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Intimacy and Stress

By Dr. Ava Cadell

According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 90% of all health problems are related to stress. Additionally, research confirms that our thoughts and emotions have a dynamic effect on our health and vitality.

When our body feels the affects of acute stress, it is analogous to a plane gearing up for take-off.  All systems are go, including the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, the lungs, the digestive system, the sensory organs, and brain are all modified and ready to encounter perceived danger.  This is where changing our emotions from negative to positive can promote good health, performance, and well-being.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  The fact is that emotions like fear, anger, frustration, insecurity, and depressing feelings are stressful and inhibit optimal health.  Positive emotions like appreciation, compassion, and love not only feel good, but they promote good health for the mind, body, and soul.

Stress is the leading cause for diminished sexual desire and can result in an inability to achieve orgasm in women.  Stress may even affect fertility because stress hormones have an impact on the hypothalamus gland, which produces reproductive hormones.  Severely high Cortisol levels can even shut down menstruation.  According to the American Institute of Stress, one study reported a significantly higher incidence of pregnancy loss in women who experienced both high stress and prolonged menstrual cycles.  Another reported that women with stressful jobs had shorter periods than women with low-stress jobs.

Stress can also cause temporary impotence in men.  Part of the stress reaction entails the release of brain chemicals that constrict the smooth muscles of the penis and its arteries.  This restriction reduces the blood flow into the penis, which can prevent erection.

Cognitive-behavioral methods are the most successful ways to reduce stress.  These include identifying the basis of the stress like what triggers it, reorganizing priorities, and finding a new positive response for reducing stress.  Then it’s most important to log the stress-reducing activities which lower stress and produce a sense of wellbeing.  Consider as many stress relief options as possible.

Examples include the following:

Make walking a daily ritual.  Even short walks can refresh the mind and body, thereby relieving stress.

Plan relaxation time away, especially on weekends.  During this time, reverse any negative ideas by focusing on positive outcomes.  These emotions help reduce tension and elevate the mood.

Watch a funny movie.  Research shows that humor is the best medicine, especially during difficult situations.  Laughter releases tension and has physical effects that reduce stress hormone levels.

Yoga can be beneficial by slowing down the natural breathing pattern, relaxing, toning, and stretching the muscles, and lowering blood pressure.  All of these result in less stress and a healthier lifestyle.

Swimming is an idyllic exercise for general health and stress resistance.  Water has a healing effect and when combined with working out all of the muscles can give you a feeling of optimal wellbeing.

Making Love with someone you love gives you the most natural high where you can leave all your troubles behind.

Massage can make you feel relaxed, relieve tension and sore muscles, and boost your immune system by releasing natural painkillers.

Healthy Diet should be part of a stress-reduction program.  By eating a variety of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding too much alcohol and caffeine, you can keep your body in tip-top condition so that it can handle stress more easily.

Expressing your feelings to a trusted friend can help to release stress, but express them in the most positive way that you can without venting or wallowing in self-pity.  Even writing down your feelings can be therapeutic. However if you suffer from severe or constant stress, then you should always seek professional medical help.

World's Best Lover Competition

Love Guru Dr. Ava Cadell, founder of Loveology University, invites romantics to submit a FREE entry explaining why their lover is the best. They receive a FREE certificate for their partner attesting to this loving tribute. This is a perfect Valentine's gift at no cost. Each person who submits an entry will receive a FREE copy of the ebook 52 Sizzling Sex Secrets. Deadline for submissions is February 6th, 2009. The winner will be announced on February 13th and they will win a $2000 scholarship for Loveology University or $1000 cash.

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