Rabbi Twerski sent this to me in November 2008 and wrote: “Here’s something that may be useful.”
If the yetzer hara is so powerful that you feel you cannot resist it, tell the yetzer hara, “Just wait a bit. I’ll grant your desire in fifteen or thirty minutes.” You should know for
certain that every second you put it off, you are fulfilling the mitzvah “And do not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray,” as the Talmud says, that when a person is tempted to commit a sin and refrains from doing so, one has a mitzvah. One should rejoice that one has the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of teshuvah, and inasmuch as one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah, he may find that after the fifteen- or thirty-minute delay, he can put if off for longer, and in this man- ner he can placate his yetzer hara.
If, after the delay, one falls prey to the yetzer hara, one should know that the mitzvah accrued during the delay is not lost and stands to his credit, and by merit of this, it will be easier to resist subsequent temptations. One should pray to Hashem that the mitzvah of delay should strengthen him in his struggle with the yetzer hara.
One should be most careful to fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis properly with a tallis katan of the prescribed size and look at the tzitzis from time to time, because this is a segulah against the yetzer hara, as the Talmud says in Menachos 44. He should kiss the tzitzis, bring them to touch his eyes, and say audibly, “And do not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray.”
When they lift the Torah in shul, look at the script in the Torah and think that looking at the holy words should protect you from looking at improper things. Also, look at the Shabbos candles, whose glow is that of Hashem’s presence. On Chanukah, look at the Chanukah candles for an extended time.
Every day, recite Chapter 51 of Tehillim, and concentrate on the verse, “Hashem, create a pure heart within me,” and also on the verse, “Return to me the joy of Your salvation.” You should know that each time you suppress the yetzer hara, you give Hashem great delight. The Talmud says that the place occupied by a baal teshuvah is superior to that of a perfect tzaddik. When you succeed in subduing the yetzer hara, you should not feel depressed about the past, as Rambam says, “Yesterday the sinful person was distant from Hashem, but with teshuvah he is close to Hashem, and Hashem receives his mitzvos with great love.”