September 23, 2019
4 Ways Your Sex Life Can Improve Your Mental Health
Written by Rachel Eddins
It’s no secret that sex is a critical component of relationships. In fact, studies show the average couple has sex about 54 times a year, or about once a week. Regular, enjoyable intimacy has the potential to bring you and your partner closer together both physically and emotionally.
While intimacy and pleasure feel exhilarating in the moment, they can also have long-term effects you may not realize– both negative and positive.
Your Sex Life Can Impact Your Physical Health
When your sex life is absent or simply struggling, it can consequently influence different aspects of your life. Unhealthy relationships containing unresolved arguments, tension, or even violence, can erase your desire to be intimate altogether, or make for an unpleasant experience in the bedroom. Men might experience sexual issues like erectile dysfunction, while women can experience low libido or performance anxiety– all of which can bear a heavy burden on one’s self-confidence and ultimately, one’s mental health.
If you’re struggling in the bedroom, you can talk to your doctor about therapy to address the issues straining your relationship. They can help you pair the right couple’s therapist with the proper medication, whether it be a prescription for ED or treatment for low libido in women, to help you overcome these challenges and have better sexual experiences.
On the positive side, a healthy, satisfying sex life has many physical benefits including, but not limited to:
- A boosted immune system
- Lowered blood pressure
- Lowered risk of heart attack
- Pain relief
Your attachment style influences how you react to your needs and how you go about getting them met. Take this brief attachment style quiz will help you understand your own attachment pattern and what implications it might have for your relationship.
4 Ways Your Sex Life Can Improve Your Mental Health
Let’s dive deeper into the various ways that sex can significantly improve your lifestyle, relationships, and mental health.
1. Improves your overall mood
During moments of sexual activity, the brain releases certain chemicals that contribute to the typical feelings elicited from sex, like pleasure and euphoria. Feel-good hormones like oxytocin and endorphins can temporarily boost your mood and even relieve different sources of pain, leaving you feeling better than you did before in more ways than none. Sex also serves as a form of exercise, which has been scientifically-proven to reduce the effects of stress and improve your overall mood. The impact of these hormones and the pleasure associated with them can last hours, or even days, helping you feel the perks of sexual activity long after it’s over.
2. Relieves stress
Those same neurotransmitters in the brain that send messages of pleasure and euphoria to your body during sex have stress-relieving capabilities as well. Sexual activity not only helps take your mind off the things that are causing you stress. It even has the potential to normalize blood pressure that typically increases in stressful situations. Stable blood pressure will establish a balanced mood and ultimately keep you calmer. Not to mention, being close with your partner in any way can distract you from your daily struggles and help you relax in the company of someone you enjoy.
3. Boosts self-confidence
Studies show that people with higher self-esteem have more enjoyable sex lives. But, don’t worry if you’re lacking a little sensual self-confidence because having more sex can actually boost your self-esteem. Engaging in regular intimacy can make you more and more confident in your body, your sexuality, and your relationship as a whole. Allowing yourself to get in touch with your sensuality breaks down insecurities like body image issues or feelings of inadequacy. This can make you more courageous in your love life, social life, and even work life.
4. Encourages expression of emotion
There’s something to be said for the effects of allowing someone to be close to you, physically and emotionally. Letting someone get to know you in a deep and intimate way can encourage you to let walls down and express your feelings in ways you might not have been brave enough to before. Talking out your feelings and concerns with your partner is a great way to help you become more comfortable expressing your emotions. When you’re sure about your relationship needs and wants, you’ll feel inclined to be intimate more often, reaping the benefits of sexual relations more frequently.
If you’re going through a rough time emotionally, consider incorporating time for intimacy with your partner in your daily routine. Whether it’s holding hands, planning a romantic date night, or simply having a deep conversation, any small gesture can go a long way in progressing your mental health. Or consider couples counseling to work on issues like intimacy, communication, and trust. Eddins Counseling Group, in Houston, TX has many qualified and experienced couples counselors. Call us today at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online.
Grounding & Self Soothing
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