How to deal with post-lockdown intimacy anxiety & low libido – The Irish Times

How to deal with post-lockdown intimacy anxiety & low libido – The Irish Times

This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Geraldine Walsh in The Irish Times new four part series about Sex and Relationships. We discussed the varying aspects of post-lockdown intimacy anxiety, physically dating again and changing our perception and understanding of libido which for many has been impacted throughout the pandemic.

“We need to move beyond the overly simple and disempowering concept that libido is either high or low and cultivate a mindset more focused around sexual health and healthy sexual attitudes – understanding and practicing what it means and feels like to be a sexually healthy human being with the understanding that libido fluctuates.

What about intimacy anxiety?

Read the full article here – How to deal with post-lockdown intimacy anxiety and low libido via The Irish Times

 

Can Regular Exercise Lead To A Better Sex Life?

Recently I spoke with Stellar Magazine about the connection between exercising, fitness and sex which can have a positive ripple effect on intimacy and relationships.

Stellar.ie | Can Regular Exercise Lead To A Better Sex Life? Here’s What The Experts Say..

You’ve probably heard about all of the health benefits of regular exercising: reduced risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes and obesity, to name a few. But exercise can have huge benefits to another aspect of your life – your sex drive.

Sex itself is an intense physical exercise that tests your endurance and stamina. And while doing regular exercise can be a bit of chore, if it were more likely to enhance your sex life and lead to better orgasms, would you be more inclined to do it?

We spoke to sex psychotherapist Orlagh Gahan to find out how exactly exercise can impact your life in the bedroom.

There is no doubt that exercise, fitness and overall levels of stress are right up there on top of the list of things which affect our sex drive which often dips or disappears when we are experiencing periods of stress. Exercise helps to reduces stress as the brain releases feel good chemicals and hormones into the body, the same in-fact as during sex, orgasms or when we receive hugs.

“Regular exercise which gets our blood pumping means we feel fitter, more positive and motivated all round,” she said. She explains that exercise can have such a huge impact on your sex life as it gets you out of you head and reduces stress:

Continue reading this article at STELLAR.IE Can-regular-exercise-lead-to-a-better-sex-life-heres-what-the-experts-say.

Kildare Times – The Key To Emotional Health

In this weeks Kildare Times, I’m sharing my thoughts on The Key to Emotional Health.

Our emotional health is precious and gently resilient. It is fundamental to our mental, physical and spiritual health. Our emotions act as an internal thermometer gauging and measuring how we are feeling in ourselves and experiencing the world around us at any given moment. Emotions arise spontaneously and without conscious effort as we react to people, thoughts and situations every moment of every day. They essentially motion us to experience feelings such as happiness, joy or sadness. Our emotions surge and fluctuate throughout each day but are mostly consistent, subtle and manageable. Many of us are not actively aware of our emotions on a daily basis because we are busy in our mind with the ebb and flow of life and yet our emotions are delicately ever present. In counselling practice, I often hear clients say I don’t know how I feel or I can’t express what I’m feeling but they are experiencing some form of distress. Our emotions help to keep us safe, for example, in situations when we begin to feel fearful, nervous or anxious. Sometimes being exhausted or overwhelmed by emotions can leave us feeling powerless or unable to make decisions that may be best for us.

Our emotions act as an internal thermometer gauging and measuring how we are feeling in ourselves and experiencing the world around us…

On the other hand, emotions can be a wonderful source of intuition and gut instinct when something just feels right. We often make decisions based on our emotions rather than on logic. The more emotionally healthy we feel, the more we trust our instincts. Identifying your own emotions and understanding the source of your feelings both positive and negative is the key to emotional health. Use this information to help you make simple decisions and actions which will promote your overall health. Take time to sit quietly and get in touch with your emotional self which requires nourishing and nurturing. Talking to family and friends or a counsellor can help you to share and overcome on-going emotional problems.

Orlagh Gahan is a Psychotherapist & Complementary Health Therapist at 17 Main St, Naas, Co Kildare and 11 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Visit www.orlaghgahan.ie or email info@orlaghgahan.ie

Kildare Times – Mental Health & Well-being in Every Day Life

In this weeks edition of the Kildare Times Your Health section, Tuesday 23rd June 2015, you will find my article on mental health Well-being in Every Day Life.

KildareTimesArticleonMentalHealth

Mental health refers to your overall psychological well-being. There has been great emphasis on promoting positive mental health in Ireland in recent times and what a wonderful and liberating society for young people to grow up in where mental health promotion is alive and consistent.

Well-being is a state of feeling comfortable, happy and healthy.

Let’s focus on the meaning of the word well-being for a mindful minute. Well-being is a state of feeling comfortable, happy and healthy. In my mind, this is a simple concept which is easy to connect with on a daily basis. Ask yourself, how am I feeling today and what can I do to feel more comfortable, happy and healthy? Life can be hectic and complicated so keeping your well-being simple, achievable and enjoyable future proofs your long-term capacity to flourish. Learn to connect and really listen to yourself. Too often we ignore our own basic needs and emotions and disown what we are feeling or block them out altogether. We are each wonderfully different so get to know yourself, try new things and discover what works for you. Off course there are often situations which are out of your control, thread softly and gently turn your focus towards what is within your control.

There are simple basics which help promote well-being in daily life such as;

· Eating healthy

· Exercising daily

· Consistent quality sleep

· Drinking water

· Avoiding stimulants

· Reducing or removing cigarettes and alcohol consumption

· Learn to relax

It’s ok not to feel ok and it’s also ok not to know all the answers, so get to know yourself and share what you are experiencing. Reach out, talk, connect and learn how to feel comfortable, happy and healthy in your own way.

 

Irish Country Living | Dear Miriam ‘I’m an addict living a double life’

In 2014, I spoke with Dear Miriam from The Irish Farmers Journal and Irish Country Living about the issue of Sexual Addiction and how to get help.

‘I’m an addict living a double life and I feel so alone’

Dear Miriam,
I read your recent column about living with addiction with great interest and intrigue. I don’t live with an addict, but could relate to what some of the people were saying.
The addiction that everyone is most familiar with is that of alcoholism, but people are not so familiar with other equally destructive addictions, such as food, work and gambling. Then there is the addiction I am battling with: it is that of sex addiction. Many will think this to be farcical, but in reality it’s not – it’s an addiction. When one is addicted, they are not in control, which in turn leads to the addiction taking over that person’s life – that is where I am.
I have numerous partners every week and I frequent places that I know I shouldn’t. I know what I am doing is wrong, not only for myself, but for everyone around me – for the hearts that I break, never allowing them to see this side of me, cutting them out of my life if they get too close. But I continue to do it, telling myself I will stop time and time again. I lead a double life. I live away from home and I don’t have one friend outside of work, which makes me a very lonely person. Because I prioritise my addiction, it rules my spare time.
I have now started to seek counselling because I want to stop, but even she tells me it will never completely go away. Am I going to be like this for ever? Will I grow into a lonely old person with no one noticing when I die? What would my family think if they knew? I have so many worries going round in my head every day, sometimes I feel so lost. I’m in my 20s and successful with my career, but my life is so empty.
Anon.
Dear Anon,
Thank you for your letter. On your behalf, I have made contact with Orlagh Gahan, a psychotherapist at The Centre for Sexual Addictions in Dublin (www.centresexualaddictions.com) which provides one-to-one confidential and non-judgmental counselling/psychotherapy for those struggling with potential sex and pornography addiction, as well as to their loved ones.
As you rightly say, sex addiction is by no means “farcical” and, according to the centre, is a real and growing issue. As with all addictions, an unhealthy relationship with sex is developed as a form of coping or self-soothing. Though, unlike alcohol or drug addiction, sex (like food) is a basic primal drive, therefore making recovery slightly more complex yet absolutely attainable.
Of course a big problem is the stigma and lack of understanding attached to addiction, which can see people isolate themselves from their loved ones – a scenario that you describe in your letter.
It’s often this “shame barrier” that prevents people reaching out for help, but the fact that you have already started to seek counselling is a massive step and one that you should be proud of. However, if you feel you are not being sufficiently supported by your counsellor, it’s worth finding a counsellor who does have experience in psychosexual or addiction issues.
The centre advises that through appropriate counselling, you should get the emotional support you need to explore the addiction cycle, triggers and behaviours, as well as relapse prevention and recovery techniques. I know you fear that this problem will overwhelm you, but by getting the right support and learning to reconnect with yourself, you can overcome destructive or addictive behaviour and become capable of great things, including re-engaging on an emotional and intimate level with loved ones, thus reducing your sense of loneliness and isolation.
This addiction is only one small aspect of yourself and through counselling, commitment, support and personal understanding, a healthy balance and a healthy sexuality can be restored.
So please, remember you are not alone. Reach out for the support that you so deserve. I wish you the best of luck.
CL
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