Does Sex Relieve Stress: What Do Experts Say?
Sex and stress are connected in many ways, however, does sex relieve stress? When a particularly stressful week or two saps our sex drive—or when we successfully utilize sex to reduce stress—the majority of us instinctively know this and feel it unambiguously. These instincts are supported by scientific research.
Stress and anxiety can be reduced by sex by releasing “feel good” hormones like oxytocin. These hormones aid in promoting calm and reducing anxiety.
Sex increases hormone levels and other brain chemicals and it lowers stress hormone levels.
Ways Sex Relieves Stress
Your body can relax during orgasm and produce many hormones that are beneficial to your general health and well-being. Similar to this, sex can increase dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is commonly referred to as the “feel-good chemical” since it amplifies positive emotions.
- Increased Oxytocin. Because it is released during physical contacts, such as during affectionate caressing and sex between adult couples, as well as during pregnancy, birth, and lactation, oxytocin is referred to as the “love hormone.”
- Increased Endorphins. Although endorphins are neurotransmitters, which are released during sexual activity, as well as other physical activity, such as running, and in response to pain. They can lower stress and elevate mood, much like oxytocin.
- Reduced cortisol. The sexual activity appears to lower levels of adrenaline and cortisol, also referred to as “stress hormones,” just as it might increase chemicals with favorable benefits.
Benefits of Sex on Your Health
Sex provides a lot of additional significant health advantages in addition to flooding your body with hormones that can help you feel less stressed, anxious, and worried. Numerous other aspects of sex help deal more efficiently with stress management.
Improves Your Mood
Positive distractions like sex can help you put anxious thoughts out of your head. In turn, this can lift one’s spirits both now and in the future. For instance, a study of married couples discovered that having sex was linked to feeling well the next day at work.
It is also found that stress and conflict in the workplace-family environment decreased the likelihood of sex. If you often have conflicts between your personal and professional lives, you might want to be aware of this.
You might question if sex, which improves mood, might also help manage depressive symptoms. Since both depression symptoms and therapies can contribute to a decrease in libido, the connection between sex and depression is complicated.
Better Brain Function
Sex may assist in keeping your mind sharp in addition to benefiting your body and mood. According to studies, older persons who had sex more regularly performed better on memory tests.
Strengthens the Relationship
Additionally, having sex deepens the intimacy you experience with your spouse, which lowers stress and elevates your mood. People tend to manage stress better, live longer, and have better overall health when they have a supportive social outlet, which may include a solid personal relationship.
According to research, sexual activity helps people sleep better. Specifically, having sex may make it easier for you to nod off and improve the quality of your sleep. Once more, hormones might be involved. Both sexual activity and better sleep are related to raised levels of oxytocin, prolactin, and cortisol, which can surge after an orgasm.
Improves Heart Health
Sex may also assist your heart health, which is another perk. Most research suggests that men who have sex twice a week are less likely to acquire the cardiovascular disease. Having sex should be safe as long as you can exercise without experiencing any heart issues for three to five metabolic equivalents (METs). These equivalents are a unit of measurement used to calculate the energy needed to complete an activity.
Experts have demonstrated that ejaculating frequently lessens sperm harm. They hypothesize that this occurs because there is a greater likelihood of DNA damage the longer sperm remains in the testes.
Solo Sex Benefits
Sex doesn’t have to happen between two people to enjoy its health benefits. Masturbation enables people to access an incredible wealth of sensations, information, and ultimately, benefits that go beyond an orgasm. After all, most of the reactions in your body that occur during sex with another person will appear when you are masturbating as well. So, if you heard from someone or somewhere that masturbation is bad for you, here is another reason to tell them otherwise.
These are just some of the many benefits of masturbation:
- releases sexual tension
- reduces stress
- helps you improve sleep quality
- improves your self-esteem and body image
- helps treat a range of sexual problems
- relieves menstrual cramps and muscle tension
- strengthens muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas
Masturbation also enables you to discover your sexual preferences. How would you like to be touched? How much pressure is comfortable? What speed or tempo? Learning to have orgasms on your own can make it simpler to do so with a partner since you can describe or demonstrate the pleasurable sensations to them. And, you are more likely to feel comfortable protecting yourself from STDs and unexpected pregnancy when comfortable with sex, your body, and communicating with your partner.
Some people experience guilt after masturbating because they learn as children that it is wrong or bad. Try to keep in mind that most people masturbate if you feel that way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it is quite normal. If you struggle to overcome guilt feelings, speaking with a counselor or therapist may be helpful.
You probably aren’t surprised to learn that having sex feels nice and helps relieve stress. Since it has so many advantages, knowing more about how and why sex can relieve stress might give you a few more reasons to engage in it.
It’s critical to concentrate on stress management if it’s affecting your ability to have or enjoy sex with your partner or your connection with them. That could entail individual or couple’s counseling, where you can develop a stronger bond and discover constructive methods to deal with stress and conflict.
About Life Coaching and Therapy
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!
Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.