We are living in such a modern time and here in Denmark, there is talk about that we always have to be performing in every area. It is more difficult to come into the dream study as the admission requirements are getting higher with every year here in Denmark. When I was trying to get into the psychology study my average grade had to be around 9 and today it has to be close to 10. This applies to more studies here in Denmark. Furthermore, has the government made restrictions about the economic support to students so that you can only take one BA/BS degree here in Denmark.
This can be very stressful and anxiety-provoking having to choose your lifetime career in your twenties. This is a huge life decision. We as individuals, we grow and evolve with the years and of course, our interest area can change as well.
When I am having young people in therapy I have seen that they have difficulties finding the balance between home, the workplace, and private life. I had a young lady that came to see me because she was under a lot of strain at work since she had to deliver a weekly work performance status.
However young people don’t only feel pressured because of study choices and work performance but also in private life. With easy access to social media, it is easy to start comparing yourself to others concerning status, social life, and especially body image. This applies to women and men even though it seems that women are more concerned about this. Several women have difficulties being intimate due to their body image.
This can lead to real relations problems where some of my clients have refused to meet their boyfriend during the day. They come up with all kinds of excuses not to see their boyfriend who of course cannot help to take it personally.
This is very problematic because too much focus goes to certain body areas. Then when it comes to intimacy individuals can tend to overthink and then they are not present with their partner.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix concerning body image problems, however, you can start by moving your attention to the body areas that you are really happy with and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.
The more you focus on the positive body areas that you are happy with, the more that grows in comparison with what you are unhappy with. It should also be taken into consideration that the person that loves you looks at the whole you, and not specific body areas.
However, it is not only body images that young people are struggling with but also sexual performance anxiety. Many young men have anxiety because they are afraid that they are not going to perform well enough.
When this anxiety creeps in it can often affect men’s erection. This can become a vicious circle because if that happens once then it can be difficult to get rid of that thought. The same applies to endurance in the sex, if the endurance is very little then that thought can also take over and nourish the problem.
What can you do if you have experienced some of these problems?
Mindfulness can help with most problems in the bedroom. Because when we overthink things then we lose that connection to ourselves and our body. That is the opposite of Mindfulness or being in the present.
By starting to be more present in your body instead of being in your head, you will feel the difference immediately.
When you can do that then you get more connected to the present and overthinking becomes less and physical problems will decrease.
Just start small, just put all your focus on the sensation, feel your body touch the bed sheet, or feel the touch of your partner for example. If you can do that then you are present & you’re mindful.
It is almost impossible to be 100% focused on the touch and be up in your head at the same time. When you are present you can’t be in the past thoughts (oh when that happened..) and you cannot be in the future thoughts (what if…).
The longer you can have your focus on the touch, the better you get at Mindfulness. This can be enough to break the vicious circle of overthinking and sexual performance anxiety.
Sexual problems are in fact very common and if you see yourself in any of these problems just remember you are not alone, and everything can be worked with. There is no reason to feel ashamed.
Just start a couple of minutes per day being in the present. You don’t have to sit down and meditate for an hour. A walk, where you focus on the wind in your hair or where you feel the sun on your skin is a very good way to connect to the present. Feel your feet touching the floor or the couch while you are reading this. If you can feel that, you are grounding yourself and connecting to the present.
Picture by: Becca Tapert & Dainis Graveris
If you feel like you need more help, contact me for information about online therapy: [email protected]