Anxiety and depression can lead to many complications in life. Apart from creating an emotional void, it can also take away the physical pleasures off our lives.
However latest studies show that understanding the physiological and mental benefits of a healthy sex life can help it become a tool for well-being.
The physiological responses our bodies have to an intimate physical relationship, can minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Deficiencies in nitric oxide are associated with irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and less energy. On the contrary, sex increases epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are linked to mood, behaviour, and well-being.
When a person suffers from anxiety and depression, they feel lonely. Studies prove that a healthy sex life can affect your moods, behaviours, and thought, as it arouses the ‘emotions’ area of our brains.
MRI studies have shown that the first thing to happen when we are aroused is that there is an increase in activity to the part of the brain that controls the emotions, called limbic system.
Sexual intercourse increases nitric oxide activity, which impacts anxiety and depression levels. These molecules relax the inner muscles of the blood vessels and this surge in nitric oxide helps to keep irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia under check.
Having sexual intercourse releases some other messages from the brain to the body, as well, called neurotransmitters.
Dopamine is one of those neurotransmitters. It’s like indulging in any other activity that makes us happy, it plays a huge role in how we feel pleasure.
Dopamine deficiency can also be linked to depression.
Another hormone is the serotonin. It is known to help regulate mood, social behaviours, emotions, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and sex drive. Some of the more prominent symptoms of anxiety and depression include erratic sleep, bad memory, hard-to-manage emotions and mood swings that alter your social behaviour.
Epinephrine, an adrenaline hormone, also activates our sympathetic nervous system, which makes one feel that ‘heart pounding in your chest’ kind of exhilaration which comes when one jogs or indulges in a physical relationship with someone.
According to Medical News Today, low levels of epinephrine can often result in physical and mental symptoms such as feeling anxious or depressed.
Oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’, plays a vital role in our pleasurable climaxes as well as how our body feels.. For women, oxytocin is also released during labor and while breastfeeding, which helps create that motherly bond between herself and her newborn baby.
Researchers say that it is very important to know the triggers that lead a person to anxiety and depression. Given the link between orgasm and oxytocin and the feeling of good, it’s relevant to say that a person dealing with such negative issues can be positively affected by a strong physical relationship.