Life is hectic.
Its tough to find time to pay bills, make dinner, let alone go on a date with your honey.
By the time you come home, you may just want to have an adult beverage, and zone out on your computer.
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I mean, if you are like most couples I’ve met in my sex therapy practice, you probably are too tired to get in bed and play– especially if you are in a long-term relationship.
Btw, don’t feel bad; it is quite normal to feel less spontaneous about creating sexy time compared to when you were first courting each other.
But, wait, don’t despair.
Incorporating mindfulness — the act of slowing down, taking a deep breath, and being aware of the present moment — into your day, could help you feel more energized, reclaim lost pleasure, let go of destructive patterns, and start having some bedroom fun again.
Seriously. I won’t go into academic writing here, but I do encourage you to browse the research of Dr. Lori Brotto out of the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Brotto examines the benefits of mindfulness to treat sexual difficulties and the results are quite positive. In fact, she said “It seems almost dangerous to say how much mindfulness seems to help.”
So before I start writing a dissertation on the benefits of mindfulness in the bedroom, I will leave you with 6 practice steps to get you started.
Start to pay attention to your breathing — the inhale and the exhale. Begin by noticing your breath 3x per day (9am, 2pm, 7pm).
Don’t judge yourself, just notice. For instance, as you are reading this article, is your breathing shallow, or slow and deep?
By being aware of your breath, you will begin to increase your body awareness so that when you are having sexy time, and your mind starts to wander to Saturn, you will be able to bring yourself back to Earth and be in the present.
2. Download Headspace. Folks, I am not getting a kick back here, but seriously this program rocks. It is so easy to use.
Andy, the developer, was trained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. His style is gentle, and reassuring. I swear you will come to love it and forget the fact that you hated being still.
3. Apply Pema Chodron’s advice. She says that to be fully present, you must pause, even if it is briefly.
For instance, connect to how you are feeling right now (both in your body and in your mind). Are you feeling sad, mad, glad? Is your body tense or relaxed?
With whatever arises, suspend judgement, and breath in self-acceptance.
4. Let go of rigid expectations. Let go of should statements like “I should be thinner, younger, etc. or I should have lots of sexual stamina etc.”
To get started, try this strategy — Imagine placing your negative self-talk on a large leaf and watching it roll downstream.
Say to yourself: Bye negative self-talk. Thank you for visiting. I am busy right now. Later.
5. Adopt a curious attitude and focus on your five senses. For instance, take in your partner’s scent, feel the texture of their hair, or place your hand on your partner’s heart, and listen to their heartbeat.
Connect slowly, mindfully.
6. Lastly, communicate, in and out of the bedroom. Ask your partner how they like to be touched and tell them how you like to be touched.
If the subject gets difficult and you don’t like what you are hearing, which is likely to happen, I invite you to be kind to each other. Start with “I” messages, and avoid “You” statements. Say something along these lines: “I like it when you . . .” instead of “You never do . . .”
Whether you are new at trying mindful sex, or experienced at this sort of thing, I encourage you to make the commitment to spend more quality time with your sweetie, now is the time to be mindful with each other. You can do it! Trust yourself.