Namaste your way to enlightened intimacy
When thinking of meditation, not many people will make the sexual connection. Why am I about to make the argument that the tool you might be trying for falling asleep faster can help make your sex life better? Because it works, that’s why.
Physiologically, the biggest impacts on a person’s sex drive come from hormones and stress, pain (emotional or physical) and fatigue. Meditation is commonly recommended as a method of reducing stress and anxiety, allowing for deeper relaxation and it is often practiced to help reduce insomnia.
Are you still surprised that mindfulness is so closely related to sex?
Your hormones are affected by your physical state. They are related to your stress levels, diet, exercise and sleep. If you are under a lot of pressure and feel overwhelmed, the body releases stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) which will make you a lot more aware, and in a way, distracted. This reduces your sex drive.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it was important back when you had to hide from large animals or hunt your own food. You had to be alert and afraid to stay alive, you didn’t want to stop and daydream about boobs when trying to outrun a tiger.
Nowadays, in the safety of modern life, your body doesn’t always know there’s no immediate danger and your boss won’t literally kill you if that task isn’t competed by Monday morning. Your phone demands attention, your bills need paying and your flatmate is a nightmare that keeps leaving passive aggressive notes.
The tiger might be metaphorical, but it’s constantly chasing you in your mind. Meditation is a way of taking control back from the animal brain and the stress response, to calm it down. You force your body to relax, be present. Be in the moment. In return, you get a reduction in stress hormones and a higher sex drive.
Think about your best sex ever, try to describe it to yourself. Most people say words like: ’primal’, ‘passionate’, ‘intense’ and ‘connected’. When is it possible for you to feel this way? When your mind is clear and you are deep in the moment.
Your brain has several parts. Your true self, which is where you think about yourself, your goals, your desires, your plans for your future and any voluntary thoughts you come up with. You also have neurological junk, which is all the completely random and pointless webs of thoughts that are fired at you without your will. This could be random memories, weird cravings, urges to do things you know you shouldn’t, irrational fears and more.
You are not thinking these thoughts. They just appear out of nowhere and demand your attention. Sometimes at the worst possible time. Like, for instance, when you’re trying to have sex but can’t make this junk chatter in the back of your skull stop. You might mistake these thoughts to be your own, but they are not. When you meditate, you go through a process of recognising this junk and dismissing it by letting go and focusing back on your breath.
Meditation is all about being able to be in the moment, relax, make yourself present while constantly learning to clear your mind of unwanted distractions. Specifically for women, the amount of stress hormones in their bodies has been directly linked to their inability to feel sexual arousal in a 2008 study. High levels of cortisol meant that even women who never had issues achieving an orgasm, suddenly were experiencing problems, to a level of actually losing the ability to orgasm once cortisol reaches a certain level. Additionally, both woman and men who meditate regularly, reported a noticeably grater ability to enjoy sex and were overall more satisfied.
The number one reason couples give when asked why they don’t have as much sex is fatigue. Hearing ‘I’m too tired’ is nothing new. Meditation is a proven way to achieve more quality sleep and to fall asleep faster. A deeper relaxation is so important that sleeping properly has been directly linked to in the scientific world to better memory, reduced risk of disease (including flue, heart attack, diabetes, strokes, cancer and dementia) lowering food cravings, less anxiety and depression and actually been reported to make people brand feel happier and more attractive.
For anyone who’s now curious and interested in how to start meditating, there are plenty of amazing and free recourses online, but here are the basics:
- 1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position (your spine should be neutral and upright).
- 2. Breath at your normal pace
- 3. Bring your attention to your breath
- 4. Slow down your breath and focus on inhaling slowly, filling yourself with oxygen, charging your body.
- 5. Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- 6. Exhale completely.
- 7. Repeat.
- 8. Keep breathing and focusing on your breath, on how it feels to breathe and the sensations of breathing.
- 9. If you start hearing thoughts, notice they are not coming from you, that they are just appearing in your head.
- 10. Notice those thoughts and bring your attention back to your breath.
- 11. Keep doing that o 10-20 minutes.
- 12. Repeat daily for optimal results. You will get better with time.