Now For Some Good News: Regular Sex Benefits Your Mental Health, Too

Sex isn’t just good for exercise, it has psychological benefits too. from www.shutterstock.com

Danielle Andrew 04/03/2017, 20:04

Sex enhances intimacy with your partner

Sometimes, for whatever reason, couples just don’t have regular sex. This can be the beginning of a vicious cycle: you or your partner don’t feel like having sex, and then eventually you may start to (consciously or not) resent your partner for not having sex, and you gradually grow further and further apart, eventually not even wanting to have sex with your partner.

Sex brings you closer to your partner. from www.shutterstock.com

As obvious as it might sound, regular sex with your partner makes a big difference to how you get along with them. Being intimate with your partner on a frequent basis allows you to emotionally connect with them on a much deeper level.

Sex makes you smart

Having sex changes your brain chemistry in all kinds of ways; and there is evidence sex actually increases your cognitive capacity.

One study found even just thinking about a past sexual encounter can enhance your analytic thinking skills. Another study indicated that sexually active rodents had more neurons in their hippocampus (a brain region linked with memory) than virgin rats. Improvements in brainpower were lost after sexual activity was stopped.

Research on the female orgasm using tests that measure brain activity has indicated sexual climax activates every part of the brain. Blood flows in carrying a surge of nutrients and oxygen to the brain cells. By contrast, popular brain stimulation activities such as doing Sudoku, crosswords, or playing memory games have marginal efficacy and each engage only a handful of brain regions at best.

Additionally, research supports a positive association between frequency of sex and recall for words in women.

Sex makes you look and feel younger

Our society places a great emphasis on youth and beauty. Few people over the age of 25 want to either look or feel older. Billions of dollars are spent every year on the pursuit of youth.

One study reported having regular sex can make both men and women look between five and seven years younger than they actually are. Looking younger carries with it a whole suite of benefits such as increased confidence, happiness, and enthusiasm. When we look younger, we tend to feel younger.

Sexual activity has also been associated with longevity and general health.

There are a ton of benefits to exercise, both physical and psychological. In an average sex session, men burn around 100 calories, but women expend only about 70. Exercise not only makes you physically healthier, but is also known to improve mood, reduce and help you cope with stress, increase feelings of self-satisfaction, increase energy levels, and the list goes on.

 

Ryan Anderson, PhD Candidate, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University and David Mitchell, Deputy Head and Lecturer in the Discipline of Psychology, James Cook University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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