4 Ways to De-Stress for Sex
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4 Ways to De-Stress for Sex

Some ways to help you shake off your worries -- and get in the mood for love.

1. Meditation can be invaluable for shutting off the ticker tape of chatter in your brain and keeping yourself anchored in the moment.

"Just 12 minutes of meditation helps calm the part of the brain that experiences the outside world and activates the part involved in focus and attention," says Daniel Amen, MD.

Try sitting on the floor, legs crossed and back propped up against the wall with pillows for comfort. Close your eyes and try to focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.

2. Exercise is also one of the best ways to slough off stress. It also has the benefit of heightening sexual arousal.

Several years ago, Cindy Meston, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, found that women with low sexual desire who did 20 minutes of fairly intense cardiovascular exercise (at 70 percent of maximum heart rate) before watching an erotic video became more aroused than when they watched the film without exercising first.

3. Before getting into bed at night, do something relaxing with your spouse to mark the transition from a hectic to a quiet evening. Take a short walk or warm bath, have a glass of wine, watch a funny TV program (laughter is a powerful stress reducer) or plan a vacation, even if the actual trip is years away.

4. If your sex drive remains low for a prolonged period, have your hormone levels checked to see if there's an underlying physical problem.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, November 2004.