Have you ever noticed that the stresses of work, life, family and more affect your desire to be intimate with the one you love? Are you feeling old before your time with no drive to fulfil your sexual desires? Or maybe you are feeling guilty, never wanting to commit physically to your partner’s needs? Believe it or not this is incredibly common and has no bearing on gender or age in our clinical experience.

So why does stress have such a huge impact on our sexual desire and function? And what can we do to redress the balance naturally?

It is incredibly important to understand a little about the steroidal hormone pathways in order to truly grasp the concept of what is happening. Think of you steroidal hormone pathway as a family tree; Your tree starts with your Great Granddad, his name is Cholesterol. Cholesterol has to be obtained from saturated fat (eggs, red meat, butter etc). Now cholesterol is needed to run every single hormone pathway whether it is a stress pathway, growth, repair or sex hormone pathway. So if cholesterol is in short supply in the diet due to a low fat or vegetarian diet we will soon have issues producing ALL hormones effectively!

The important thing to know is that when your body perceives a stress; this could be anything from physical pain, emotional bereavement, financial worry, fear, to inappropriate eating patterns (too much, too little, too infrequent) and chemical toxins in your food, water and personal care products. It will drive its energy into producing stress hormones (Adrenaline/Cortisol) to manage the stress. Now the whole time it produces these hormones its attention is directed away from producing growth, repair and SEX hormones!

This can eventually create symptoms such as low libido, infertility, PMS, loss of the menstrual cycle and erectile dysfunction. Along with lethargy, low motivation, low mood and poor immunity (as the adrenal glands become exhausted from constantly producing the stress hormones) which only add to the feeling of disinterest in physical intimacy!

Seven Libido Boosting Tips

1. Plan regular holiday’s or weekend breaks with your partner (if you are in a relationship). This should be away from your home and without anyone else. It is vital to reconnect with each other away from everyday stresses! Don’t set any preconceived notions about HAVING TO have sex. Simply allow yourselves to enjoy each other’s company and act should spontaneity direct you.

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Image supplied by Matthias Ripp

2. Create peace points through your day (they need only be a few minutes long if time is short) to help you manage mental/emotional stressors as they come up. Meditation, music, art and nature are all great ways to release stress. You can get great apps for your phone to prompt you through the day!
3. Focus on Yoga, Tai, Chi, Qi Gong or CHEK Zone exercises to stimulate the sexual organs, sacral chakra / zone 2. This will help to get the internal energy moving again. You can even repeat a positive mantra / affirmation such as “I have strong, balanced sexual desire”, whilst you carry out the movement. Check out our exercise of then month to get you started.

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Image supplied by dMap Travel Guide

4. Create more fun in your life. Build more happiness and carefree time into your week. So many of us focus heavily on achieving at work, supporting the family, being a rock for others that life becomes incredibly serious and un-enjoyable. Find a hobby you really love. Surround yourself by people who lift you up rather than drag you down and find things to make you laugh regularly!
5. Cut down or remove processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These stimulants will further drive your stress hormone pathway directing energy away from your SEX hormone pathway and further driving your lacking libido.

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Image supplied by Susanne Nilsson

6. For women step into your YIN feminine power. Career driven, independent women, single Mum’s and high achievers have become overly YANG/masculine. This pushes the men in our lives further into the feminine role. Try using music and dance to bring out your feminine sexuality.
7. For Men step into your YANG masculine power. Many men have become de-masculinised by overtly strong female partners! Get your YANG back by getting into the gym and enjoying weight based work outs (it needn’t be crazy heavy weights!)

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Image supplied by Carlos Varela

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