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The Sexual Consequences of Job Stress

Three-fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. – Princeton Survey Research Associates

Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor, more so than even financial or family problems. – St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co.

40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful and one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. – Northwestern National Life

29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work. – Yale University

26% of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work” – Families and Work Institute

The statistics are out there and it’s getting worse. Job stress has become a major issue for employers, insurance companies, and workers just like you. Its growing effect leads to injuries and illnesses. 40% of job turnover is due to stress, while 60 to 80% of job accidents are stress related. But the problems aren’t only confined to the workplace. As we learn more about stress and its effects on the human body, we are learning how it also interferes with our sexual abilities. Job stress accounts for a high instance of sexual dysfunction like impotence and premature ejaculation.

How Does Job Stress Affect Sexuality?
Since work is a major, if not the primary, source of stress in a person’s life, it is an area that should be examined closely when dealing with sexual dysfunctions. Our bodies weren’t designed for sex under stressful or anxious situations. In times where some sort of challenge or threat is perceived, the body kicks into its fight or flight response.

This primitive instinct has long been honed since the days of running from saber-toothed tigers and hunting woolly mammoths. Our hearts begin to pump faster to provide more blood to the body. Blood clotting increases to prepare for any wounds. Our breathing becomes more rapid to supply more oxygen. Digestion shuts down. Adrenalin and blood sugar increases to supply more energy. Less important blood vessels (especially the ones in your genitals) are shut off and redirected to your major muscles, like the arms and the legs. All of this is to get us ready to fight and kill whatever danger is upon us or to run away as fast as we can from it.

But in our modern society, we rarely have the opportunity to kill our boss for giving us extra stress or to run away from our job when it gets too aggravating. No, like sitting ducks, we have to take it and deal with it the best we can. Because of that, modern job stress is persistent. Once primitive man killed the tiger, he let out a sigh of relief and the stress was gone. Modern man rarely has the opportunity to assuage stress so quickly. He fights the tiger 8 hours a day at work and another hour or two sitting in traffic. And then there’s the stress of family, financial concerns, and everything else in life gets its turn to take a bite out of you.

Because of this persistence, many people carry their daily stress into the bedroom. The physiology of stress causes several hormones to increase and decrease, offsetting the natural balance needed for sex. Also, stress and anxiety over-stimulate the sympathetic nerves of the body. These nerves are responsible for the rapid heartbeat and increased breathing, but they are also responsible for shutting off blood to your genitals and stimulating ejaculation. This is why impotence, a weak erection, and premature ejaculation are so common with overstressed men.

So, What Exactly Is Job Stress?
How can something as subjective as job stress be defined? Studies have been conducted to determine what types of jobs have the most amount of stress. I’m sure many of us have heard about how dentists supposedly have the highest suicide rates. But the reality is that stress isn’t so much based on your occupation but rather how a person copes with a certain type of occupation and its environment.

For instance, a person can have an extremely intense job with rushing deadlines or one that requires the risk of life, yet still have relatively low stress as long as he always feels he’s in control. On the other hand, a person with a repetitive and easy job may be extremely stressed because he’s bored or unsatisfied with his job and sees very little room for advancement. Each person strives in a different working environment and has a varied threshold to what he or she perceives as stress. Which is why two people doing the same job in the same environment can have very different amounts of work-related stress.

Solutions To Job Stress

  • Pick-Me-Ups – People often drink coffee and energy drinks or eat candy and chocolate to wake them up in the morning and get them through the day. Artificial energy sources can alter your body chemistry and the hormones you need for sex. Also, the “crash” that is often accompanied will leave you worse off than when you started. Instead, fruits like apples and oranges, which contain a more natural sugar source, are better and sexually healthier for your body when you need a quick pick-me-up. Eating complex carbohydrates like cereal, rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes offer an even better and more consistent supply of energy. Also, natural supplements and vitamins will help to fill in the holes of your diet.
  • Herbal Supplements – By far, the best way to prepare your body for stress is to make sure it has the proper nutrients and vitamins. Our bodies require several chemicals and hormones to be able to function properly, keep our spirits up, and help us concentrate on the task at hand (including sexual functioning). Stress hinders and unbalances the natural production of these substances. By replenishing our reserves with natural supplements, our bodies can better handle instances where we don’t eat right, don’t get enough sleep, stress from work, and perform for sex.
  • Sleep – Getting enough sleep goes a long way in allowing our bodies to cope with stress and be fit for sexual activities. Keep a regular sleeping schedule. Our body clocks were designed to replenish several hormones during specific hours of sleep. When we alter the amount or the time of sleep, our bodies may not be able to adjust fast enough, so we lose out on many of the neurotransmitters and chemicals that help us through the day as well as the ones needed to create a full erection and control ejaculation.
  • Scheduling – If your work requires a changing shift or travel, it tends to add extra stress on top of your job tasks and expectations. If possible, reduce travel. Try to keep a certain shift at work for as long as you can before rotating to another. Your body has a natural body clock that expects to work, relax, and sleep at a certain time. Changes in the time can leave you sleepy and lethargic when you have to work and wired and agitated when you have to sleep.
  • Get More Sun – If you have a work schedule where you get to work at night, get to work and leave when the sun has already set, or stay in doors all the time, the lack of natural light you are receiving may be affecting your body clock and adding to your stress. There are special fluorescent light bulbs called “daylight spectrum” fluorescent lights that simulate some of the natural rays you would normally get from the sun. By exposing yourself to these lights on a regulated basis, you can help set your body clock, be more rested for work, and produce more of the needed chemical messengers your body craves.
  • Reduce Work – If possible, reduce or eliminate the source of your stress. Don’t put in extra hours to impress the boss. What’s the use of a promotion if you break down later or feel the repercussions in the bedroom? Don’t take on extra work. You need time for yourself too.
  • Take a Vacation – Get away from it all. A new environment may be what you need to recharge your nerves, replenish your body, and return to your sexual fitness.
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