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Is Sex Good For Anxiety

Improved Heart Health Yes Sex Is Exercise

Depression and Anxiety

Just like any physical activity, healthy sex is good for your heart. A study published in January 2015 in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice weekly or more had less risk of cardiovascular diseases, like stroke or heart attack, than those who had sex once a month or less.

And for those who worry that the exertion involved in sex is a threat to the heart, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Statement on Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease says that having sex is safe for people who can exercise with no heart problems in the range of 3 to 5 metabolic equivalents . METs are a measure of the energy expended during an activity. Exercising at 3 METs is about the same as walking at a moderate pace, while 5 METs is like a low impact aerobic workout.

Having sex can actually be considered a rather good form of exercise: A small study published in October 2013 in the journal PLoS One showed that men burned an average of 4 calories a minutes during sex sessions that averaged 25 minutes, and women burned off 3 calories. That’s a lot more fun than toiling away on a treadmill.

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How Anxiety Makes The Situation Worse

The reason is quite simple.

When a person is worrying, this automatically makes his or her body release ‘anxiety chemicals’ into the bloodstream.

These include adrenaline, which mainly comes from the adrenal glands, located just above your kidneys.

Most people have heard of adrenaline and tend to think that it must be ‘a good thing’ because they’re vaguely aware that it makes you run faster or jump further as in the well-known sporting expression ‘the adrenaline really kicked in’.

But where sex is concerned, these anxiety chemicals are not a good thing for you. They actually have a really bad effect on sexual relations.

For instance, in men they can:

  • make him lose his erection
  • make it difficult for him to stay stiff enough to get a condom on
  • make him come far too soon.

And in females, the effect of anxiety chemicals can:

  • make the vagina tighten up
  • make it difficult to relax and enjoy yourself
  • make it hard to climax.

In women, there can also be a really deep-seated anxiety about being penetrated, and this can cause serious problems between couples. If you have this difficulty, you may want to read the article on Vaginismus.

Your Prostate May Be Less Healthy

The reasons arenât exactly clear, but in at least one study, men who ejaculated less than seven times a month were more likely to get prostate cancer compared to those who did it at least 21 times a month.

But unprotected anonymous sex and multiple partners can also raise your chances for the disease, so when you do have sex, take care.

Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

Possible Reduction Of Prostate Cancer Risk

A study published in December 2016 in the journal European Urology found that men who who ejaculate more than 21 times per month, compared with those who do so four to seven times times per month, were 20 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. While more research is needed to confirm this link, it appears that men who ejaculate regularly may reduce their risk of prostate cancer.

Sex Makes You Look And Feel Younger

Anxiety Medications That Have No Sexual Side Effects

Our society places a great emphasis on youth and beauty. Few people over the age of 25 want to either look or feel older.

Billions of dollars are spent every year on the pursuit of youth.

One study reported having regular sex can make both men and women look between five and seven years younger than they actually are.

Looking younger carries with it a whole suite of benefits such as increased confidence, happiness, and enthusiasm.

When we look younger, we tend to feel younger.

Sexual activity has also been associated with longevity and general health.

There are a ton of benefits to exercise, both physical and psychological.

In an average sex session, men burn around 100 calories, but women expend only about 70.

Exercise not only makes you physically healthier, but is also known to improve mood, reduce and help you cope with stress, increase feelings of self-satisfaction, increase energy levels, and the list goes on.

Ryan Anderson is a PhD candidate in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at James Cook University, Townsville.

David Mitchell is deputy head and lecturer in psychology at James Cook University. He has conducted research in the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

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Communicate Clearly With Sexual Partners

Tell your partner about the anxiety you have been experiencing. Communicate frequently and openly about your anxiety to help diffuse the escalation cycles. Sometimes simply naming performance anxiety out loud as an issue can be enough for it to dissipate, and receiving reassurance from your partner that they enjoy the sexual experiences you share can decrease anxiety significantly.

Tell your partner what kind of touch or other stimulation that you enjoy. This information can be either broad or specific, but gives your partner a pleasure map to follow. Do not fake pleasure to avoid anxiety. This can create a feedback loop which makes it increasingly difficult to be present with your experience instead of performative, reducing your ability to feel genuine engagement with the experience.

Ask your partner about their priorities during sex. You may discover that stamina or orgasm is less important than you thought. Ask them what kind of touch and interaction they prefer, so you dont have to guess about what makes them feel good. What works with one person may be uninteresting to the next.

The Secrets To Great Sex If You Have Anxiety

Living with anxiety often means its present wherever you go including between the sheets.

Anxiety and sex are not happy bedfellows, said Jassy Casella Timberlake, a Massachusetts-based licensed marriage and family therapist and board-certified sex therapist, aptly summing up a complex issue.

Whether its anxiety/stress itself or the medication you use to treat it, the issue can have wide-ranging effects on a persons sex life. While no two people will experience mental health conditions in exactly the same way, you should be aware of some general truths about anxiety and sex.

Below, experts share what you might expect, plus some strategies to cope:

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Is Sex Good For Depression

It wont cure depression, but the feel-good combo of hormones released during sexdopamine, endorphins, and oxytocincan help reduce depressive symptoms and boost mood temporarily.

Holistically speaking, we know that engaging in consensual sexual activities, or solo activities, may improve your mood, lower your stress, improve your sleep, decrease anxiety, improve your mental health, strengthen your relationship, assist with expressing your feelings, reduce feelings of loneliness, increase body awareness, improve body image, increase sexual satisfaction, and reduce sexual dysfunction, says Brito.

Sexual Anxiety In Men

How to Overcome Male Performance Anxiety – Esther Perel

Men in particular can become overly focused on genital function at every stage of the sexual response cycle. Men may worry about their ability to achieve an erection, to have an appropriately sized erection, to maintain a sufficiently strong erection, to illicit pleasure with their erection, to have sufficient ejaculatory pressure or amount of semen, to control their orgasm and not climax too soon or too late, or climax at all.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Stress Anxiety And Depression

Can A Mental Illness Cause Hypersexuality

The causes of hypersexuality are not well understood, though its possible for adolescents to engage in developmentally inappropriate sexual behavior as a result of traumatic experiences or mental illness. But just to clarify: A newfound kink, fetish, or fantasy can be hypersexual, but some therapists can misdiagnose it and view it as a problem when its normal, says Kort, especially in the case of older LGBTQ+ who generally have a delayed sexual awakening. For them, hypersexuality can occur in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s because theyre realizing their erotic orientation and coming into their sexual self for the first time. But its not a pathology.

  • Wiley. . Aerobic exercise has antidepressant treatment effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 2, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018125207.htm.
  • Burleson MH, Trevathan WR, Todd M. In the mood for love or vice versa? Exploring the relations among sexual activity, physical affection, affect, and stress in the daily lives of mid-aged women. Arch Sex Behav. 2007 Jun 36:357-68. Available at: doi: 10.1007/s10508-006-9071-1. PMID: 17109236. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  • Chivers ML, Seto MC, Lalumière ML, Laan E, Grimbos T. Agreement of self-reported and genital measures of sexual arousal in men and women: a meta-analysis. Arch Sex Behav. 2010 39:5-56. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9556-9. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  • What Were The Basic Results

    The researchers found that:

    • 18.6% of men and 7.4% of women reported at least one sexual encounter in the month before the study
    • those who had recently had casual sex reported lower levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, psychological and eudaimonic wellbeing than those who had not had casual sex
    • those who had casual sex reported higher levels of depression and social and general anxiety than those who had not

    The researchers modelling showed that, contrary to the researchers hypothesis, the associations were the same for men and women.

    Read Also: Can You Get Headaches From Anxiety

    Sex Makes You Happier

    Endorphins are hormones which are naturally released during sex. They are known to improve your mood, thereby boosting your happiness levels, and helping you to stay emotionally healthy.

    Remember that good sex and good sexual health should be an all year-round practice. Remember to use contraception and that LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor provides discreet, reliable home STI kits for when you need peace of mind.

    References

    Using Orgasm To Combat Anxiety Disorders: Take It With A Grain Of Salt

    Sex And Stress

    Orgasm is a holistic approach to relieve panic attacks and generalized anxiety. And when youre a person with an anxiety disorder, youll do just about anything to calm that flutter in your chest, right? I know I would. Ive yet to find an anxious client who feels differently.

    Keep in mind that if you have a severe panic disorder, orgasms are not guaranteed to make it go away. They wont provide a cure and shouldnt replace the advice of a doctor, but they can help in alleviating some of the symptoms.

    Anxiety can lead to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, so leaning into understanding the body can be a huge tool to utilizing various built-in tools to combat and alleviate stress and anxiety, Moushumi Ghose, MFT, a licensed sex therapist, tells TheBody. Incorporating relaxation techniques such as masturbation would be great, but with caution. Be sure youre managing your expectations and not overusing masturbation as a way to handle anxiety. If you have an anxiety disorder, therapy is always a big part of the healing journey. I wish orgasms could cure all our problems but, alas, they have their limits.

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    Where Does Performance Anxiety Come From

    Often a cycle looks like this: A person has a sexual experience they perceive as bad, unsuccessful or a failure. They think about it, dwell on it, get down on themselves about it. They chip away at their sexual confidence, self-esteem and begin to believe the negative self-talk and thoughts they perceive about themselves . They solidify our negative thoughts and feelings, and then become core beliefs. When the next sexual opportunity presents itself, anxiety is now the initial, reinforced response, and perceived failure is on the forefront of the mind. If we think its going to happen, its more likely to happen. When it does, a vicious cycle of sexual performance anxiety forms, loaded with insecurities, worries, PE, ED, DE and all the other mental and emotional baggage we choose to carry on our shoulders into the bedroom.

    Your Feelings About Sex And Your Body

    Lots of people have complex feelings and anxieties around sex.

    Maybe you have an idea of what sex should look like, or how it should go, or youre uncomfortable with certain positions.

    Maybe youre worried about your ability to perform.

    Sometimes people feel guilt or shame around sex, and its hard to leave those feelings outside the bedroom.

    It can also be hard to forget about any body image issues you may have, and its definitely possible to feel anxious about being seen naked.

    All of these feelings are incredibly common, and they can easily lead to anxiety after a sexual encounter.

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    Worrying That Your Penis Wont Work The Way It Should

    Guys judge themselves pretty harshly when their penises dont work the way the want them to.

    Will it get hard enough? Will I climax too early? And will I be able to reach orgasm at all?

    These are all questions that many guys grapple with going into a sexual encounter, especially if theyve experienced sexual difficulties in the past.

    These uncertainties can weigh heavily on your mind and contribute to sexual performance anxiety, leading to more severe issues over time, especially if you find yourself preoccupied with them during sex itself.

    Look After Your Physical And Mental Health

    What Is Social Anxiety?

    You may find yourself drinking too much or overeating when stressed, but a balanced diet will make you feel happier and more confident inside and out.

    Additionally, people who exercise regularly have increased stamina and enjoy better sex lives. All forms of exercise boosts your endorphins, feel good hormones, which can increase your libido and reduce stress levels.

    It can also improve your circulation, increasing blood flow around the body, especially to the genital area, boosting sexual function and quality of orgasms too.

    Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and having a hobby you really enjoy can help too.

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    Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety

    If you’ve got sexual performance anxiety, see a doctor — someone you’re comfortable enough with to discuss your sex life. The doctor will examine you and do some tests to make sure a health condition or medication isn’t the cause of your problems.

    During the exam your doctor will ask about your sexual history to find out how long you’ve had sexual performance anxiety and what kinds of thoughts are interfering with your sex life.

    Medications and other therapies can help treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems that have physical causes. If a medical issue isn’t to blame, your doctor might suggest you try one of these approaches:

    Talk to a therapist. Make an appointment with a counselor or therapist who has experience in treating sexual problems. Therapy can help you understand and then reduce or get rid of the issues that are causing your sexual performance anxiety. If you worry about premature ejaculation, for example, you can try some techniques that help you gain more control.

    Be open with your partner. Talking with your partner about your anxiety can help ease some of your worries. When you try to reach a solution together, you may draw closer as a couple and improve your sexual relationship.

    Get intimate in other ways. Learn how to be intimate without sexual intercourse. Give your partner a sensual massage or take a warm bath together. Take turns pleasing each other with masturbation so you don’t always have to feel pressured to perform sexually.

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