With very little effort I found quite a few websites and articles that talk about taking a “mental health day”. Some of them are as simplistic as, “don’t go into to work if you think you might need to kill your boss – take a mental health day and relax”. Others are fairly lengthy explanations about the existence of World Mental Heath Day – which is evidently every October 10th. The bottom line is that we all get stressed at times in our lives. And there is some evidence that taking a day to focus solely on yourself has tangible benefits to your mental well being. But when a friend of mine pointed me to this article, The Benefits of Sex for Your Mind and Body, I realized that we don’t have to take a day – or wait for October 10th – before we can do something to reduce the amount of mental stress we carry. We can have sex. The article lays out 10 major benefits of sex that all relate to helping your mind and your body relax.
1. Sex Makes You Sleepy.
“The sexual release you have after having sex actually helps you sleep better at night,” says Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, author of The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Love Making.
2. Sex Makes you Happy.
Fulbright said that in a recent study of 4,000 American women, those who had the lowest stress and best overall mental well-being were those who were the most sexually active.
3. Not having sex can lead to depression.
4. Sex causes an “orgasmic pregnancy.”
“Women are the most interested in having sex when pregnant because they feel really good about themselves overall.”
5. Sex will boost your self-esteem.
Fulbright says that having sex boosts your entire self-esteem, not just your body image.
6. It releases oxytocin and endorphins.
Oxytocin is commonly referred to as the “love hormone” because it leads to feelings of intimacy, closeness, and strong social connections with someone else.
7. Orgasms help mental health.
“Nothing is as relaxing as putting yourself in a place where you relieve stress,” says Dr. Gloria G. Bramer, a Georgia-based licensed clinical sexologist. “After you have an orgasm you release natural oxytocin to the brain, which balances you out.”
8. Sex gets rid of cramps.
Bramer says that having sex may be the best way to relieve menstrual cramps. Many women say that by having an orgasm, they not only get instant relief from their cramps but also from other PMS related symptoms.
9. Sex has healing powers.
Orgasm can help relieve chronic back and other pain.
10. Sex is connected to your libido.
Just as sex is tied to mental health and happiness, it’s also tied to your libido. Bramer says that when you are feeling stressed, your libido is going to suffer. This will in turn diminish your appetite for sex, which will also add to your risk of depression. Having sex is an instant mood enhancer that can reverse all of these symptoms.
Now, I will be the first to point out that the article, written by Colleen Moody, does not site source studies for these tidbits of information (other than the book by Dr. Fulbright and the quotes from Dr. Bramer), but I still find the list interesting. These might be common sense things to some of you, but putting things into a neat little list can often be helpful.
Want to add to the list? What mental health benefits do you find accompany sex and orgasm?
For those interested, you can find the original article here.