Healthy relationships are one of the most important keys to gaining balance and happiness. Intimacy is the experience of belonging together. It embodies shared knowledge, experiences, sexual encounters, and memories. Cultivating intimacy is the best gift we can give to ourselves and our loved ones.
Intimacy is a basic human need like eating, breathing and sleeping. It adds to the quality of our lives and contributes to our health and longevity. Without intimacy we put ourselves at risk physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The most important ingredient to intimacy is great communication. The emotional part of intimacy stirs our hearts and souls. The physical manifestation is, of course, touching, snuggling and sex. Loving physical contact promotes feelings of well-being that can inspire and improve the relationship.
Strategies to Heighten Emotional and Physical Intimacy
- Communicate authentic feelings through dialogue, transparency, reciprocity and even vulnerability
- Share fears, anxieties, losses, transitions, memories as well as joyful experiences and milestones
- Use terms of endearment for greater connection
- Practice relaxation exercises or routines to help slow down and create the mood for intimacy such as bathing, mindful walk, breathing exercises, meditation, constructive rest
- Make small gestures such as a gentle touch, a loving glance, holding hands
- Create romantic rituals that generate intimacy between you and your partner
- Build time into your schedule to create the space for intimacy
- Eliminate self criticism
- Communicate in a positive way, “When you do……, it feels really good!”
- Take care to let your partner know about your needs and help guide him or her to what feels good
- Experiment with new behaviors and approaches when both partners are feeling adventurous
- Re-define foreplay keeping in mind that women take almost 3 times longer than men to heat up
- Bring a sense of fun and adventure into your intimate time together
Some Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life
- Lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and reduces stress levels
- Improves blood flow to the brain and to all other organs. The deep breathing and increased heart rate foster improved circulation
- Increases oxygenation to the body and diminishes fatigue
- Burns calories and provides a significant cardiovascular workout
- Strengthens pelvic floor muscles, which helps to prevent incontinence and heightens the experience of sexual pleasure
- Promotes sound sleep and facilitates feelings of intimacy due to the oxytocin released during orgasm and through physical contact
- Helps with pain management through the release of endorphins
- Protects the man against prostate cancer and reduces the risk of him suffering a heart attack and stroke by half
- Balances the immune system, diminishes depression, enhances cognition, promotes bone development, and maintains and repairs tissues
Cultivating intimacy provides a wide range of physical and psychological benefits. Most importantly this kind of special connection adds a richness and deep sense of belonging.
What can you do to create a more intimate relationship with your partner?