When it comes to your sex life, you may sometimes look for ways to make it better, whether that means different sex locations or positions. However, the answer to a more fulfilling sex life could be even simpler than that: Meditation. Yes, meditation can help your sex life, according to a new study, “Sexual Functioning in Experiences Meditators,” in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. It was authored by Iulia Dascalu and
“It has been well established in the scientific literature that mindfulness meditation is applicable to women’s sexual health,” Lori A. Brotto., a professor at the University of British Columbia and author of Better Sex Through Mindfulness, told PsyPost. “Our research has shown across a dozen studies that short-term mindfulness interventions, delivered in either 4-session or 8-session formats, significantly improve sexual functioning and satisfaction.”
In the study, 451 women aged 19-to-70 were surveyed about both their sex lives and experience with meditation. The DL? Women who’d done meditation said they had better sexual functioning versus women who’d never meditated, 193 women versus 257, respectively.
“We found that, on average, women who practiced meditation scored higher than women with no meditation experience on measures of sexual function, sexual desire, interoceptive awareness (which can be defined as awareness of internal body sensations), and trait mindfulness (defined by someone who has a mindful personality, by nature),” Brotto told PsyPost. Furthermore, women who’d meditated also had higher scores when it came to arousal, lubrication, orgasm and desire, Brotto said. However, Brotto also pointed out that it was not known if long-term meditation led to better sexual functioning or vice-versa. And if you’re wondering how often you need to meditate to have an improved sex life, that aspect was not covered in this study. But it’s never too late to begin, right?
The Case For Mediating To Improve Your Sex Life
“Studies in female sexual health and wellness have definitively shown that women who practice mindfulness and are present during the sexual encounter report heightened arousal and orgasmic responsivity,” Dr. Michael Krychman, Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and co-author of The Sexual Spark: 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, tells Bustle. “Staying focused on your sexual arousal during the moments of intimacy diminishes the mind chatter, which can impact sexual excitement.”
Dr. Rachel Needle, licensed psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist in West Palm Beach, FL, and the Co-Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, agrees with Dr. Krychman about the benefits of meditation when it comes to sex. “Mindfulness meditation supports us in staying present and aware,” she tells Bustle. “It is difficult to be fully present and aroused if we have a ‘busy’ mind and are thinking of everything we need to get done that day, for example. Our brain is our biggest sex organ. When we can be in the moment and focus on all of the sensations in our body, we can experience heightened arousal. Meditation can also be helpful to those experiencing sexual difficulties.”
In addition to enhancing your sex life, here are other incredible benefits of meditation.
1It Reduces Stress
You know how your mind is swimming with thoughts, worries, and endless to-do lists, all of which heighten stress? Well, meditation can help alleviate that stress. “Being present, relaxed, and focused can decrease stress,” Dr. Krychman says. “Chronic stress can adversely impact testosterone levels, which play an important role in sexual desire and responses, so managing life stress outside of the bedroom is critical.”
2It Improves Concentration
If you want your levels of concentration to be better, meditation may be the answer. For instance, one study by the University of California at Santa Barbara found that undergraduate students did better on the GRE after they did approximately an hour of “mindfulness training” for eight days. If that works for the GRE, imagine how it can work in other facets of life, too.
3It Increases Your Self-Awareness
According to Vantage Point Behavioral Health & Trauma Healing, as you learn to become mindful, meditation can increase your self-awareness. Instead of worrying about the past or the future, meditation helps you stay in the present. In turn, this self-awareness helps you deal with negative thoughts and feelings you may have, since you will learn to distance yourself from the disruptive thought(s).
4It Reduces Anxiety
To reduce anxiety, look no further than meditation, James Lake, MD, stated in an article he wrote for Psychology Today. “Meditation has been extensively studied as a treatment of anxiety,” he said. “Beneficial physiological effects of meditation include decreased oxygen consumption, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, as well as long-term beneficial changes in brain electrical activity that result in increased calmness.” He also talks more about meditation and mindfulness training in his book, Anxiety: The Integrative Mental Health Solution.
Read it on bustle.com