Stress can affect every aspect of your life, including your health, sex drive, energy levels, and more. 


Whenever something affects you, it will affect your marriage. Stress can quickly come between you and your spouse and weaken your connection.

Understanding the science behind stress can help you stop the stress cycle. As a result, you can improve the quality of your life and marriage.

The Stress Epidemic

If stress and anxiety is part of your daily life, you’re not alone. 

You may not have learned how to handle stress effectively. Or you may feel trapped in the stress cycle because you don’t know what actions to take. 

Elle Ingalls once felt this way. 

With experience as a symphony executive, violinist, conductor, and more, Elle was no stranger to stress. 

At the age of 46, Elle created the Pressure-Free Method, an approach that helped her reduce the effects of stress on her body, career, and relationships. The Pressure-Free Method transformed her life and her family. Now, she coaches clients who want to achieve a higher quality of life with less stress. 

Elle is an expert on the fight-or-flight stress response. 

In the Stress and Sex Masterclass, she shares that the body’s natural stress response works perfectly if we are really under attack.

However, you likely aren’t encountering daily dangers that require a stress response. Rather, your body might have become good at overreacting to people and situations. 

Stress Affects Your Body and Mind

When you encounter a stress trigger, you have about 10 seconds before your body releases a flood of stress hormones. 

The stress hormones come in two waves. The first flood is called the catecholamine (adrenaline) stage. 

In this first wave, stress hormones prepare your body to face a threat. As a result, you may experience impaired judgment, trembling, memory lapse, dry eyes, and more. In addition, libido drops. 

When the threat is gone, your brain releases a second flood of stress hormones. This is called the glucocorticoid (cortisol) stage.

As your body returns to normal, you may experience higher blood pressure, negative thoughts, insomnia, lower immunity, blood sugar imbalance, and more. 

The many effects of the stress response on your body are intense. This is even more concerning when you consider how often you enter fight-or-flight mode for unnecessary reasons. 

Stress also affects men and women differently. It takes males up to 9 hours to clear stress hormones out of their cells, while it takes females up to 24 hours.

Since stress hormones alter your thoughts and behaviors, you might say or do things you don’t mean during this time. And the physical, emotional, and mental stress symptoms can have a deep impact on your marriage. 

Stress Affects Your Sex Organs

Your sex organs and reproductive system cannot escape the affect of stress hormones.

For men, stress hormones cause the prostate to enlarge and create an environment for cancers and bacteria to thrive. 

Stress hormones can also interfere with brain and nerve connections, leading to limited blood flow and erectile dysfunction in men. Erectile dysfunction can cause more anxiety, creating a vicious cycle. 

For women, stress hormones disrupt the vaginal ecosystem. Stress can lead to dryness, discomfort, infections, foul-smelling discharge, and more. It also inhibits the health of the vaginal lining and can create an environment for cancer. 

Stress can also cause women to experience early menopause. In fact, women who manage stress well and have healthy adrenal glands in the decade before going through menopause can experience fewer and less intense menopause symptoms.

Stress Affects Your Sexual Attraction

The stress cycle can also affect the attraction you and your spouse feel for each other. 

Stress can cause symptoms such as foul breath, mouth sores, and dry mouth. This might make kissing or close conversations off-putting. 

The sweat glands engaged by stress hormones differ from those used when exercising, and they lead to smellier sweat. 

You age faster with stress. 

Stress can also affect things like your body language. If your body is curled up or closed off due to stress, your spouse might unconsciously perceive these as signals that you cannot be trusted. 

Tightness in your body because of stress does not welcome intimacy. It can be hard to experience closeness and connection if your body is on edge because of a constant flood of stress hormones. 

The physical and emotional effects of stress can weaken the attraction you and your spouse feel for each other. 

When stress weakens the connection between the two of you, sexual intimacy is at risk. 

In addition, symptoms like erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness can make sex challenging or painful.

When something affects your reproductive system’s ability to function optimally, it’s time to take action. 

Protecting Your 6 Pillars of Intimacy® From Stress

Stress can affect your marriage in all kinds of ways. 

It can disconnect you from your spouse emotionally and make sexual intimacy unwanted or uncomfortable. 

When one or both of you feel stressed, you may not want to do fun things together or have important conversations. 

Stress can cause behaviors that affect your desire and desirability, preventing deeper intimacy.

To protect your 6 Pillars of Intimacy® from the vicious cycle of stress, start by assessing how stress currently affects you. 

Consider how you feel in your body when you’re stressed. Where do you feel tension? What hurts or feels strange? 

Then assess how you feel emotionally. How do you behave? What emotions arise when you are stressed? 

Finally, talk to other people, such as your spouse, about how they see stress affect you.

Having this conversation requires vulnerability and an open mind. But allowing your spouse to share their observations can deepen your emotional intimacy and help you gain a new perspective. 

10-Second Solutions to Stress

The best thing you can do for your marriage when it comes to stress is to interrupt the stress response. But you only have about 10 seconds to do so. 

To help herself and others break the stress cycle, Elle Ingalls created practical tools she calls 10-Second Solutions. 

One of her 10-Second Solutions is to relax and reposition certain parts of your body. Begin by relaxing your abdominal muscles. Roll back your shoulders to open up your chest. Raise your head to look at the horizon. 

Relaxing and repositioning parts of your body signals to your brain that you are safe. As a result, you can interrupt the release of stress hormones that leave lasting effects on your health and marriage. 

Another 10-Second Solution is to smile. 

It sounds simple, but even just turning up the sides of your mouth can keep a small amount of dopamine flowing to your brain. This helps you think clearly and avoid entering fight-or-flight mode. 

Finally, create a slogan or short phrase you can repeat in your head to tell your body you’re okay. It could be something simple like “I’m okay.” Or it could be specific to the situation that’s creating stress, such as “My presentation is going to go well.” 

For more 10-Second Solutions, get the on-demand Stress and Sex Masterclass.

The Stress and Sex Masterclass

You deserve to understand the science behind stress so that you can stop the effects of stress, reach your full potential, and eliminate the side effects of the stress response.

With on-demand replay access to The Stress and Sex Masterclass, you can learn how to improve your life and marriage with less stress. 

You’ll discover the three-step method to reduce anxiety and stress instantly. Additionally, you’ll learn ABC’s of Pressure-Free Method and how to stop the stress response. Click here to get immediate access today. 

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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