Times are as turbulent as ever! Whether you have maintained a healthy sex life through all the noise (good for you), or if you’ve found yourself in a dry spell (it happens), it’s essential to our mental health to experience intimacy in a way that makes us feel healthy and happy. Intimacy is a big piece of the mental health puzzle, which makes it a great reason to keep making sex a priority in our busy lives! As if we need another reason to enjoy sex, right? Here are 4 ways that intimacy can boost your mental health and keep you sane when we’re all finding our own way to balance what life throws at us.
This is better than a stress ball
We’ve all been there, whether it’s a stressful day at work, a blah feeling from the moment you wake up, or important decisions weighing heavily on your shoulders. Stress not only affects our mood, but it’s dangerous for our health. Physical intimacy helps to combat feelings of stress, relieving some of that harmful pressure on your body. Sex releases chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin, which work to combat the yucky feelings of stress or tension. Has your partner ever fallen asleep on you right after sex? After an orgasm, the body releases prolactin, which often leads to drowsiness and a general feeling of relaxation. So let your guy (or girl) off the hook for taking a snooze post-orgasm; it’s science!
Sex changes how you look in the mirror
My body is beautiful, I am strong, I am worthy. Sometimes the positive self-talk just doesn’t do it. You know what I mean? A positive body image is hard enough as it is with influencer images bombarding our daily feeds and colleagues walking by our desks who seem to have it all together. Maybe a partner has told you that confidence is sexy, but when you find it hard to be sexy, what’s sexy then?! Having regular sex with your partner is shown to increase self-confidence in men and women, so, instead of tearing off another motivational quote from the stack on your desk, how about spending that energy doing something far more fun? Did you know that the “high” from sex can last days after the naughty act?
The weight is not just on your shoulders
Unless you’re doing that move you read about online, and then we’re totally here for that. All jokes aside, you shouldn’t have to carry it all on your own. It’s easy to feel lonely and disconnected, no matter how many LinkedIn connections you have or how many people are at your dinner table. While mental health can be a brave and individual journey, the support of others does astounding things to your state of mind. It’s nice to feel supported, rooted for, and acknowledged. Sex, intimacy, touching, and emotional moments give people of all ages that supportive feeling that can be just the backup we need at the end of a horrible week. It gives you that feeling of “we’re in this together,” and “I’m not alone.”
Fantasy island, party of two
We all need a healthy escape. While “getting your mind off of things” isn’t a cure-all to anxiety, it definitely gives you the break that you need to curb mental stress. Sometimes we just need a break in order to continue to move productively and happily through the week. While meditation and mindfulness are extremely important ways of practicing healthy pauses, I would put sex right up there next to them, as a way for a healthy distraction with a partner that you enjoy. If you’re one of those people who is making a grocery list while you’re doing the deed, then this may not be the best relaxation route for you. Even simple touching, cuddling, and kissing can be exactly what your mental health needs.
We’re human and we’re all different, and that’s what’s cool about us. While our mental health is affected by a variety of factors, sex can actually help curb stress, boost your self-esteem, fuel connection, and encourage relaxation. Communication is key so that you and your partner can find a way that you both can balance the good and bad times and ensure that you’re making each other’s health and happiness a priority. So sex improves mental health? Sign me up!