Feel good > look good. The equation for a better New Year.

With the New Year upon us, nearly everything targeted at women in media and on the internet is about losing weight, looking great, getting great abs, and starting that new diet. But what about focusing on the most substantial and influential part of the female body: the brain? How we approach our lives, and our love lives, is mostly about our frame of mind, not how we look in the mirror or how we think we’re supposed to look.

This can be especially important when it comes to the subtle nuances of sex and sexuality. Simple things like not getting enough sleep, feeling overworked, dwelling on a bad interaction with a friend or co-worker, or even watching a sad movie or TV show can have a significant enough effect on our mood, enough to mitigate our desire to be intimate with a partner or to feel good about ourselves. More complex issues such as depression, menopause, a physical injury or disability, or a persisting sexual condition can make matters even more complicated.

Deep breathTo start, take a deep breath, or 3 or 10! Breathing calms our mind and body and allows us to be more in touch with what we’re really thinking and feeling. Yoga isn’t only popular for creating sculpted bodies, it’s because for many it’s the one point in a day where a person can focus on breathing and being aware of the present moment. Imagine how breathing and being present with your partner could change a sexual experience.

As with many situations in life, approaching sex with a positive attitude, as well as a sense of humor, can make an encounter seem less intimidating and more fun. Be ready and able to laugh at yourself and take a potentially embarrassing intimate moment in stride. We are all human and nothing works like a movie script.

couplecloseNot that you should lower your expectations but, sometimes, being more generous with yourself about what’s expected of you and your partner can allow for more diverse interactions. Try having it not be about intercourse but instead about touching, trying a new toy or device, reading a sexy story, or playing a game that teases and dares.

Don’t think about your age. Don’t think about your disability or condition. Don’t think about how you look in a turtleneck. Just think about right now and how you feel in the moment. Let this new year be about awareness.

If it all seems too much and you can’t allow your busy brain to settle down, consider talking to someone like a friend, counselor or therapist. Sometimes, simply talking about other issues that might be causing you stress is enough to lift the weight to allow your libido some breathing room. If you are dealing with specific sexual dysfunction issues that seem too overwhelming, a sex therapist has the knowledge and experience to more specifically address your concerns.

So remember: heal the mind and the body will follow! Let 2015 be the year that you start exercising that all-important brain of yours, boosting your sense of self AND your intimate life.

One Comment