Stress Awareness Month: The Effects of Stress on Women
Women experience stress and anxiety at a higher rate than men do, but did you know that studies show that women are reporting a rise in their stress levels? Fortunately, there is a wide array of fun and sexy ways to reduce stress. That’s right, roll up those yoga mats and put away the healing crystals you’ve placed about the house in hopes of finding inner peace. I’m about to reveal some exciting and oh, so satisfying ways to find your bliss.
While the battle against stress is never-ending, minimizing how often you experience it and the severity with which you experience it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. That’s right, reducing stress can actually be…erotic! My research uncovered both unexpected and incredibly sensual approaches to reduce stress. And you are going to love them!
Ways To Reduce Stress
The following tactics and tips are approaches to reducing your stress level that can also improve you sex life. I’m calling that a win-win.
Having Sex Reduces Stress & Improves Health
Let’s start with the best news: regular, good sex lowers stress levels and improves cardiovascular health in women. In fact, a national study published in the National Center of Biotechnology Information suggests that a healthy sex life can protect your cardiovascular health. The conclusion states, “We find that for women, partnered sex of good quality seems to promote cardiovascular health, specifically reducing the risks of hypertension.”
So if you already have a partner, make time to get frisky as often as possible. If you don’t have a special someone to enjoy a regular romp with, it may just be time to download a couple of dating apps.
Masturbating Fights Anxiety & Stress
So you don’t have a lover. No problem. As it turns out, research says masturbating is a great way to reduce stress. Masturbating causes the release of dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure. Just a tiny dose goes a long way toward lifting your spirits and putting you in a good mood. Additionally, making love to yourself releases oxytocin during orgasm, which lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone.
While the release of all of the feel-good hormones is enough of a reason to get it on with yourself, masturbation comes with other benefits that fight stress as well. Touching yourself and giving yourself pleasure can improve your body image. Think of masturbation as an exercise in self-love and self-care!
If you haven’t already checked out my 365 Days of Orgasms Challenge. Now is the time to do it. I decided to try masturbating every day this year to see if it would lower my stress and lift my mood. While I’m only three months into the year, I can solidly say, I’ve noticed a definite difference in my demeanor.
Additionally, while having sex with a partner is super fun, it comes with risks that can heighten stress. Masturbation is a stress-free way to get all of the benefits sex has to offer, without the stress. Another, not-too-shabby benefit, is that masturbating is associated with better sleep, which is essential for lowering stress.
Need a little help getting motivated to get yourself off. Pamper yourself with a new sex toy and then go have some fun.
If you like reading, you’ll love this stress-busting tactic. Spending time curled up on a cozy couch reading a steamy saga, just may be a game-changer in your battle against anxiety. That’s right. Fifty Shades may have gotten a lot of flack, but it likely benefited a whole lot of stressed out ladies.
Studies show that reading erotic novels has some real mental health benefits. The results of a study conducted by York University found that participants who read erotica had higher empathy levels than those who read other types of fiction. Additionally sex educators agree that reading erotic novels can help you reroute your stress and anxiety to more positive emotions. Most would agree that Feeling aroused is far more enjoyable than being anxious.
Sound like a stretch? It’s not! According to scientists, its a real phenomenon call Misattribution of Arousal in which symptoms of anxiety and stress can feel similar to the sensations of arousal (elevated heart rate, sweaty hands). Since feeling turned on and feeling stressed provoke such similar chemical reactions, when women feel anxious, they may be able to channel their stress into sexual desire by reading erotica.
Get a Puppy!
OK, maybe not a puppy, but research does show that pet owners have a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and that petting a furry animal reduces anxiety. There are so many animals needing homes this time of year, especially adult dogs. If you don’t have a pet, it might be a good time to start perusing your local humane society.
Head Down. Butt Up
Go upside down. This is an especially useful tip to come back to when you are experiencing extreme anxiety and need a quick fix. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you are likely familiar with inversions. The include poses like headstand and handstand. Inversions stop the stress response (AKA fight or flight) in its tracks. If you aren’t an expert yogi, don’t worry. Basic poses like downward dog or a simple standing forward fold will do the trick. Give it a try the next time you feel a panic attack coming on.
Bathe in Beer
Word on the street is that pouring a couple of cans of your favorite beer into your bath can reduce stress. While skepticism is understandable, the thought is that it is the phytoestrogens from the hops in the beer combined with the heat of the water
that melts the tension away. We suggest sipping a glass of wine while you soak.
Spend Time in Nature
When was the last time you completely unplugged and sat in an open field, in a forest or on a beach and listened to the sounds of Mother Nature? Research suggests being exposed to natural environments relieves psychological stress. Reaping the benefits of the natural world is as easy as going for an afternoon hike, strolling along the coastline, or setting up a weekend escape to the woods. If you live in snowy areas, consider taking up skiing or snowboarding.