From worrying about money to deadlines at work, everyday stress can lead to low libido. Dealing with so many concerns can impact your sex life, exacerbating your stress by potentially causing relationship issues.
Stress Response and Low Libido
When you react to stress, your body goes through a series of changes in order to prepare you to run away or stay and fight. This is known as your fight or flight response. When you experience fight or flight response, you’ll experience an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate while non-essential functions, like sex drive, are acutely diminished.
This response can also cause the release of hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, which in high levels can cause decreased sex drive. When stress is chronic, changes in cortisol levels can impact sex hormones, decreasing your interest in sex.
In addition to the physiological effects of stress, there is also a psychological aspect. Stress can cause you to have a busy, frazzled mind, and distract you from wanting sex or being present during sex. It can also impact your mood, leading to anxiety and depression, which can diminish libido in their own right.
Lastly, uncontrolled stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, and overeating and poor lifestyle choices like lack of self-care and exercise that can influence how you feel about yourself and interfere with a healthy sex life.
Overcoming Stress and Low Libido
Minimizing stress and maintaining a good sex life with your partner is possible, especially if you both put in time and effort. Here are a few strategies to consider.
Practice Stress Management
If you suspect that life stress is putting a damper on your libido, one of the first solutions you should consider is overall stress management. If you reverse your stress response using effective relaxation techniques, you won’t experience as many hormonal disturbances from chronic stress. Try some known strategies for dealing with worry or anxiety in other areas of your life so that they won’t have an impact on your sex drive.