When it comes to choosing a partner, both men and women say some of the most attractive qualities in someone are self-confidence and charisma. But finding someone with such an easygoing attitude and confidence is becoming more and more of a rare occurrence as people are getting stressed out about work, money, or relationships. America is in the middle of an anxiety epidemic, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t helping. They have made people stress out about the most trivial things, like the number of likes on your pictures or post.
And the thing about stress is…it’s not attractive. It raises cortisol and adrenaline levels, weakens the immune system, raises blood pressure and blood sugar levels, increases the risk of heart attacks, and can even contribute to fertility problems among other illnesses. If you’ve ever come home stressed out from work, you probably weren’t in the mood for sex. Or perhaps you’ve experienced a noticeable decrease in your sexual desire and performance.
While most humans experience stress from time to time, not many know how to handle it well. One of the most effective things to manage stress is meditation. Sex may be the last thing you think of when it comes to meditating, but you may be surprised at the profound effects it can have on your sex life.
Meditation Reduces Stress
When people think of meditation, the first image that comes to mind is of a person sitting cross-legged with his/her eyes closed and taking deep and slow breaths. Sounds boring? It may be boring at first; many people fall asleep on their first attempt at meditation and that’s perfectly okay. It’s also very common to have your mind wander. It is actually a good indicator that you may benefit from meditation as it will allow you to relax, clear your head, and sort out the most important things in your life.
So how does stress reduction lead to better sex? Simple. When was the last time you had sex while you were stressed out? Stress increases cortisol levels, which can lead to low libido and erectile dysfunction due to narrowing of arteries that then restrict blood flow. Meditation will help relax your body and mind to a baseline from which you can train your mind to have more clarity and increase its resources.
A relaxed brain will release more dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that contribute the feeling of happiness and well-being. When you are happy, your sex drive and intensity of orgasm are likely to increase.
Meditation Increases Mindfulness
One of the most common reasons people meditate is to increase mindfulness, which is the psychological state of being fully present and attentive to the experiences of the moment, aware of where you are, whom you’re with, and what you’re doing. Too many people let their lives just pass them by, too often either dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
Sex is an activity that requires one to be fully present. Having your mind wander during sex can prevent your body from being fully immersed in the experience, diminishing the pleasurable sensations and orgasms. Many men worry about whether they’re “doing it right,” but the bedroom is not the place for such distractions.
Most people unknowingly train their brain to spend much of its energy and time thinking about the past and the future. Thankfully, the human brain can be re-trained to be more mindful, and meditation is a scientifically proven method to do so. Meditation can teach your mind to turn off all the chatter in your head so that you’ll stop thinking and start just feeling, leading both you and your partner to be more responsive and satisfied in bed.
Meditation Can Help You Sleep Better
Nobody wants to have sex when they’re tired, and exhaustion is one of the most common reasons couples don’t have more sex. The only way to get more energy is to get a good night’s sleep, but it can be difficult to even fall asleep when you have so many thoughts racing around in your head. Millions of Americans have a hard time falling or staying asleep, robbing them of the crucial energy needed to be productive during the workday and lead an active sex life.
While doctors might prescribe pharmaceuticals to improve your sleep habits, several studies have found that meditation is one of the most powerful and safest method to evoke relaxation and mindfulness, resulting in reduced fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
But sleeping well doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping more. In fact, meditation may improve your sleep quality and wakefulness while decreasing the overall sleep time. In one research study, even novice meditators did better on a mental performance test after meditating, while long-term meditators reported a significantly lower sleep time (5.2 hours per night) in comparison to non-meditators (7.8 hours per night).
Meditating With Your Partner Can Improve Your Connection
Increasing mindfulness is not just about improving your own sexual experience — if done as a couple, meditation can help you and your partner focus on each other, creating greater intimacy. While it may seem awkward at first, you will feel a greater connection with your partner and will enable you to become more intuitive to your partner’s feelings. This is because meditation increases mirror neuron functioning. Mirror neurons, also called the empathy neurons, are those that are triggered in the human mind when you are performing an action or are watching someone else perform an action. When you see your partner experiencing pleasure, you will also experience more arousal and pleasure.
Meditation is quite easy to start. All you need to do is sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath while breathing normally. As mentioned before, it is perfectly normal for beginners to have wandering thoughts. If that happens to you, try to bring your focus back to your breathing. Guided meditation apps like Headspace may also be helpful. Your partner will appreciate the new, relaxed, focused, and generous lover you will become through meditation.