For most of us, stress is a total libido sucker. When was the last time you remember looking over your taxes or credit card bills, and all of a sudden felt very much “In the mood?” If it has happened to you, you are not only lucky, but also in the minority of our species!
When we experience stress, our body’s physiological response is to secret cortisol to help us cope. This secretion of cortisol is not only very normal but also quite helpful in times of acute stress. We experience acute stress when we are in the “fight or flight” mode. Braking violently for a car that just pulled in front of you, lunging for a baby that is about to crawl down a huge flight of stairs, and running when you are being chased are all examples or acute stress, and where the sudden secretion of cortisol and adrenalin help us to react fast. When we are chronically stressed, at our jobs, in our relationships, and/or with our families, our bodies secrete cortisol (the “stress” hormone) on a consistent basis. This is where stress can cause serious problems with our health.
Chronic stress has been related to:
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
One of our body’s ways to handle stress is to shut-down certain systems such as digestion, immune function, and reproductive systems. You can now see why your libido might be the first thing to go when you begin to experience chronic stress. Cortisol also constricts the blood vessels, making necessary blood flow for arousal next to impossible.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that sex can actually help your body release toxic levels of cortisol. Orgasms are not only our biologically-given right to pleasure, but every time you orgasm, your body experiences a huge cortisol flush that releases it from your system.
There is a clear dilemma here: If you are chronically stressed, it will difficult for you to get in the mood to experience a fantastic cortisol-flushing orgasm. Stress management is a great place to start. To begin to balance out your hormones and achieve a rockin’ libido try these few tips on how to manage daily stress:
1- Maintain a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats
2- Establish a regular exercise routine
3- Put on relaxing music and light candles when at home doing chores
4- Take a bath with soothing essential oils (Lavender) and epsom salts
5- Go for tea with a close friend for quality conversation and LAUGHTER!!
6- Attend a yoga and/or meditation class
7- Download a meditation CD and listen to it at home
8- When you are stressed at work, take 2 minutes to focus on your breath. Inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6 counts.
The message to take home is that you don’t have to completely do away with stress in order to have a healthy libido. Learning to manage stress/cortisol levels on a daily basis will support your body’s efforts in maintaining balance. Our bodies are extremely capable of maintaining balance given the right tools to work with. When you begin to experience more balance, your libido will respond beautifully!