‘Take a few deep breaths,’ they say; ‘meditate’; ‘invest in a stress-relief ball’; ‘visualise yourself on a deserted beach’. What they don’t say is, ‘Get down and dirty, pronto!’ And they should, because a sex session isn’t just far more appealing – it’s also far more effective.
During sex your body produces dopamine, a substance that fights stress hormones, endorphins, aka ‘happiness hormones’ and oxytocin, a desire-enhancing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. You don’t even have to do the full deed for these benefits: any sexual activity does the trick.
Kiss Stress Good-bye
A Northwestern University study found that couples who kissed only while having sex were eight times more likely to report feeling chronically stressed than those who kissed outside the bedroom. Snogging is stress-busting, so pucker up more and let the good vibes wash over you!
Orgasm brings immediate stress-relief: it’s an instant calming tool that affects your body (muscles relax) and mind (all those endorphins are work like a charm: suddenly, that presentation or deadline seems manageable).
That yoga class may take the edge off your day, but a full-on romp helps the body cope with stress for up to a week, according to a study by Paisley University psychologist Professor Stuart Brody. After full intercourse, your blood pressure rises by only half the amount of people who have other kinds of sex or none at all, and it also returns to normal more quickly … for seven days.