Stressed and Depressed: 4 Ways to Reduce Performance Anxiety

Are your daily worries starting to effect the bedroom? Are you worried about meeting your partner's expectations? The truth is that men, no matter what their age may be, can experience what is called performance anxiety. This type of stress can be linked to or even caused by erectile dysfunction

The good news is, you aren't alone. There are plenty of men who think to themselves, "sex gives me anxiety." The question is, why does this happen? You may experience performance anxiety with a new partner because you're worried about their expectations and previous experiences. There are also instances when there's just so much going on in your mind that you become too distracted and stressed. Don't worry; there are plenty of ways we can solve or at least prevent this issue.

Why Does Performance Anxiety Occur?

Typically, when negative thoughts plague you, performance anxiety happens. You may be thinking about your ability to please your partner in bed, and that thought worries you. It's possible that you believe you are sexually inadequate and that your partner is not happy. 

When you have these negative feelings, it may be caused by the influence of what you perceive to be "manly," what your roles are as a man, penis size, and body image. Apart from that, if you have other negative thoughts relating to work, family, money, or other things that stress you out, that can also contribute to your anxiety about your sexual performance. 

How is Performance Anxiety Linked to Erectile Dysfunction?

When you're feeling stressed when it comes to sex, you may deal with sexual performance anxiety as a result. There are several ways that erectile dysfunction is related to performance anxiety. The most significant connection is that when you experience anxiety and stress when it comes to your sexual performance, sexual dysfunction may occur. While sex is a very physical thing, it is also affected by our mentality.

Whenever you feel you were not able to meet the expectations of your partner, it may eventually lead you to a vicious cycle of feeling incapable and unworthy. The different stages of anxiety can take a toll on you, not just in your sexual performance but in your sense of self-worth. 

For men, when they feel inadequate and when their self-esteem is low, it may manifest as a physical symptom such as erectile dysfunction. Studies have noted that there is indeed a clear connection between what's going on in your mind and your sexual ability. Of course, make sure to speak to your doctor to make sure there isn't anything else more serious happening in your body.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

There can be a number of contributing factors that cause erectile dysfunction. This issue can happen when the bodily process related to having an erection becomes disrupted. It can include your mental state, problems with the nerves, blood circulation, and hormones. 

Apart from the ones previously mentioned, here are some of the other contributing causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • Recent surgery
  • Pelvic irradiation
  • Injury
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage caused by diabetes
  • Kidney problems
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Low levels of testosterone
  • Stress
  • Disinterest
  • Depression

Medications may also play a role in causing erectile dysfunctions. Some medicines can alter or disrupt your hormones, blood circulation, and nerves. Here are some examples:

  • Medications affecting the prostate
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Medications for heart disease
  • Meds for hypertension
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-depressants

Your healthcare provider can help you in identifying the possible side-effects of certain medicines. You can ask your doctor if you should anticipate erectile dysfunction as a side-effect. 

How to Reduce Performance Anxiety

Each of us experiences performance anxiety differently. We all have different ways when it comes to responding to anxiety and stress. That's why various symptoms can manifest. Some of them are loss of interest for sexual activities, inability to reach orgasm, and premature ejaculation. 

Here are four tips on how you can cope with erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. 

Avoid the Vicious Cycle of Negative Thinking

A lot of the men who experience performance anxiety are trapped in a vicious cycle. It's normal to have some disappointing sexual experiences. However, if it has become a regular issue, then it may already be a problem. 

It can get worse because if you dwell on those negative experiences and think of yourself as a failure, you may become anxious the next time you have sex. When you have this kind of anxiety, then the erectile dysfunction problem may continue. 

What you can do is to stop focusing on those negative thoughts. Also, try to identify the different stressors you may have so you can address them. Shift your focus on what's causing the erectile dysfunction, and not on the symptoms you're experiencing. You can then figure out how to sort things out so that you're not feeling stressed when you're engaging in sexual activities. 

Avoiding Overthinking

Stop worrying about what your partner thinks. Chances are they aren't thinking about it as much as you do. Forget the past events and focus on what's happening at the moment. When you're in bed with your partner, focus on the different sensations that you're feeling. 

What do you see? What do you feel? Enjoy the many sensations that sex offers you. You can even elevate your sensory experience by lighting scented candles and playing romantic music. Focus your mind on how good everything is going as opposed to how bad things could go. Stop thinking about past performances. It's not a competition, relax and allow your body to savor the moment. 

Exercising Regularly

Exercising has so many benefits, including the reduction of performance anxiety. No matter how busy you are, give yourself some time to work out. You can start by working out once a week. You may then increase the frequency as you go along. 

Studies have shown that when you're not leading an active lifestyle, you're more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. So, with just twenty to thirty minutes of exercise a number of times each week, you can reduce the stress you're feeling and prevent erectile dysfunction from happening. 


Meditating is an activity that can help you de-stress. It's good for your mind, body, and spirit. Try it out a few times before thinking that it's not for you. What have you got to lose? Remember, when you're calm, and in a positive mindset, you're more likely to have a satisfying sexual experience

There are many types of meditation practices that you can try. You don't have to meditate for one hour to see the effects and benefits of it. You can start with just five minutes of meditation practice and increase the duration from there. Soon, performance anxiety won't bother you anymore, and you can truly enjoy the moment you have with your partner. 

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