say:"Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to fixing it".
2Talk to your spiritual adviser. Talk with your local priest, preacher, imam, rabbi, or other spiritual adviser. They will be able to give you some advice and also help keep you on the right track. That's what they're there for! Don't be ashamed: they are trained to deal with problems like these and they know that this can be a problem for even the most devoted and faithful.
3Sequester yourself. Take yourself as far away from temptation as possible. For men this may mean joining the military. For women this may mean going to an all-women's college or all-girl's school. Your family will understand and support your decision. Stay with members of your own gender until you learn to overcome your feelings.
4Remember the problems that lust creates. If you act on these lustful thoughts, you are opening yourself up for according punishment. STDs, STIs, unwanted pregnancy, as well as other punishments, will await you if you cannot keep yourself under control. Be careful and act responsibly!
5Pray for God's help. God will help protect you from these unwanted feelings but you must work with him. He will send you help but you have to keep your eyes open and look for the solution that he has sent. This can be hard sometimes, but with the help of your friends, family, and spiritual advisers, you will get the help you need.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."- 1 Corinthians 10:13