Enjoy Sex when Stressed
Sex can be a great stress reliever, with the physical and emotional release, social support, and release of endorphins. However, at times stress can affect one’s libido. When excessive stress leads to low sex drive, sex sometimes goes by the wayside.
Sex and stress also trigger similar physiological reactions: Heart rate and blood pressure spike, respiration quickens, pupils, dilate, pain threshold rises. Both are total mind-body orchestrations of emotion, sensation and neuropathies, the molecules of emotion that sir body and brain. Sex requires all of your neuro-chemistry to be balanced. Stress can unhinge any of the four phases of the sex cycle – appetite, arousal, orgasm or resolution and detail the subtler chemical messengers of sensuality. Chronic stress disrupts other erotic body chemistry as well. Launch your fight-or-fight response too often, and you can end up with low levels of cortical and testosterone, two hormones needed for sexual arousal, as well as oxytocin. Oxytocin – a hormone that causes uterine contractions and feelings of arousal and is essential for orgasm – may also be inhibited by stress.
Sex can be a great stress reliever, with the physical and emotional release, bonding, and release of endorphins. However, at times stress can actually prevent us from being ‘in the mood’. With the libido-dampening effects of excessive stress, sex sometimes goes by the wayside. Starting with outside the bedroom and moving in, here are some quick tips on how to get yourself in the mood when stressed, so you can enjoy the benefits of sex!
Eat a Healthy Diet. What you put into your body can make you feel energized and light, or sluggish and stressed. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, protein and whole foods can actually reduce your stress level, increase your energy, and help your body look and feel better. This will go a long way toward getting you in the mood.
Exercise. You may think you’re too busy or tired to exercise, but exercise can actually give you more energy, and even 20 minutes three times a week can make a difference in your energy level and overall health. You can pilates while you watch T.V., or skip the television altogether and go for a walk. Either way, your body will feel more energized, you’ll have more positive hormones flowing in your blood, and you’ll be happier with your body. These are definite turn-ons.
Reduce Obligations In Your Life. If you get organized, prioritize only important commitments in your life and say no to other activities that take up your time, you can reduce the overall level of stress you experience in your life, and you’ll have more time and energy on your hands and will be less stressed. This all contributes to a healthy libido.
Find Help. I don’t (necessarily) mean therapy, but if you can hire people to do things that take up time and energy in your life, like cleaning your house and doing busywork, you’ll also have less to stress about. It might be more expensive in the short run, but you’ll most likely be more productive in the long run, which will offset the cost, and you can spend your time on the things in life you enjoy, like sex!
Get Enough Sleep. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your entire system and make you feel more stressed. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, you might try a power nap to achieve some of the same benefits. This could help you have more energy for nighttime activities.
Use Stress Relievers. If you have a regular practice of one or a few stress-relieving activities like meditation or yoga, you can reduce the stress and tension you feel in your body and mind throughout the day. Having some of the weight of tension lifted, you’ll feel freer and more able to express yourself sexually.
Have A Good Laugh. It’s often said that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Laughter is also an excellent stress reliever and delivers great benefits to your body and soul. Try to unwind with a funny t.v. show or book, or make it a point to share some laughs with the one you love.
Get Connected. Sometimes when we’re stressed and busy (especially after a new baby or other major change), it can cause us to feel more detached in our relationships. If you make it a point to find time for emotionally nurturing conversations, you’ll feel more connected and most likely more amorous with your partner. Also, if you talk about what stresses you and get it off your chest, you won’t be burdened by the excess stress your problems bring, and you’ll feel closer to your partner. Unresolved relationship issues can lead to low libido.
Set The Mood. Music, aromatherapy, and a soothing environment can all help set the tone for relaxation and romance. A little preparation can yield some great results!
Start Slow. You might want to start by trading massages, which can really loosen you and your partner up and release pent-up tension while helping you feel more connected. Then see where things lead…
It may take a while for “that lovin’ feelin’ ” to come back. Be patient with yourself, and let things progress naturally.
Remember that romance, physical connection and even playfulness are also important in a relationship, and all help lead to a stronger sexual relationship. Conversely, sex in the context of a bad relationship (or no relationship) won’t necessarily make you feel better, and could actually create more stress. That’s not what I’m recommending!
If you try these suggestions and still find yourself with a low libido, you may be suffering from an undiagnosed health problem or perhaps be dealing with some emotional ‘stuff’ or relationship issues. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor or a couples counselor, who can help with these issues.
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