Your boss called you to say you’re on the chopping block. A loan repayment is due but your bank account is Sahara desert dry. You and your wife just had a huge fight this morning. That overwhelming feeling you’re experiencing is stress.
This stress has a huge effect on your body: physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop at that. It also comes for your life between the sheets, aka sexual functioning, and leaves your game weak and dispassionate.
Care to know about the connection? Read on then. This article will help you understand the effects of stress on your sexual functioning. Once you know the effect, you’ll find it much easier to take the right steps to get your sexual mojo back.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Imagine, you’re about to engage in intimacy, but the worries of a recent work debacle flood your mind. And just like that, elevated cortisol levels from such stressors cause you to lose the ability to maintain an erection.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just a one-off; repeated episodes can create a vicious cycle of anxiety and performance issues, which can have devastating consequences on your sexual life.
How To Deal With Erectile Dysfunction
Here are a few tips if you suffer from erectile dysfunction:
Seek advice from a healthcare professional to determine the root cause of ED.
- Lifestyle Changes
Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, exercise frequently, manage stress, and limit alcohol and tobacco intake.
Psychological counseling can be beneficial, especially if the cause is psychological.
- Avoid Over-the-counter “ED Cures”
Many are not FDA-approved and could be harmful.
If you’re looking for more information on how to improve erectile dysfunction, you can learn more here or anywhere else you prefer.
- Decreased Libido
Has there been a time when, after a long, stressful day, intimacy was the last thing on your mind? You’re not alone. Stress can cloud the brain, which is a vital player in arousal, making sexual activities less appealing.
How To Improve Your Libido
Libido too low? Try these:
- Manage Stress
Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. A calm mind can foster increased sexual desire.
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can boost testosterone levels and overall well-being, which can enhance libido.
- Open Communication
Discuss your feelings and concerns with your partner. Emotional intimacy can often pave the way for increased sexual desire.
These practices can improve your libido and in turn, your sexual life.
- Premature Ejaculation
Consider this scenario: You’re anxious about a forthcoming presentation. This nervousness doesn’t just vanish in the bedroom. Heightened tension can result in premature ejaculation(and a very angry spouse), with the anticipation of performance adding to the stress.
In case you find yourself in this situation, how do you get it fixed?
- Behavioral Techniques
Practice the “stop-start” method where you halt sexual activity before climax, wait a few moments, then resume. Over time, this can help increase control over ejaculation.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises
Strengthening pelvic muscles can aid in delaying ejaculation. Contract these muscles (as if you’re trying to stop urine flow), hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat daily.
- Seek Professional Guidance
Consider consulting a therapist or counselor specializing in sexual health. Sometimes, addressing underlying emotional factors can make a significant difference.
- Hormonal Imbalances
Stress isn’t just an emotional response; it triggers physical reactions too. According to this research by The University of Texas at Austin, chronic stress can suppress testosterone production, a key hormone for male sexual health.
A drop in testosterone can lead to reduced sex drive and other related issues.
- Physical Health And Lifestyle Factors
Prolonged stress might push you towards smoking, overindulging in alcohol, or neglecting your diet. These habits, while providing temporary relief, can impact cardiovascular health, closely tied to erectile function.
Further, stress might deter you from regular workouts, further exacerbating health issues and diminishing sexual performance.
To keep your physical health and lifestyle in tiptop shape, consider the following best practices:
- Mindful Consumption
Limit or avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Instead, consider healthier alternatives like herbal teas or relaxation techniques for stress relief.
- Balanced Diet
Prioritize a well-rounded diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Foods like dark chocolate, nuts, and leafy greens can enhance blood flow and boost sexual health.
- Stay Active
Dedicate time for regular physical activity, even if it’s just a daily walk or light stretching. Exercise can not only counteract the effects of stress but also improve blood circulation and boost mood.
It’s life. Things do happen. Today, you lose your job, tomorrow you’re dealing with a failing business. With these mishaps, it’s common for stress to pack its bags and camp at your house. Many facets of your health, including the sexual aspect, may suffer as a result.
If you recognize any of the signs mentioned in this article or elsewhere, take the initiative ASAP. Reach out to medical professionals and experts like sex therapists and get your “between the sheets” life back up where it should be.