Health And Wellness, Sex

Why You Have Performance Anxiety & The One Way To Prevent It From Ruining Intimacy

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Why You Have Performance Anxiety & The One Way To Prevent It From Ruining Intimacy

If you struggle with feeling relaxed and at ease when you're intimate with your partner, you aren't alone. Many women silently battle with these feelings regularly.

They feel confused, since they know they love their partner and want to be with him, love spending time together, and just feel naturally very comfortable in each other's company, but when it comes time for having sex, things begin to get a little frosty.

He wants to connect with the woman he loves, but he begins to feel the metaphorical door begin to close. She starts to make excuses — I have a headache, it's too hot, it's too cold, the children may come in — and he gets the drift: she simply doesn't want to make love with him.

For him, this is straight-up rejection, something that cuts deep. He may start thinking, "If she really loved me, it wouldn't be this way."

But what is really going on for her? Why does she have performance anxiety?

RELATED: 5 Signs You're Secretly Struggling With High-Functioning Anxiety (And What You Can Do To Manage It)

Most commonly, women suffer from lack of self-worth and even self-loathing issues that plague them, creating anxiety and depression. This can come from a variety of causes, from not being acknowledged for the amazing beings they were as little girls to being bombarded constantly by images and ideals in the media which are impossible to live up to.

Women learn from a very young age that they will be loved and adored for what they do as opposed to who they are. Very quickly, they begin to lose themselves to a world of unrealistic ideals and beliefs they struggle to live up to or rebelliously oppose.

We as women begin to disregard our true "knowingness" deep within, in favor of what we believe the world wants us to be. It's in this state of disregard that we begin to lose touch with our essence, our worthiness, our preciousness. We become hardened and disempowered, slowly building resentment against what we believe we have to do to be loved and accepted.

To manage these unpleasant feelings, we find activities and behaviors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, chocolate, online shopping or addictions of any kind, to numb and bury what we do not want to feel. These activities will, of course, lead to self-esteem issues, feelings of not being good enough or even self-loathing.

RELATED: 4 Ways Men Can Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety (& Have The Amazing Sex Life You Crave)

We simply do not feel good in our bodies anymore. Along comes Prince Charming wanting to sweep us off our feet, but the last thing we want to do is take our clothes off, especially with the lights on.

So, how do we overcome our anxiety about intimacy? We know we want to want to make love, but there's something stopping us, frustrating everyone involved.

What we need is to come back to ourselves. Within every woman is an inner essence of great beauty and wisdom. It's about taking time to listen to our hearts, which will always tell us what is true for us and what is not.

Our minds have a great ability to lead us off-track, particularly if we are sold out to ideals and ways of being that are found outside ourselves. It's about being present with our bodies and having our thinking in alignment with what we are doing, which is simply a state of mindful presence.

Take time out for yourself, lovingly prepare nourishing food that will support your body, go to bed early, exercise and, most of all, rest if you need to. Find a good therapist and deal with your issues that you may have buried long ago.

By treating yourself in a loving and nuturing way, and begining to understand yourself deeply, your feelings of worth will begin to heal. You are gorgeous and amazing deep down. You are not your past experiences or your past choices.

The essence of you will never change — it is divine and eternal. So, take time to be gentle and kind with yourself, and build a foundation of love that will support you.

Opening up to your man will be something you will look forward to as it becomes a celebration of you, of him, and the love that you share.

RELATED: 4 Simple Tips For How To Calm Down When Your Anxiety Starts Taking Over

Kate Chorley is a clincial hypnotherapist, counselor and coach, specializing in relationship counseling. Visit her website for more information.