Stress affects every part of your life including your love life. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed and tense, chances are that you’re libido and appearance will suffer. Studies have shown that being stressed increases the production of cortisol in the body, which makes you less appealing to members of the other sex.
Stressful life circumstances such as not enough money to pay the bills, family members with health problems or figuring out who will do what of the too-much work of running a home clearly can create stress in relationships. At the same time, how a couple talks over these stressful problems either reduces or magnifies the tensions caused by the initial problem. Marriage arguments are the last thing you need when you're already trying to deal with a tough situation.
Take a look at five ways stress can affect your love life.
- It changes your perception of the relationship: Being under stress makes you irritable and snappy. Relationships exposed to high levels of stress most often turn negative with time. This is because stress alters our perception of reality and understanding of people. When you’re stressed, you tend to focus more on what’s wrong with the relationship than what’s right. This can lead to an increase in conflicts between partners.
- It lowers your confidence: For any relationship to work, you must first love yourself. Stress causes self-doubt and lowers your self-confidence. If you’re looking to start a relationship, this can increase your inhibitions in talking to new people or going on a date. If you’re already in a relationship, this lowered self-confidence can lead to problems in bed.
- It affects your appearance: Stress affects not only your emotional and mental frame of mind but your physical state as well. Being under stress to perform can result in binge eating and make you put on weight. Stress itself increases the production of cortisol in the body which in turn makes the skin secrete more oil. Stress can also cause brittle nails and hair loss. Stress also lowers your energy levels and makes you withdraw from social life.
- It lowers your sex drive: Stress makes it difficult to focus on anything other than whatever is troubling you. It has a direct connection to your libido; the higher the stress, the lower your libido. For men this can lead to erectile dysfunctioning while for women it can reduce the amount of natural lubrication produced and make sex uncomfortable.
- It can suppress fertility: Cortisol can also prevent women from ovulating. This can lower your chances of conceiving a child. this is noticed especially in cases of sudden spikes in stress levels and varies from woman to woman. It can also cause fertility problems in men.
The good news is that stress can easily be managed to improve your love life. Meditating and exercising are two effective stress busters that can enhance your love life. Doing this along with your partner not only helps reduce stress but can also bring you closer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychologist.