Healthy Sexuality Requires Stress Management
Reducing stress is another type of self-care. Stress can trigger relapses in sexual addiction, or add more hurdles or challenges to recovery.
Stress reduces testosterone, which is the hormone that helps people to feel desire and respond sexually. Chronic stress can have negative impacts on the body, because it reduces the desire for healthy sexual encounters, and may inhibit your sex drive.
It is important to monitor your stressors and your response to them. Be aware of what increases stress in your life. Do tight deadlines and schedule conflicts make you worry? Do you lie awake at night dreading work the next day? Or does the pile of dirty dishes in the sink keep nagging at your mind while you’re out with friends? Identifying what causes you stress can help you deal with and eliminate these stresses.
Here are a few questions to understand stressors in your life:
- Are you multitasking constantly, doing as much as you can in short timeframes?
- Do delays or interruptions make you impatient?
- Do you feel guilty if you relax?
- Do you set unrealistic goals?
- Do you complain about being disorganized?
- Do you worry a lot?
- Do you experience physical symptoms, such as headaches or high blood pressure?
- Are you moody?
If you answered yes to many of these, stress is probably a factor in your life. Sit down and consider what may be causing stress. Feel free to make a list of things that cause you worry or anxiety.
After you have a list of stressors, consider how you might better handle these items. If you’re worried about getting to work on time without being rushed and forgetting things, consider getting up 15 minutes earlier or prepping for work the night before. If chores worry you, create a schedule and stick to it, doing just one or two chores a night. If your stressors are general and you have trouble pinning them down, create a self-care routine, such as a weekly bath, facial appointment or even reading before bed to give yourself time to decompress.
If you’re having trouble managing stressors, talk with your therapist to develop a stress-management plan.
For more information on healthy sexuality visit www.centerforhealthysex.com.