Everybody experiences stress; it’s part of the human condition. From the moment we exit the 24/7 spa that is our mother’s womb to the day we leave this world behind, we experience stress and respond to it.
Stress tells us when something is wrong, or there is imminent danger so we can avoid it or respond to it appropriately. Stress is natural. Unfortunately, when it persists for long periods, our body responds negatively, causing a cascade of issues in the body, among them, erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is complex and difficult to deal with, so if you think you’re dealing with ED, read on as we find out what stress is, how it affects your body, and what you can do to cope with it and overcome erectile dysfunction.
Whether you are looking for an explanation of ED, tips on how to treat it by reducing stress, or information on how supplements like Viasil can help, you’re in the right place.
What Will You Learn?
- What Do Most People Get Stressed About?
- How Does Stress Affect People?
- How Can Stress & Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
- How Can You Ease the Symptoms of Stress-related ED?
Before going into the different issues that can cause stress, let us first formally define what it is. Stress is the reaction of your body to any stimuli that causes change to your body or environment.
It is triggered when you are required to respond or adjust due to a specific event. It’s crucial to make the distinction that stress is the reaction of the body, not the occurrence of the stimuli.
Contrary to belief, stress is a good thing; it is our natural reaction that triggers needed changes for survival. However, when we’re continually experiencing this state, it can become dangerous to the body. Stress can come from many sources, and these are just some of the day to day events that can cause it.
- Confrontations with peers
- Work deadlines
- Major life events such as weddings or moving
- Job loss
- Financial problems
- Death of a loved one
- Legal issues
This list is not comprehensive; there is a multitude of things that can cause stress. It is vital that you understand what is causing you the most stress and leading to your issues.
When you’re under a great deal of stress, your body can send out signals that say it has had enough, and they can manifest in physical, emotional, or behavioral responses.
Physical Effects of Stress:
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Stomach pains due to ulcers
- Stooped Posture
- Sleep Problems
Emotional Effects of Stress
- Lack of focus or inability to concentrate
- Frequent mood swings
Behavioral Effects of Stress
- Turning to drugs and alcohol
- Failure to keep a job
- Eating disorders (too much or too little)
- Frequent overreactions
- Withdrawing from personal relationships
Outside of the said effects, stress and anxiety increase the risk of or worsen other diseases and conditions that can also cause erectile dysfunction.
These diseases include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
Along with being tied to other conditions, stress and anxiety can lead to lifestyle choices that can further contribute to ED and examples of these are:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- Illicit drug use
Before going into the effect of stress on erections, let us first understand what causes erections. There are three types of erections, and the first one is known as reflexive; this is probably the one we’re most familiar with, as it is an erection caused by physical stimulation.
The second type is psychogenic erections; these are from visual stimulation, such as watching pornography, or when you make mental associations of things you’re viewing.
The last type is nocturnal erections, formally known as nocturnal penile tumescence, which are the erections that occur during sleep and when you wake up (more commonly known as morning wood).
It is important to note that these erections involve the different systems and processes of the body; erectile dysfunction occurs when physical or psychological issues disrupt any of these processes. These bodily systems include:
- Blood Vessels
- Nervous System
As mentioned before, mental health conditions such as stress and anxiety can also play a significant role in determining what kind of signals your brain sends out to your body and how it responds to certain situations. So, what is the relationship between stress and erectile dysfunction? Stress and anxiety can disrupt the process wherein your brain sends signals to increase blood flow to the penis.
The sources of stress and anxiety that trigger ED vary by age group, but they typically fall under these categories:
- Psychological erectile dysfunction is the leading cause of ED in most teenagers and men (approximately 90%). Performance anxiety and nervousness primarily cause this type of ED, but they pass and are short-lived.
- Personal and professionally-induced stress and anxiety are the leading causes of ED in middle-aged men. For example, those that have just suffered a breakup or job loss are more likely to experience ED in this age range.
- In older men, physical impotence is the most likely cause of ED, but problems during this stage of life, such as loneliness, depression or loss of a loved one could also affect even healthy older men.
The problem with stress and anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction is that one occurrence can create a cycle. Experiencing ED can cause behavioral changes that further contribute to your stress and anxiety, which in turn trigger more events of ED, creating a feedback loop that will leave you sexually unsatisfied.
As mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety can cause or worsen various health conditions. A study in 2013, found evidence that erectile dysfunction is a risk marker for future cardiovascular diseases. ED is associated with many medical conditions, and these include:
- Nerve damage
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Low testosterone
- Prostate cancer
- Vascular disease
To answer the question, “Can stress and anxiety cause erectile dysfunction?” Yes, it definitely can, but the good news is that it’s treatable, and depending on the cause of your stress and anxiety, even a simple lifestyle change can go a long way in keeping ED at bay.
Treating psychological ED caused by stress and anxiety can be as simple as making lifestyle changes that help you cope with stress properly. There are many ways that you can handle stress better, and they can be broken down to physical and mental lifestyle changes.
Physical Lifestyle Changes:
Learn to relax or meditate – This may sound cheesy, but physically letting yourself relax and clearing your head goes a long way in relieving stress and anxiety.
Control your eating and drinking – Stress can cause two eating disorders, stress-eating, eating increasing amounts of food to feel better about stressful events, or loss of appetite, refusing to eat or eating less when experiencing continuous stress and anxiety.
Quit smoking – If you have this particular habit, stop. It’s not only incredibly unhealthy; it is also one of the leading causes of impotence. It damages your blood vessels and keeps your body from sending enough blood to your penis, thus causing erectile dysfunction.
Before you light up that next cigarette, always think if ED is worth the next nicotine hit.
Exercise regularly – As we’ve already mentioned, treating erectile dysfunction due to stress and anxiety is all about keeping up the health of your body.
Exercise keeps your cholesterol down, boosts your cardiovascular system and burns stored up sugar in the body, thus preventing diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure at bay.
Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins in your body, neurotransmitters that give you that “runner’s high,” boosting your mood and protecting you from the emotional toll of stress and anxiety.
Mental Lifestyle Changes:
Learn to manage your expectations – being optimistic is great, but being too confident can be a bad thing, especially for your mental health. You have to learn to manage your expectations to reduce stress and anxiety that occur when things don’t go your way.
Understand that not everything will go your way and that not all events are under your control. Accepting this will free your mind from the need to control every outcome and soften the blow when a stressful event occurs.
Ask for Help – No man is an island. Thus you need to learn to rely on others for help. Asking for help is not a weakness, as some in our society think. Knowing when to ask for help shows a sense of maturity.
If your situation is getting overwhelming and the stress and anxiety are too much for you to handle, ask a friend for help or ask a professional if need be.
Maintain emotional composure – It is incredibly easy to lash out, drown your sorrows in a bottle or turn to drugs to escape from your reality, but these will not help in the long run. Acknowledge your emotions and understand what is causing them, don’t let it take over your life and instead find a way to reduce stress and anxiety with healthier alternatives.
Maintain supportive relationships – following the previous idea, foster relationships that support your emotional and physical well-being. Turn to friends who will listen to your problems and relieve your anxiety and keep away from people who will only criticize you and demean you for being “weak.”
Moreover, if your friends turn to escapism in the form of alcohol and illicit drugs, it might be time to cut them loose if you want to keep your sexual life active.
Actively attempt to eliminate sources of stress – Is your current job stressing you out? Find a new job or change careers. Is your ongoing relationship toxic? Cut them off and move on to a better one. Are you having problems financially? Save and find ways to earn extra income.
This may be too simplistic, but it may be the only way you can relieve stress and anxiety. You can only achieve this through a problem-solving mentality. Stop focusing on and worrying about problems and instead focus on finding the solution.
How Can Supplements Help?
Lifestyle change takes time; your body and mind won’t just reboot overnight and leave you immediately free from erectile dysfunction. In the meantime, your sexual life is suffering, and it’s likely contributing to your stress and anxiety. Remember that feedback loop we mentioned before? Don’t let stress and erectile dysfunction ruin your sex life.
The right supplements – such as Viasil for example – can provide your body with renewed vitality, energy, and endurance. Look for ingredients like Epimedium brevocorum, citrus sinensis, gingko biloba, Tribulus Terrestris, pomegranate and Panax Ginseng Root Extract to improves blood flow and oxygen delivery as well as higher short-term energy and endurance.
Don’t Let Stress & Anxiety Ruin Your Sex Life
Stress and anxiety are standard parts of life; it’s how you cope with them that will help you stay grounded. As mentioned before, there is no shame in asking for help, especially if support comes in the form of an all-natural supplement that will help you regain your confidence, relieve erectile dysfunction caused by increasing levels of stress and anxiety, and keep you and your partner healthy.