Loss of Mental Agility
Stress affects cognitive ability. Stress overload causes loss of mental agility in several ways, since the release of stress hormones has a negative effect on the functioning of certain brain areas. Therefore, when an individual is stressed, they may experience memory loss, confusion, and lack of concentration.
Cognitive signs of stress are often not taken seriously and passed off as general carelessness or laziness. However, if stress levels do not reduce over time, people may find themselves seriously handicapped in situations where mental agility and alertness are required. Naturally, professionals are liable to be most affected by this negative manifestation of stress, and their productivity can decrease significantly as a result.
Bizarre and Recurring Dreams
Vivid and bizarre dreams, or even experiencing the same dreams night after night is a possible sign of stress. Whether you enjoy or easily tolerate weird dreams, it’s important to examine any of the potential reasons behind them.
Recurring dreams can take a toll on you mentally–especially if they’re upsetting–but even if they aren’t. Bizarre dreams can make you feel tired and on edge, which ultimately impact other areas of your life, like work and family. If you’ve started dreaming a lot, and if they’re bizarre and/or recurring dreams, take stock of any life changes or added stress to see if there’s a trigger.
Good Sex and Good Mood
In an Arizona State University study on 58 middle-aged women, physical affection or sexual behavior with a partner significantly predicted lower negative mood and stress, and higher positive mood the following day. Simply put, researchers found that sex and physical intimacy led women to feel less stressed and be in a better mood the next day. (These results weren’t found when women had orgasms without a partner.
Sex and Blood Pressure
Another study examined participants’ blood pressure as a measure of their stress responses during public speaking or challenging math problems—situations that often elicit stress. It was found that those who had recently had intercourse tended to have either lower baseline blood pressures, less of a blood pressure rise during stressful events, or both. These findings suggest that having sex can lead to less of a stress response during challenging situations, which is a good thing.
Orgasm and Health
Orgasm itself has many benefits for health and stress relief. It can relax your body and release many hormones that are supportive of your overall health and wellness. This type of relaxation can also be great emotionally.
Aside from these scientific findings, sex has some obvious stress management components. In addition to effectively taking your mind off of your worries for a decent period of time, sex provides some of these other stress management benefits:
Sex is good for your heart
Anything that exercises your heart is good for you, including sex. Sexual arousal sends the heart rate higher, and the number of beats per minute reaches its peak during orgasm.
But, as with most exercise, it depends how vigorously you do it. Some studies show the average peak heart rate at orgasm is the same as during light exercise, such as walking upstairs. That’s not enough to keep most people fit and healthy.
A hug keeps tension away
Embracing someone special can lower blood pressure, according to researchers.
In one experiment, couples who held each other’s hands for 10 minutes followed by a 20-second hug had health reactions to subsequent stress, such as public speaking.
Compared with couples who rested quietly without touching, the huggers had:
- lower heart rate
- lower blood pressure
- smaller heart rate increases