In a world where anxiety is increasingly common, is our sexuality at risk? And, can sexuality actually combat anxiety and contribute to greater calm?
Are you feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? Life has been out-of-the-ordinary for the last couple of years and now that lockdowns and restrictions are fading away, we’re facing a host of new challenges and trying to re-adapt to living life as we want it to be. It’s no surprise that more people than ever are acknowledging the strain they feel, and the word ‘anxiety’ is being used more than ever before. What does this mean for our sex lives – and how can sex become part of the solution?
1. Higher anxiety = Lower sex drive
Stress is not good for sexuality. When we are stressed our hormones can get really out of balance. Normally the more anxiety you feel, the more your produce cortisol (stress hormone which can suppress libido) – and the less access you have to the happy hormones like oxytocin, endorphins and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone).
2. Oxytocin can reduce anxiety
You can employ hormones in your battle against anxiety simply by getting your groove on with your lover!
Production of oxytocin has been shown to increase connectivity with the amyglada in people with anxiety. And our favourite way to produce oxytocin…? Surely you can guess!
3. Mental state is key
Practicing mindfulness is really important to change your brain from “busy-worry” anxiety patterns to really being present in the moment, in your body, now.
One way to be mindful is doing exercise that requires concentrated effort.
Another is mentally placing yourself in the moment by focusing on the sensations you can feel on your skin, what you can see, what you hear, how your body feels, concentrating on each part of your body one by one until you feel you are really in your body.
And a third is to have a body slamming orgasm. Note that options 1 and 2 above can both contribute to this objective!
4. Get some good sleep
Sleep creates time for really effective cellular rejuvenation, and fuels our body and mind to cope with all kinds of challenges.
We’re more prone to being stressed if we are physically and mentally tired.
Again, the good news is that good sleep nurtures a good libido, and great sex normally contributes to a great sleep.
Sleep and sex are a two way street and getting a good amount of both means you will feel less stressed, your hormones will be more balanced, and your body will be able to rest and repair effectively.
5. Do what you love
For a lot of people the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns were a great trigger to reassess their priorities. Freed temporarily from the 9-5 daily grind and soul crushing city commutes, many have chosen to create a new lifestyle balance.
For the first time, we had ‘time’ to do what we enjoyed – crafting, running, making love, cooking, creating… and as life eases back to the old normal, most of us want to hold on to the self-care rituals and passion projects that we rediscovered.
Following a passion is a great way to reduce anxiety. Make time for what you love to do, even if it is doing ‘nothing’ and just enjoying being calm and still!
As the saying goes, do the things that make your weird little heart happy!