Episode 148: Ask a Coach: All Emotions Have a Shelf Life

Uncategorized Nov 13, 2023

Do you feel more antsy in your physical body as you view less porn? Maybe you can’t stop bouncing your legs or find yourself constantly fidgeting, and maybe it’s leading to a strong urge to view porn so you can stop feeling so antsy. 

This is the challenge posed by this week’s Ask a Coach question asker, and Jessica Farmer is on the show to offer her insights. 

Join Jessica on this episode to hear her top tips for processing uncomfortable emotions, how all emotions have a shelf life, and the power of letting any emotion be present until it eventually dissipates. 


The Podcast Roadmap is a guide to the key podcast episodes to listen to if you’re brand new to the show! It’s got 12 of the most important episodes to check out while we’re on a season break, and you can get this list in your inbox for free by clicking here!

If you’re ready to do this work and start practicing unconditional commitment toward quitting your porn habit, sign up to work with me!


What You'll Learn from this Episode: 

  • What an urge is.

  • How all emotions have a shelf life.

  • Why identifying and allowing your emotions to be present matters.

  • Jessica’s tips for what to do when you’re processing uncomfortable emotions.


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Overcome Pornography For Good podcast where we take a research-based, trauma informed and results focused approach to quitting porn. This approach has been revolutionary and changed thousands and thousands of lives. I’m your host, Sara Brewer. 

Hi everyone, welcome to Overcome Pornography For Good. We are currently on a season break, and regular podcasting will resume January 1st. But we are still bringing you brand-new content every single week by sharing an Ask a Coach question and answer from me or from one of the other coaches in Overcome Pornography For Good. 

Ask a Coach is a feature in the program, in our program Overcome Pornography For Good, where you can come and you can submit questions or coaching and get a personalized response from a coach on our team. This is something that when you join you get lifetime access to and you can submit as many questions as you would like. 

You can submit 10 a day, 20 a day, you could come back down the road in three years and submit a question. You’ll always get answers, you’ll always get help and support via our portal through the Ask a Coach function in the program. So you can submit questions. If you’re struggling you can ask for help. You can submit your learn and move-ons or other worksheets. 

And so what we’re doing right now is we are picking and choosing a few of these to answer anonymously, of course, here on the podcast until we pick back up with regular programming on January 1st. And I think you’re going to love it, it’s going to be so helpful and so good. And you get to hear from all the other coaches. 

So before we hop in I do want to talk about a brand-new free resource that I have for you all that’s perfect to announce during this podcast break. It is called The Podcast Roadmap. What this is, is it’s a roadmap of all of the key podcast episodes. With around 150 episodes, that can feel really overwhelming if you’re new to the podcast. So what we did is we created a roadmap. 

Here’s 12 of the most important episodes to listen to. You can listen to them in order or not, but we have those listed out for you and linked for you and you can sign up for that and get that in your inbox for free at sarabrewer.com/podcastroadmap. No spaces, no dashes, podcastroadmap. 

I really hope that you guys will go and take advantage of this. Even if you’ve been a longtime listener and you’re using this podcast break to maybe catch up on episodes, go and download The Podcast Roadmap to re-listen to those most important episodes. 

We also have our free masterclass that’s always available if you want just the quick and easy version of how do I quit porn, that’s sarabrewer.com/masterclass. It’s just an hour long, it’ll walk you through the process. It keeps it short and simple. 

And then, of course, we always have our program open. So you can come and join and work with us. You can start getting answers to your Ask a Coach questions, you can come and get coaching. Remember, it’s a lifetime access, so we’ve got the modules and all of the work for you to do in the program, the milestones to complete. 

And then you have lifetime access to coaching calls. We have multiple coaching calls every single week. We have specialized marriage calls, relationship calls, support calls. We have regular coaching calls, which are the ones that I do. We have calls on each individual milestone. Anyways, there’s so much in there. I won’t go into all of those details here, but you can see all the details of the program, sarabrewer.com/workwithme. 

All right, you guys, enjoy these Ask a Coach Q&As. 

Jessica: Hi, everyone, this is Jessica Farmer. I am a coach in Overcoming Pornography for Good and I’m so excited to be here with our Ask a Coach question for the week. 

So this is a question that we get a lot and I’ve had it recently with several of my clients and so I wanted to bring it up. And it says, “It seems the less I’m viewing porn, the more antsy my body is. There have been some days that I feel like I can’t stop bouncing my leg or fidgeting or not being able to sit still. How can I let it not bother me, because in some ways I feel a strong urge to go view porn when I get antsy like this. How can I process this?” 

This is such a good question because this comes up a lot and I think it’s something that we don’t necessarily understand a lot of the time when it’s happening. So an urge to view porn, and really any emotion that we experience, all it is is a sensation in our body, right? It starts out as a thought in your brain. Like in this circumstance it might be something along the lines of I’m having this urge, but I know viewing porn isn’t what I really want. 

And so there might be some dissonance there, which is naturally going to create some anxiety, right? And so you have this sentence in your brain and your brain is going to send chemical signals to the rest of your body letting your body know, okay, we’re anxious now. We’re having some anxiety. And that’s going to manifest as certain sensations in your body. 

It might be this antsy feeling where you feel like you’re bouncing your leg all the time. Or you might get sweaty palms. It might feel like a tightness in your shoulders or in your chest, right? So these emotions, all it really is, is a physical sensation. And when we process these emotions, all we really do is we learn how to sit with those emotions and just let them be. 

In the question, he says, “How do I not let it bother me?” And if I was coaching this person on a coaching call, I would say, maybe it’s okay for it to bother you for a little bit, right? Like, maybe it’s okay that this is really uncomfortable for just a few minutes. But these sensations, these emotions, they have a shelf life, right? The scientists tell us that emotions, when you’re not rehashing them, that emotions really only last about two minutes. 

And so when you can just kind of let it be, let it be uncomfortable for a few minutes, for those like two minutes, it’s just like, okay, this is the part where we’re experiencing a little bit of antsiness, we’re feeling a little uncomfortable. And we’re just going to roll with it. We’re just going to sit in it and let it be uncomfortable for just a few minutes. 

And really, there are a lot of times when the physical sensation of feeling an urge can feel very similar to the physical sensation of anxiety or lots of different other emotions. So we want to be exploring the sensation of the emotions and we’re wanting to really name and understand the emotion that’s coming up for us, whether it’s anxiety, fear, discomfort, overwhelm. Whatever emotion is coming up for you, you want to be able to identify it and then just sit with it and let it be there for a little bit. 

One of my favorite examples of this is if you’ve seen the movie, I think it’s Batman Begins, there’s this really cool scene where Bruce Wayne is spelunking down into what’s going to become the Batcave. And he’s climbing down and he’s struggled with this fear of bats for his entire, you know, since he was a child. 

And he’s climbing down into the Batcave and he stands on this platform. And from the side he notices this huge cloud of bats that just are coming at him. And you can see that at first his natural instinct is to like duck and cover. That old fear is kind of coming up. 

But this is something he’s worked on, this has been part of his training. And so he resists that urge to duck and cover and give in to that fear. And there’s this really empowering moment where he’s just standing there on this platform and this cloud of bats is circling around him. And he just has this look of acceptance and peace, and he’s just standing there. 

He’s not fighting it. He’s not ducking and covering. He’s just letting this cloud of bats circle around him. And they’re not hurting him, right? That’s the fear, the fear is that he’s going to get hurt by these bats. But when he just allows them to be there, they’re not hurting him, they’re just circling around him. 

And eventually, after a couple of minutes, they just kind of fly out the top of the cave and they leave. And really, that’s what it’s like when we’re processing some of these more uncomfortable emotions, like anxiety, overwhelm or fear. We just kind of let it be there and just kind of relax into it. And eventually it’ll circle around us for a few minutes and then it eventually dissipates and goes along its way. 

So when you have these feelings, we’re wanting to, number one, identify. Number two, just let it sit and be there. And that’s going to help with the question that this person had of like, how do I even do this, right? So first off is just learn to be okay with some of these uncomfortable emotions and remind yourself that these emotions, first of all, they don’t last forever, they have a shelf life. 

And second of all, they can’t hurt you, right? Just like those bats, if we just kind of let them be, they’re not going to hurt us. It’s just a sensation in your body that might be uncomfortable for a few minutes, but it’s going to run its course and while it’s doing that it can’t hurt you. So I thank you for being here and I will see you next week. 

I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving in to urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography. 

We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn’t have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent. 

If you’re trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass, and it is totally free.

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