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Want to Get Smart? Try Having More Sex

Is the sex you’re having mind-blowing or mind-boosting? It might be both.

Sex is good for us. Specifically, it’s good for our brains. If you’re not having regular sex, these five brain benefits should be enough to convince you.

1. Say goodbye to stress and anxiety.

Long-term stress can have seriously damaging effects on your body, your emotional state, and your behavior. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a fight-or-flight hormone that can actually change the connectivity and structure of the brain when it’s released too much. But sex has the opposite effect. According to a study, frequent sex can protect the brain from the negative effects of stress hormones. In addition, having an orgasm calms the same part of the brain that is affected by prescription anti-depressants.

2. Sex stimulates neurogenesis.

Over the long-term, having sex consistently can generate brain cells in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with episodic memory. If you currently have regular sex, your brain is probably already working on those new neurons.

3. It boosts memory.

Several studies have shown a link between memory and sex. In one, researchers found that mice who got busy more often were more likely to have better recognition memory abilities. Another study conducted in the Netherlands tested cognitive function in 1,700 participants between the ages of 58 and 98. The researchers found a strong link between memory recall and regular sex.

This study even found that it’s important to keep the sexy times going. When adult subjects stopped having sex after a period of intense sexual activity, improvements in cognitive function were lost.

4. It’s better than a brain teaser.

Who wants to do a Sudoku puzzle when you can have sex instead? According to scientists from Rutgers University, orgasms might actually be better at maintaining cognitive health than doing puzzles. After analyzing subjects’ MRI brain scans taken during orgasm, the researchers concluded that the protective effects of orgasm are more extensive than those of puzzles.

5. Hello nirvana?

Meditation is good for both our mental health and our brain functioning. But having an orgasm can have similar effects. According to researchers, experiencing an orgasm is similar to experiencing an “altered” state of consciousness.

Orgasm allows both men and women to stop thinking. But the best way to achieve that orgasm is to practice mindfulness in the first place — that is, to turn your brain off and focus on the sensory experience. Mindful sex affects the same area of the brain that is affected by meditation.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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