5 Ways to Connect to Your Body
Mental health is connected to sexual wellbeing. When you are feeling an increase in stress, anxiety, or depression, it can be challenging to care for your body in ways that improve your sexual functioning. You may be surprised to hear that some of the best ways to improve sexual functioning have nothing to do with sex. That’s right. Because stress reduction is integral to feeling connected sexually, it is often the first step you need to take to start feeling better. Start by checking in with yourself--do you find it difficult to relax or find pleasure in ways that are not related to sex? Here are 5 unique ways to reduce stress and connect with the wonderful body that you are in.
Listen to Music/Dance
Music has many benefits and emotional regulation is one of them. Listening to music can reduce stress and provide a healthy distraction. Incorporating mindful movement and dancing can be self-soothing too!
When was the last time you took 5 minutes out of your day to sit outside? Nature is grounding and can improve mood. Notice the temperature on your skin. Is there a breeze? Try noticing all the sounds you can hear or the colors you can see.
Sensate Focus Exercises
The first couple of steps in Sensate Focus exercises do not focus on sex, but rather noticing pleasurable sensations on your body. This process is designed to be slow, so it may be worth a try if you are feeling disconnected from your body. See previous blog post for more info!
Take a Shower or Bath
Using temperature is a quick way to calm your nervous system and feel grounded in your body. Do you tend to rush your bathing process? Noticing the different smells and sensations while you are showering can help you slow down.
Deep breathing may not be that unique, but this is probably one of the simplest ways to calm your nervous system and stay in the present moment. All you need to do is breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds, and breathe out as slowly as you can. If anxiety or tension interrupts sexual activity, then deep breathing can help you reduce physical tension.