The last thing you want to be when things are getting hot and heavy in the bedroom is stressed. Because next thing you know, you’re arguing with your partner and one of you is going to be sleeping on the couch, and it probably won’t be them! If you feel like your sex drive is strained, or you’re too stressed out for sex, you’re not alone. It is well known that women tend to experience a higher overall stress load than men. Women experience 50% more stress than men. Why is that? Many women tend to take on the majority of the household load while maintaining a full time job. Additionally they take on the emotional load of the family. Combine that with the ever increasing amounts of depression and anxiety that women are reporting (twice as much as men) we have a recipe for disaster in the bedroom. When it comes to how stress impacts sex, well men and women report they are just too exhausted to do it.
We spoke to Dr. Teralyn Sell, Psychotherapist and brain health expert, offers some insight into how stress contributes to a decrease in one’s sex drive and how one can work to improve their libido naturally. Keep reading for more!
Too Stressed for Sex? How to Increase Sex Drive Naturally, According to a Psychotherapist
1) Understand your stress load, intimately
Stress management isn’t just a theory, it must be put into practice. When you break it down into three manageable steps it becomes a bit easier. We have emotional stress, dietary stress and hidden sources of inflammatory stress. The first step is to really understand where your stress load is coming from. Only then can you work on balancing your life and digging deep into the emotional issues that might be holding you back from happiness. Dietary stress is a big one. Food somehow has become optional for people, particularly for women. Think of food as fuel for the brain. Without it, we are causing unnecessary stress on the brain and body. Inflammation is a big cause of stress and this can be from food sensitivities, eating poor quality food and not attending to pain from illness or injury. It can also be inflammation from struggling gut health.
2) Attend to your Stress Level
Cortisol is your stress hormone and over time (and with chronic stress) it can flatten out. Some symptoms that your cortisol needs attending to are fatigue, feeling tired and wired, overwhelmed, low libido, weight gain and more. Our body thrives on trying to create homeostasis. So, when cortisol is in imbalance it will eventually steal from your sex hormones to pay the price of your stress hormones. Now you have sexual lethargy. Dr. Sell goes on to say that, “Think of the time of day you are at your best and capitalize on that for Valentine’s Day (or any day) Sex! Most people think of Valentine’s Day as date night. But, if you run out of energy after 5pm (or earlier) that would not be a great time for you to feel your sexiest. Instead, opt in for when your energy level is at it’s best and go from there. For instance, if you wake up feeling your best, have a breakfast date in bed followed by a couples shower and a little hanky panky on the side. Set your intention early and make a commitment to yourself because you deserve pleasure!”