Modern life moves fast. Never before have there been so many distractions and needs requiring our attention. Life has limitless demands, just balancing between work, home, and family takes hard work. Many of us tend to feel like our lives are like a walk on the tightrope.
The balancing never stops, and neither does the fear or anxiety of falling. Getting out of your head becomes harder as we fall farther into our rhythms, and too many of us get used to living our lives in these emotionally strained and defensive positions.
Our emotional states pour over into our sex lives. If you struggle to be in the moment, you are not alone. Maybe you can’t set aside your day or the things you need to be doing long enough to be present with your partner. Stuck in your head with the bills, chores, workload, children, and more looming over you, it’s no wonder that you can’t relax enough to feel in the mood.
How do I get out of my head and be in the moment?
There is no fast or instant solution that will ﬁx your problems, but the mindfulness solution I propose will start helping right away. Like improving your physical health or learning a new skill, mindfulness and related practices take time to master.
Don’t be discouraged if you struggle, and don’t treat yourself like a failure if it doesn’t click into place right away.
Mindfulness practices are all over the internet and are becoming part of daily life for more people every day, and for a good reason—the evidence supporting the effects of it continues to grow.
Mindfulness has been shown to positively affect life satisfaction, work satisfaction, help with acceptance and self-love. Sexual mindfulness may not be talked about as much, but it is just as important. Bringing mindfulness into multiple areas of your life will create the biggest impact and your sexual satisfaction and life overall. We’ll discuss some of the principles of mindfulness as they relate to sex and encourage you to try to apply them in a more general sense to your life.
Make time for a mindful moment.
Adding a mindful moment or two throughout your day is a small way to incorporate the practice into your daily life. A mindful moment can be scheduled or improvised, set a timer, or the next time you feel stress boiling over to the brim, take one. Set aside a few minutes to do a small exercise.
A mindful moment might include a few minutes of controlled breathing, meditation, or focusing on loving gratitude for something or someone important to you. When we are busy or distracted, we will most often resist setting aside even a few minutes to decompress or to appreciate. These are the moments when we need mindfulness most.
As you progress in your mindful practice, expand it, and establish some routine for daily mindfulness. Women who meditate regularly are also shown to have better sex lives. Examples of good mindfulness daily mindfulness activities: Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, practicing loving gratitude, body scans, and nature walks.
The mindful brain can lead to mind-blowing sex.
Being trapped in your head means you are living in the past or the future, but you are not present. Either you are worrying about something that has already happened and are letting it hold you down, or you are fretting about what hasn’t yet come.
For those who experience performance anxiety, mindfulness can help you leave your worries at the door, letting the experience ﬂow, unblocked by constant fear. As you master mindfulness in daily activities, you’ll ﬁnd it easier to stay focused in all situations, including sex. Use mindfulness exercises before or during sex to enhance relaxation and physical presence.
For example, meditating for ten to ﬁfteen minutes after getting home from work can help you set your day aside. Allowing you to relax while at home, so if things get intimate, the chances that you are present in the moment instead of thinking about the report you have to prepare in the morning are much better. If you want, check out this practical and full-length “Guide to Meditation” by Headspace, currently available on Netﬂix.
New to mindfulness? Check out this short video on the practice.
What is mindful sex?
The term mindful sex describes many different actions and activities you undertake with the goal of being in the present moment. Mindfulness emphasizes focusing on bodily sensation, both to anchor the mind in the present and helps realign the body and mind.
Like there are many ways you can be mindful during the workday, there are just as many ways you can practice mindful sex.
Here are just a few examples:
- Incorporate body scans and breathing exercises into your foreplay. Scanning your body and focusing on the sensation of touch will make you more aware of what each slight touch does and of what you like and don’t like.
- Limit senses such as sight with blindfolds to force the body to rely more on other senses, like touch.
- Taking moments of loving appreciation for your partner and the time you get to spend together will bring your connection to the forefront of your mind.
- Meditate together naked, side by side, or back to back, for ten minutes, focusing on each other.
- Instead of jumping right to it when you ﬁnally get some time alone, take the time to do a mindful exercise together, like taking a short walk or doing controlled breathing exercises. Doing exercises like this will strengthen your bond and bring it to the front of both of your minds.
- Create a setting suitable for romance and sex. The proper lighting, music, scents, and scene can do wonders to add presence at the moment and make sex special.
Take the pressure off.
The process of becoming mindful and unwinding yourself- especially if you’re naturally tense and have trouble relaxing- will take time, and it can become frustrating when you can’t get it to work.
Remove “should” from your vocabulary. Thinking that you should feel this way or that way will only mislead you and create expectation and pressure.
Thoughts like, “I should be able to get out of my head during sex,” “I should orgasm more easily,” “I should be more sexually curious.” The list goes on. All of this is self-defeating. All you should seek to do is accept yourself for who you are without judgment.
Part of the pressure of sex, what’s called the “orgasmic imperative,” places stress on both people not only to make their partner orgasm but have an orgasm themselves as well. Seeing the orgasm as the ultimate end to sex and anything short of that as failure will ruin your sex life.
It is okay if you don’t orgasm every time you have sex, focus more on the physical sensation and being present in the experience.
This will lead to a stronger mind-body connection, a better sense of what turns you on and what kinds of things you respond to. Developing this sensual aspect of the experience through repeated practice of mindful sex will get you out of your head and continually improve the experience of sex.
Tap into sensuality before sexuality
Before becoming sexual, linger in the sensual realm, whether you’re alone or with a partner. Everything in life is about the journey more than the destination. It is our desires that propel us toward our goals. Just as efﬁcient workers know, harnessing your desire and focusing on it creates want and drive. Not only that, sensuality is critical for living an enriching and fulﬁlling life, not only for getting the most out of sex but also for ﬁnding meaning and joy in experiences.
Think of things that inspire the senses.
Light candles to set the scene. Spend time with each other; sex shouldn’t always be a rush -though that can be a lot of fun too. Give each other massages and take time and care in exploring each other. Focus on the feelings and emotions that arise when you take time. The more you’re in your body before sex starts, the easier it will be to get into your body during sex.
Sensuality refers to the experiences relating to the bodily senses. This is different from the intellect or spirit. In a more speciﬁc sense, it refers to physical or sensory pleasure, which is not necessarily sexual. Sex is also a sensual experience, but you should prepare yourself by getting more in touch with your body and senses to make the most of it.
Some examples of sensual experiences are:
- Having dinner together at a special place, or with food that means something special to you both, is an easy way to ﬁnd that bond that brought you together in the ﬁrst place. Taking the time to date your partner will remind you what connects you to them, what attracts you to them and creates desire.
- Watching a sunset or taking a nature walk together engages sight and brings appreciation for the moment and the ability to be there together.
- Taking a warm bath together entices sight, sound, touch, and smell. Washing each other and taking time to appreciate one another will ease you into the sexual mood, allowing you to get out of your head and into your body through the steady build-up of anticipation and desire.
- Massage each other and engage the sense of touch. Not only will it relax both of you, but it will also bring you both into your bodies.
- Listen to the soundtrack of your love – the songs that played when you met, or when you got married, or that you sing to each other when you’re feeling frisky.
- Surrounding the bed with sweet candles or a favorite perfume can help create a setting built for intimacy by tempting smell and sight.
Let sex be just about your pleasure sometimes.
When we feel too much responsibility for our partner’s pleasure, it’s essential to learn to get a little selﬁsh and take time to receive. Shown to improve your self-confidence and your sex life, a little selfishness goes a long way. Don’t feel like you owe something in return. Don’t think about how much time it’s taking or whether your partner is tired. Just relax and let yourself be the center of attention.
Mindfulness for sex takes practice and commitment.
When we have gotten used to living life in particular rhythms of habits. To say it’s hard to break them is an understatement. Living inside your head for years makes it a well-ingrained habit that is hard to break. Our habits don’t change overnight, and neither do our ways of thinking.
Mindful sex can help you break free of those daily grinds and enter the present, creating a more fulﬁlling relationship and life. Slowing down and taking the time to get in touch with your feelings has a rippling effect throughout your life. After all, don’t we all want to live deeply and experience life’s richness with the ones we love?