Traditional process of effectively combating thoughts leading to sin, before the latter occurs:
- Cut off the thoughts that are effecting you, leading you to be tempted. Do not feed them;
- Pray to God for Him to take the thoughts away from you – He is omnipotent, He can do anything, so ask Him! There are reasons why He may refuse to remove the thoughts in question from you, including decreasing Satan’s time left on earth and increasing your spiritual strength/growth in sanctity;
- Confess them to your spiritual father* – this results in the thought/s leaving, because they cannot live ‘in the sunlight’ – the spirit behind the thought is banished. Suppressing them, or attempting to suppress them, due to shame or other negative emotions only feeds the such thoughts, making them grow.
*Note: This is different from the confession of the sin itself, to a validly ordained priest, after it has occurred. The confession referred to in #3 above is prophylactic in nature.
(From The illness and cure of the soul by Met. Hierotheos).