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September 21, 2020 • read
Four ways to boost your libido
For many people, sex is an important part of life. But what happens when you lose interest in sex? As you lose touch with a part of your life you used to enjoy, your relationships and self-esteem could suffer.
Experiencing a rut in your sex life from time to time is perfectly normal. Libido, or sex drive, varies greatly between individuals, and a low sex drive is not necessarily a sign there’s a health problem. Stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and age can all affect your libido.
If you feel like your libido could use a boost, here are a few natural methods you can try.
Eat a nutritious diet
For both men and women, the circulatory system plays an important role in sexual health. Better circulation can lead to an improved sexual response, including erectile function for men. Adjusting your diet can help you improve your circulation and heart function. The American Heart Association recommends a diet that includes:
- A wide range of fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains and fibre.
- Healthy oils, like olive oil and sunflower oil.
- Seafood, nuts, and legumes.
Some foods, often called aphrodisiacs, can also spark your libido. For example, oysters contain a lot of zinc, an essential element of male fertility. Your body needs this mineral to regulate testosterone levels and improve cell metabolism and stamina.
Get enough sleep
Sleep affects almost every aspect of your health, including your mood, energy levels, and libido. A 2019 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a lack of quality sleep for men was associated with higher risk of erectile difficulties. Moreover, people who have to handle the demands of work while caring for young children or an aging parent often feel mentally exhausted, which can lead to a reduced sex drive.
If you’ve noticed a decrease in your sex drive lately, try changing your sleep habits. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day, take a relaxing bath or shower before bed, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. As your body readjusts, you may notice a difference in your libido.
Manage your stress and anxiety
High levels of anxiety and stress is a common barrier to libido and a healthy sex life. A 2017 study of erectile dysfunction in young men indicated that anxiety, stress, and depression can all result in a decrease in sexual function.
If you stretch yourself thin caring for others, have an intense work schedule, or carry a lot of stress daily, you may experience low sexual desire. Managing your stress and anxiety levels can help you improve your libido. Exercise is a great way to decrease tension in your body, elevate your mood, improve your sleep, and improve your self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can have anti-anxiety effects.
To relieve stress, you can also try mindfulness activities like meditation, yoga, or tai chi. These activities can help you tap into the present moment, regulate your breathing, and relax your mind. Other ways to relieve stress include lowering your caffeine intake, chewing gum, or simply spending more time laughing.
There’s overwhelming evidence that smoking cigarettes has a negative impact on your cardiovascular system and erectile function. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine warns that tobacco can negatively affect fertility in both men and women.
If you’re smoker, you may find your energy level and sex drive increasing after you quit. There are numerous other health benefits to quitting smoking, including lowering your risk of cancer, improving your lung function, and improving your senses of smell and taste.
Consulting a doctor
Having a low sex drive can be an isolating experience. You may not feel comfortable discussing the issue with your partner, someone you would turn to in almost any other situation. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your libido, don’t ignore it. If the problem isn’t resolving itself, consult a doctor and don’t feel shy bringing up the topic. Doctors understand that discussing sex in a medical setting can feel awkward and they’re used to having sensitive conversations.
You may have to experiment a little to discover the methods that work best for you. Everyone is different, and a lot of factors, including age, medical history, emotional issues, and daily habits, can affect sex drive. Even the way you feel can affect your libido. Poor self-image, for example, can discourage you from having and enjoying sex. If this is the case, consulting a therapist could be part of the solution for you. You can also try boosting your self-esteem by shifting your focus from your flaws to your skills, qualities, and attributes.
Starting an honest and open dialogue with a doctor can help your uncover the cause of your low sex drive and identify potential treatments. Your doctor will be able to provide valuable advice and suggest strategies to enhance your sexual health. This can help you boost your libido and find more pleasure in your relationships.