As masturbation does help relieve stress in your body, making pleasure part of your self-care routine is a good idea.
Does everyone need masturbation to relieve stress?
In this day and age, who isn’t stressed and overwhelmed? With smartphones that offer constant connectivity, being ‘on’ has become normal, and 24/7 is the new 9-5. As a result, the self-care industry is booming. But while yoga, meditation, and sleep- optimization apps are flooding the market, male masturbation is still lacking behind. How come? After all, mindful masturbation relieves stress just as well as meditation or a good night’s sleep.
Almost half of all New Yorkers use masturbation to reduce stress at work
Did you watch The Wolf of Wall Street? If so, you might remember the wide-eyed stockbroker Mark Hanna, played by the actor Matthew McCaughnahey. His strategy to stay relaxed on the job was to use masturbation to relieve stress at least twice a day–once in the morning after his workout and once more right after lunch.
If you think Hanna is an exception, a quirky character in a Hollywood production, you’ll be surprised. A survey by Time Out showed that almost 40% of New Yorkers are doing it on the job. Masturbation helps them release the constant stress that comes with working in such high-pressure environments.
There is, however, no scientific evidence that supports workplace masturbation as a strategy to relieve stress. One could argue that masturbating in an already stressful environment increases tension further. Sure, a quick masturbation fix in the toilet relieves stress short-term, but it doesn’t address the underlying issues.
Why does masturbation relieve stress?
Orgasm offers an oxytocin and dopamine boost. These neurotransmitters counteract the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, you feel an instant high in the reward center of your brain, the nucleus accumbens.
Marnia Robinson, the author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow, writes that “orgasm can produce not just a drug-like high, but also a neurochemical ‘recovery period’ as the brain returns to homeostasis. The more powerful the blast of neurochemical excitement during orgasm, the lower the lows as the brain recovers.”
That is why relying on masturbation alone to relieve stress may not be beneficial long-term. After all, your brain needs time to recalibrate. If it doesn’t get that, stress might just increase further. To understand how mindful masturbation can be used to reduce stress, you first need to understand what stress is and where it comes from.
What is stress?
Medical News Today describes stress as “a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”
Bu it’s not only the outer circumstances that cause inner stress. The way you perceive your situation matters as well.
Fearful thoughts about what could happen lead to inner misalignment. It’s not what’s happening to you that stresses you most, but how you react to it.
The secret to overcoming stress lies in returning to the stability that lies in the alignment with your inner core. Connect inwards with mindfulness practices like meditation, deep breathing, yoga and, yes, mindful masturbation.
So mindful masturbation is good for your brain?
Yes, mindful masturbation does decrease tension and relieve stress in your brain–sustainably. Why? Mindful masturbation is an embodiment practice that gets you out of your head and into your body.
By letting go of all goals and focusing on the sensations present in your body right now, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, and you shift from fight-and-flight mode to feeling safe and relaxed.
Plus, touching yourself triggers a steady release of oxytocin–the love hormone that lowers cortisol and gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Is self-pleasure good for low mood?
If you’re suffering from severe, clinical depression, you should seek medical help. If you are, however, just feeling a little low, mindful masturbation can relieve that inner stress and get you out of your rut.
Masturbation relieves stress and low mood by activating the happiness neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin. Both counteract the stress hormone cortisol, thus elevating your mood by making you feel happier and excited about life.
Be mindful of the recovery period when enjoying masturbation to relieve yourself from stress: masturbate daily for at least 21 days without ejaculating to recalibrate your hormones during the recovery phase. You should already feel a major shift in your mood within the first 7-10 days.
Masturbation is an act of healthy self-care
Sex therapist Dr. Janet Brito says, “masturbation can be a form of stress relief or self-intimacy—an escape from the mundane, or a form of self-soothing. It is a perfectly natural and healthy approach to promote emotional regulation, enhance your mood, and be with yourself. After a busy day, masturbation gives you an opportunity to take a break from the pressures of life to reconnect with yourself—to chill, and relax.”
So rather than sneaking away for a few stolen minutes during the day, why not look forward to truly pleasurable self-care at the end of your day?
Use mindful masturbation to relieve yourself from stress with these 5 steps
Masturbation to relieve stress doesn’t have to be limited to a hurried encounter with yourself. Here’s how you can make it into a conscious act of self-care.
- Come home from work and take a hot shower.
- Meditate for 5-10 minutes to unwind.
- Listen to some chill beats while getting your sex toys out.
- Spend 20-60 minutes pleasuring yourself while you’re feeling your entire body relax.
- Watch all stressful thoughts disappear as peace settles in.
Does masturbation relieve stress? What you need to know
Many people working in high-pressure jobs have made it a habit to rely on masturbation to relieve themselves of stress. It works: orgasms release endorphins, which lower stress hormones and cause instant happiness.
If masturbation becomes a mere coping mechanism to relieve stress without addressing the underlying issues, however, there’s the risk of it being a bit unbalanced in the long run. After all, masturbation is about pleasure.
The secret to stress-relieving masturbation is to do it with mindfulness. Instead of reaching for a quick orgasm, try slowing down, becoming present, relaxing, and feeling your body. This way, you’re turning masturbation into meditation–the ultimate stress reliever.
Sex and the City is a cult TV series and for a good reason. The 1990s HBO series was influential and set trends. Never before had women on television spoken so openly about their sexuality. Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha lived an emancipated lifestyle and in many cases were an inspiration to real women.