Stress impacts plenty of aspects in our lives, as it can consume our minds and lead to panic or anxiety attacks if it becomes too overwhelming. And, while stress is normal for everyone to experience, there are impacts on our health that should not only be known, but should be managed as well.

Outside of expedited aging, hair loss and other physical factors that are noticeable, stress impacts sex lives, too, which can be a sign of serious depression or loss of direction. Whether you’re experiencing something similar yourself, or just want to educate yourself on how stress impacts sex, take a look below and see why it’s important to try and keep your mind clear, balanced and positive.

Lowers your libido

Obviously, hormones affect our bodies from the time we’re teenagers all the way up through adulthood, so it’s no surprise that stress can have a major impact on our libido and sex drive as well. One of the hormones that produces stress, cortisol, is required for our bodies to function, but when we get too much of it, it can suppress sex hormones and lower our sexual desire.

Decreased energy

Energy levels are important to get through the day, and, when we feel too overwhelmed or stressed out by the end of a busy work day, there’s a good chance you won’t have enough energy to knock boots with someone. While sex can be a major stress reliever, you need enough gas in the tank to actually perform it, and stress can lead to sluggishness.

Leads to anxiety, lack of focus and/or depression

Want to know what’s awful when trying to have sex? Doing it with someone who clearly isn’t all mentally there and just trying to get through it as fast as possible. While doesn’t necessarily happen as often for women, for guys, it’s a major problem. Think about good sex for a second and remind yourself that it takes patience, foreplay and communication. When a person is stressed out, he/she may ignore these critical traits of good sex, hoping that the stimulation alone will be enough to give their mind a break from all the stress.

Can lead to weight gains

As mentioned above, stress impacts our hormones, so, likewise, it can affect metabolism as well. This is bad for a lot of different reasons, but one of the most significant is weight loss. While gaining a few extra pounds sort of naturally happens as we age anyway, when someone feels overwhelmed and starts seeing their body change for the worse, that can lead to lack of confidence and a decreased image of themselves. That can lead to… lower self-acceptance!

Impacts self-acceptance

When someone isn’t feeling themselves, it means they’re much less likely to feel confident about approaching someone about sex. Likewise, if someone is down on how they appear in their own mind, they will multiple that negative feeling 10 times worse when comparing themselves to others’ opinions. That type of thinking can add to more stress, depression or anxiety, which will not lead to more sex.