Want to stay mentally fit? Add more sex to your life and life to your sex

Want to stay mentally fit? Add more sex to your life and life to your sex

From an evolutionary perspective, sex is seen as an activity that helps in the propagation of species. It is a medium via which mammals pass their genes to the next generation, therefore, keeping the family blood alive.
“Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954) in his theory of hierarchical needs, placed sex in the category of the most primary needs which he called ’The Physiological needs’. He identified primary needs important for a person’s survival and categorized sex as a physiological need because it helps it the propagation of species.”

However, in recent years, a more pleasurable picture of sex is being painted. People have started acknowledging it as an activity that makes them feel good and satisfied.
Human intercourse is a complex activity, and reducing it to either of the two perspectives seems unfair. A mixture of hormones released in the body and the combination of brain area activations as a result of sex or any sexual activity makes it extremely complex.
“Due to this complex nature of the activity, researchers have found that sex is beneficial for the physical, mental, and social health of human being apart from being pleasurable and a medium for reproduction.” All of these benefits are caused by activities in the brain and, therefore, let us take a closer look at what happens inside our brain when we have sex.A cocktail of feel-good hormones are released into the body which activates the reward areas in the brain. Some of the hormones which play a major role in it are:

  1. Testosterone
    Although this hormone is widely known as the male hormone, it is also found in women, and controls libido and sexual arousal for both.

  2. Oxytocin
    This hormone is often casually referred to as ‘the love hormone’ or ‘the cuddle hormone’ because it causes people to bond with each other and feel crazy intimate with their partner. Women can experience an oxytocin flush in their bodies by something as simple as holding hands, however, men need an orgasm to experience that amount of oxytocin rush in their bodies.

  3. Norepinephrine
    As Dr. Pankaj Aggarwal, an endocrinologist, once told TOI, this hormone is the reason behind the adrenaline rush we all feel when experiencing anything even remotely related to a sexual activity and helps maintain an erection in men.

  4.  Estrogen
    Estrogen is majorly produced in females, yet some amount of it can be seen in men. It regulates all the major activities involved in sex for females, beginning from triggering sexual desire to causing an orgasm.

  5.  Dopamine
    It is released by our brain whenever we engage in an activity of our interest or get something we were craving for, and contributes to the feelings of satisfaction. It creates a reward circuit in the brain which labels an experience as “important," making its memories last longer.

Having discussed how sex makes our brain and body go crazy, let us take a look at the mental health benefits that sex has.

  1.  Confidence booster!
    A geriatric psychologist, Dr. David Weeks confirmed in his study conducted on 3500 women of the age range from 18 to 102 years that a healthy sex life can make people look approximately fire to twelve years younger! It was also found that these women were found to be more confident and comfortable regarding their sexual identity. Healthy sex life helps women to accept their bodies the way they are leading to lesser body image issues. However, the study suggested that it is the quality that matters and not the quantity.
    In another study, it was reported that women who masturbate score better at body positivity.
  1. Enhance your quality of life
    In another analysis conducted by dr.  David Weeks (2002), it was concluded that healthy sexual activity might be a predictor of current and future quality of life as his study found that adults who had a sexually satisfying experience in their midlife reported having a higher quality of life.
  1. Keep your marital life happy
    In a study conducted by tracking sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, researchers concluded that a high level of sexual satisfaction leads to an increase in the level of relationship satisfaction. According to various scholars, sexual relations spice up a marital relationship, and that the intimacy, love, caring built during sex gets extended to the nonsexual relationship as well. It should be noted here, that the intimacy generated during sex does not stay limited in the physical or sexual sense, but has implications on emotional intimacy between the partners as well. To keep your marital life from becoming mundane, and to enhance your relationship satisfaction, it is better to add some heat to it.
  1. Make yourself less likely to fall into depression
    Sex increases the levels of feel-good hormones in the body which increase the levels of serotonin which is a well-known antidepressant chemical. A study conducted on women concluded that women who are in a long-term relationship and are sexually active are less likely to feel depressed than those who go without sex.
    It was also found in a study that being exposed to semen, i.e., having intercourse without a condom, was associated with lower levels of depression and fewer suicide attempts in women. For men increased frequency of sexual intercourse is inversely related to depression.
  1. Help you sleep like a baby
    Having an orgasm releases higher levels of the prolactin hormone, a growth hormone that plays an important role in sleep. Researches have shown that oxytocin, also known as ’the cuddle hormone or ’the love hormone,’ and endorphins released during sex act as a sedative, therefore, inducing sleep. A study conducted on women reported that they masturbated in the past three months to get a good night’s sleep. In addition to this, the discovery of reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of men after ejaculation shows that it leads to a sound sleep.

  1. Best Way to get rid of your stress
    The feel-good hormones released during sex such as endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine, not only enhance your mood but also give you relief from all the stress and tension. In a study, it was reported that women who had sex in the last 4hrs coped better with stressful situations than those who had not.
  1. Makes you sharper
    Studies have shown that sex increases your cognitive capacity. A study indicated that even reminiscing about a past sexual experience can improve your analytical skills. Research conducted on females suggests that female orgasm activates every part of the brain, more than most of the popular brain-stimulating activities.
  1. Best way to kill pain
    Sex is probably the most fun painkiller ever! Endorphins released during sex acts as a pain reliever and helps in alleviating mood.
  1. Up goes your Self-esteem
    An acceptance of one’s sexuality and an embracement of their sexual fantasies or desires has direct and positive effects on their self-esteem. It was found in a study conducted on women which suggested that those women who masturbated scored higher on self-esteem. After all, such acceptance is rare to find, difficult to achieve but gives the most fruitful results.
  1. An important element contributing to your happiness
    There are several studies in the literature which have suggested that quality sex increases Personal Happiness.
  1. Stay productive
    Studies suggest that the best way to wake up is by having sex. According to a research, adults who had sex the first thing in the morning were more productive, energetic, and optimistic throughout the day.
  1. Lesser psychiatric drugs required
    You can use healthy sex as a method to stay away from psychiatric drugs. Most popularly used psychiatric drugs are the ones that increase the levels of feel-good hormones in the body. Sex, on the other hand, being an activity which can do that and more for you, is probably the best way to keep up the levels of these hormones. It was concluded in a study that psychiatric patients who had sexual intercourse regularly saw a decline in the need for psychiatric medication.

As it is evident from the discussion above, adding more sex to your life will not only make it more happening but also help you stay mentally and physically healthy. It will also add to your level of satisfaction with your partner and make your life happier and more content.

About the Author

Sukriti Hari
Organizational behaviour.

I'm Author of the article Want to stay mentally fit? Add more sex to your life and life to your sex.

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