Stress is unavoidable. It’s a part of everyday life, and can even be a good thing sometimes. 

However, too much stress can wreak havoc on some regions of life, including your relationship in the bedroom. 

Most people don’t automatically connect their sex lives with how stressed they are, but there could be a bigger link there than you might realize. 

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how stress impacts your relationship in the bedroom, and what you can do to improve your intimate relationship by learning to better manage your stress. 

You Feel Absent

When stress starts to take over your thoughts and feelings, it’s hard to be present. 

Your mind wanders quickly, and you’re likely to spend more time thinking about the source of your stress than you are about your partner, or even your intimate relationship. 

Over time, this not only becomes obvious to your partner, but it can create issues in the bedroom. People are perceptive—especially when they know you well. If you’re distracted in the bedroom or thinking about other things, your partner will notice. That can lead to hurt feelings, self-esteem issues, and intimacy problems in your relationship. 

Your Hormones Change

Most people associate stress with mental health. While it’s true that stress can lead to things like depression and anxiety, it can also take a toll on your physical well-being. 

One of the biggest changes it can cause is a hormonal shift within your body. 

photo of a bedroomWhen you’re under a lot of stress for a long period of time, your body produces more of the “stress hormone” known as cortisol. 

Cortisol uses the same building blocks as testosterone. When your body produces more cortisol, it produces less testosterone. That might not seem like a big deal, especially for women. However, testosterone is a key hormone when it comes to your sex drive. The lower your levels of testosterone, the less interested you’re likely to be in having sex. 

Again, this can lead to problems in your relationship. 

A lower libido will make you less interested in sex, but your partner could end up taking that the wrong way. They might believe something is wrong with your relationship or them. So, what starts off as issues in the bedroom could end up causing bigger issues in your relationship. 

What Can You Do? 

There’s no denying that stress can impact your relationship in the bedroom. Unfortunately, that can create a snowball effect. You might find that you become even more stressed about your lack of intimacy or the issues it’s causing in your relationship, causing a vicious cycle that’s hard to escape. 

So, what can you do to manage your stress and improve your intimate relationship? 

Start by developing an understanding of where your stress is coming from. 

It’s not always easy to get to the “root” of stress, especially when it’s ongoing. However, it’s the best way to start working through it and learning how to manage it each day. Once you understand where your stress is coming from, you can eliminate those things from your life as much as possible. 

It’s also a good idea to practice stress-reduction techniques. That includes things like deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation. Find what works for you, and make self-care a part of your daily routine. 

Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about what you’re feeling. Open communication in your relationship can boost your intimacy, even without physical interaction. Chances are, they’ll be more than understanding, and do whatever they can to help. 

If you’re really struggling and your stress is starting to impact your general well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help with couples counseling