Rewiring Requires Practicing

One question I get a lot in my Sex Therapy practice is "how do I go about changing these things that bother me." Maybe it's unwanted thoughts that interrupt your flow when you're in the middle of love making. Maybe it's unwanted stereotypes or messaging you no longer want influencing you. Maybe it's letting go of shame and negative dialogue. Maybe it's becoming more comfortable with certain sexual acts or thoughts you want to enjoy. Maybe it's overcoming triggers from sexual trauma.

Regardless of what we want to see change, intellectual information is only the first step. It's a good step. Informing and educating ourselves, gathering trusted resources, shifting cognitions and biases... these are all wonderful intellectual processes that get the ball rolling. But we are much bigger than our intellectual selves. There are emotional and subconscious forces that are much stronger and persistent that reside within our bodies, our memories and our psyches. These will take time to budge and manipulate differently. We know through the science of neuroplasticity that new wiring is possible. We can develop new habits... new ways of experiencing the world... and new ways of experiencing our sexuality. But just like water will find the path of least resistance... if we want the water to go a different direction, we need to build new levees, dams and pathways.

Here are 5 ideas of how you can go about the practicing piece:

1. Mindfulness. I know this is kind of an "it" word these days... and for good reason. At the heart of mindful approaches lies acceptance. If you can think of the mantra, what we resist persists, it gives you the wisdom and perspective to be patient with yourself, to ride the wave of whatever is annoying you, to take a grace approach to things you are frustrated with. All of this helps relax your system....

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