You’ve read the recommendations to overcome stress and anxiety that tell you to relax and practice deep breathing. While these are excellent methods, there is one that is seldom mentioned — developing and working on your intimate relations.
How often have you heard the expression, “it is all about love and war?” It is more true than you might think in relation to stress and anxiety levels.
When you become stressed or threatened, your body boosts its production of adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline increases your heart rate and respiration, activates your muscles and makes you hyper alert. If the state persists, your body increases its cortisol levels, too. This hormone also makes you hyper aware.
Researchers have discovered that while lovemaking helps you to relax, it counters the effects of cortisol, a stress hormone, by increasing your body’s production of another hormone called oxytocin.
Oxytocin production can be extremely beneficial to overcome stress and anxiety because it has the exact opposite effect of cortisol and adrenaline. The excitement surrounding this relatively new discovery is that it can lead to better health using entirely natural means.
Let’s take a look at how this comes together.
When you encounter danger, your body responds by producing cortisol which breaks down non-essential body tissues to increase your blood sugar levels and feed your vital organs. If cortisol remains high, it begins to digest more important parts of your body including bones, muscles and joints. This leads to higher levels of fat and sugar in your blood. Over time, serious health issues can arise.
Because your body is screaming for more energy, you might respond by eating fatty and sugary foods.
As you can see, cortisol is hard on the body, turning otherwise harmless or non-existent threats into physical dangers. You can turn your stress into something more pleasurable and fulfilling and less harmful.
Here are 6 reasons why you need to work on your intimate relations.
- It increases your body’s production of oxytocin
- Oxytocin gives you a feeling of calm and connectedness
- Oxytocin lessens your cravings and addictions
- It gives you positive feelings
- It lowers your blood pressure which in turn protects your heart
- Oxytocin is the exact opposite of cortisol. While cortisol can trigger aggression, anxiety, stress, addictions, depression, high blood pressure and many serious symptoms related to anxiety, oxytocin reduces all your symptoms of stress.
We said that lovemaking is a great way to boost your oxytocin levels, but there other things you can do, too, although they are not quite as effective:
- Caring for a pet
The more methods you can use to increase your levels of oxytocin, the stronger your body will respond to it by spreading more receptors that are sensitive to it. A possible added benefit is that there is some evidence to show that oxytocin might also increase your longevity.
Forget the pills. Your body has everything it needs to overcome stress and anxiety. You just have to learn how to tap into it.