Your sex life could be impacted as a result of the stress in your work life. An expert talks about why they are related.
We live in times that are extremely stressful. Yes, we begin our days over a pile of emails, with phone calls and doorbells providing the ‘not-so-perfect’ background noise. And after we hurriedly finish some personal chores, we head in to work (or work from home), only to find ourselves stressed even more. By the time we are done, there’s hardly any time left to spend with our family or partner. Of course, this is likely to take a toll on your sex life. So what should you really do? Is there a way around it?
Divya Andar, Senior Psychologist at IWill, tells Health Shots about this common situation, and why it really happens.
Stressors in work life
“Work life is a major part of human existence, whether we are doctors, engineers, corporates, or homemakers. Work and the baggage that may come with it, knowingly or unknowingly affects many aspects of our life. Humans are known to be able to juggle a number of things in life and are often referred to as being multitaskers. Although sex may be an important part of our lives, it often gets impacted due to changes in our work life. And so, it could lead to sex taking a backseat and may be even often put off for later,” she explains.
Any kind of excess work can cause stress, which could directly cause major changes in our body and how we perceive or react to things. Our body often reacts to stress by going through a series of changes in order to prepare us to run away or stay and fight.
“This is known as our body’s fight or flight response. When we experience the fight or flight response, we are likely to witness an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, which can affect our sex drive. That’s because at that time, our body just wants to protect itself from the stressor as opposed to indulging in any other activity,” adds Andar.
How can work stress impact your life, and in turn sex?
1. Can make you disinterested in sex: Stress can often cause us to feel light headed and distract us from wanting sex or being present during sex, leading to a disconnect from our partners.
“It sometimes leaves our partners feeling unimportant or ignored. It can also impact our mood, leading to anxiety and depression, which can have a direct impact on and diminish our libido,” she explains.
Also Read: 5 ways in which your stress levels are messing with your vagina
2. Can lead you to adopt unhealthy habits:
Stress can lead us to finding an instant solution in the form of latching on to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, poor lifestyle choices.This in turn can influence how we may feel about ourselves and interfere with a healthy sex life.
3. Lack of feel-good hormones:
“During healthy, satisfying sex, we tend to produce and release hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. These are usually released when we do things that make us feel happy. It is also clear through research that a healthy sex life may increase work efficiency and productivity,” says Andar.
4. Diminishes self-confidence:
When a person does well at work and is being appreciated; that also may have a great impact on their self-confidence and they may come home feeling happier and more accomplished which in turn may “up” their performance in the bedroom.
“If a person is not appreciated at work and is being dished out negative feedback day in and day out, they most often will come home feeling exactly that and in absolutely no mood to indulge in anything remotely sexual or intimate,” she adds.
5. Effects communication:
Work life can also affect communication. A person who is constantly busy with work won’t find the time to communicate with their partner which can directly affect intimacy between them.
“When we overwork our bodies and minds, they tend to shut off after a while, which could be something that may happen causing us to automatically go into ‘switch off mode’ after a hard day at work. Too much work stress can also lead to lack of sleep or not getting sufficient hours of rest, which may then lead to us becoming snappy and cranky when it comes to interacting with our partners,” explains Andar.
During Covid-19, the situation at work has completely changed, especially with remote work taking precedence. This has given rise to even more challenges on how to establish boundaries between work and life.
“Because of the lack of boundaries between work and our personal life, there is a lot of anger and frustration that we are projecting onto our partners. These constant fights and discord can also cause the couple to feel disconnected from one another, leading to a significant diminish in the quality time and intimate moments once shared by them,” concludes Andar.
That’s exactly why it is important to set clear boundaries, and work towards having consistent communication with your partner.