Do you suffer from performance anxiety? If so, you might be feeling worried and upset about your sexual life going forward.
Incidentally, though, the more worried and upset you feel, the worse your performance anxiety becomes. Do not despair, though.
Once you know how to break the cycle of performance anxiety, things will start improving. To discover the best ways to achieve this, keep reading our guide.
“Sex is more than an act of pleasure, it’s the ability to be able to feel so close to a person, so connected, so comfortable that it’s almost breathtaking to the point you feel you can’t take it. And at this moment you’re a part of them.” – THOM YORK
What Is Performance Anxiety?
As the expression itself suggests, this is a type of anxiety that involves feeling fearful, worried, or embarrassed about how you are “performing” during intercourse.
Performance anxiety can happen at any time – before, during, or even after sex.
It’s important to clarify that performance anxiety is not the same as erectile dysfunction – another sex-related condition that affects almost half the US male population over 65. Erectile dysfunction is a physical inability or extreme difficulty to achieve or maintain an erection.
Sexual performance anxiety, on the other hand, is an emotional worry about not being able to achieve or maintain an erection and, as a result, not being able to satisfy your partner. Less frequently, performance anxiety can be experienced by women, too – however, in this article we will focus on men.
“Sex without love is merely healthy exercise.“ – ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
9 Signs of Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety can manifest with symptoms that affect both the mind and the body.
Some of the tell-tale signs that you might be suffering from sexual performance anxiety include:
- Anxiety and panic before sex
- Worries, fears, and negative thoughts before and/or during sex
- Premature or delayed ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction (especially for men under the age of 40)
- Fear or worry around not being able to orgasm (or give an orgasm) during sex
- Lack of or decreased interest in intercourse
- Sweating and feeling dizzy
- Having an upset stomach
How to Overcome Performance Anxiety
Now that you know what performance anxiety is and what the main symptoms are, we will give you some useful tips on how to break the cycle of performance anxiety.
1. Be Open With Your Partner
First of all, you’ll need to be honest with your partner about your performance anxiety. Explain to them how you feel, why you think you feel that way, and let them know if there is anything they can do to help.
This is probably the hardest step of all, but it’s also one of the most crucial, so you’ll really need to muster up the courage and reveal your fears and worries to the one you love.
2. Talk to a Professional
Speaking to a therapist can also help. Talking therapy like CBT involves you speaking to a mental health professional about your struggles, and receiving practical support and advice on how to change your thought patterns and behavior.
By learning some techniques to deal with your negative thoughts and feelings around sex, you will gradually feel more confident and able to beat your performance anxiety.
If therapy doesn’t help, you might want to speak with your doctor to find out whether they can prescribe any specific medication.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Performance anxiety is, of course, a type of anxiety. And when do we feel most anxious? When we believe that things are out of our control. Our mind begins to wander and picture the most terrible events happening in the future, which skyrockets our anxiety.
If you focus on the “here and now”, however, you can stop this anticipatory anxiety in its tracks. You can achieve this through meditation and mindfulness.
Experts recommend practicing at least once a day, only for a few minutes. Try it yourself, and you’ll soon realize how big a difference those short minutes have made.
4. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
If your lifestyle isn’t healthy, your mental and physical health might suffer. In turn, you might start feeling stressed out, anxious, and on edge – all of which might eventually lead to the development of performance anxiety.
Start by eating more wholesome, nutritious food, exercising more (a brisk walk every day can do wonders), and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine. In just a few weeks, you will begin to see some improvements in how you feel – inside and out.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain
Beat Performance Anxiety
Now that you know how to overcome performance anxiety, you can finally take back control of your sex life, and enjoy spending intimate moments with your partner.
Want more tips on all things wellness? Check out the rest of our blog!