Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you’re feeling too overwhelmed.
If being stressed out of your mind didn’t feel bad enough, there’s a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.
After men rated women’s faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
But don’t let that make you worry any more, because women are actually guilty of the same thing. According to previous research, women don’t go for anxious fellas either.
Careers, money, family, the holidays (aka this whole month) — lots of things in our life can lead to stress on a daily basis. In fact, 75-90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related complaints. But the pressure we feel takes a toll on us emotionally, physically, and it even can interfere with our love lives in some pretty surprising ways, whether we’re single, in a relationship or married.
Here’s how stress can easily affect you:
1. Your Perception Of Your Relationship
We’re all guilty of snapping back at our partners when we’re under pressure, but stress also plays a role in how we actually view our relationship. According to PsychCentral, when we’re stressed, we’re more likely to see our partner and our relationship in a negative light and not acknowledge that stress is impacting us. Who knew stress was capable of such mind warping?
3. Your Confidence
All that stressing is doing quite a number on your self-esteem, too. This is a problem for many reasons, and when you’re looking for love, self-assurance is key. Going on a first date, flirting with the barista or walking up to that cute guy at the bar is tough when you’ve got plenty of worries on the mind.
One reason to chill? Women with high self-esteem have better sex.
3. Your Body Image
Did you know stress is one of the leading triggers of poor body image? A bad body image can put a serious damper on your relationships, sex life or singlehood. To make things worse, your appearance takes a hit when you’re a nervous wreck, too. Not only are the dudes considering your face less attractive, but cortisol causes an increase in oil production. Yikes.
According to ScienceDaily, acne, brittle nails and even hair loss are common signs you could use a chill pill stat. So yes, your financial worries could strangely be affecting your manicure.
4. Your Sex Drive
One way to kill your ability to get in the mood? Stress. Family, money, how you’re going to fit 30 people at the dinner table on Christmas, you name it — your anxiety can unfortunately follow you right into the bedroom.
We know sex is a form of stress relief but your everyday woes also prevent you from getting it on. When your body produces cortisol for an extended period of time, it actually hinders your sex hormones.
5. Your Ability To Have A Baby
Being frazzled is not only messing with your libido, it can actually can suppress fertility. According to a study conducted by the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, cortisol can prevent you from ovulating — making you unable to conceive.
According to researcher Markus Rantala, a professor of biology at the University of Turku in Finland, the drive to reproduce may mean men and women have evolved to prefer less-stressed partners. Who’s most at risk? Women with hectic jobs because they’re most denial about the stress in their lives.
Luckily, stress is manageable. There are plenty of stress-busters out there, even ones couples or friends can do together, from exercise to laughter. Find what works for you so it doesn’t interfere with your happiness.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Shocking Ways Stress Is Destroying Your Love Life.