An estimated one in five adults are affected by a mental health disorder such as depression and anxiety. This equates to over 50 million Americans.
When it comes to intimacy and mental health, there’s a direct correlation between intimate relationships and mental well-being, with people who experience intimacy on a regular basis much less likely to suffer with their mental health.
What are the different types of intimacy?
When most people think about intimacy, their minds immediately turn to physical intimacy. However, there’s so much more to intimacy than just sex.
There are, in fact, four types of intimacy:
- Emotional intimacy
Emotional intimacy is the act of being emotionally intimate with someone. This could be a friend, family member, or partner. This type of intimacy is crucial for your mental health as it involves being open and transparent with your fears and feelings.
A lack of this type of intimacy can lead to feelings of isolation, abandonment, and low self-esteem, all of which can have a negative effect on mental health. This is especially true for people who aren’t in a relationship and miss that emotional connection you can make with someone. This is why so many people visit escort agencies such as escortsinleeds.com so they can enjoy being emotionally intimate with another person.
- Mental intimacy
Mental intimacy, also referred to as intellectual intimacy, is the process of sharing your opinions and perspectives on life with other people. This type of intimacy can be difficult for some people as it involves being respectful of other people’s beliefs.
- Spiritual intimacy
Spiritual intimacy involves sharing your innermost beliefs on abstract and spiritual issues with another person. Not everyone needs spiritual intimacy, but for some, this can be vital to their overall well-being.
- Physical intimacy
Physical intimacy is the act of being physically close to another person. This could be holding hands, hugging, kissing, or having sex. For many people, physical intimacy is the most important type of intimacy, with a lack of physical contact having a significantly detrimental effect on mental health.
Why is intimacy important for mental health?
As mentioned briefly above, intimate relationships are crucial in the battle against poor mental health, with the ability to potentially be a lot more effective in combatting mental health disorders than medication.
Studies have shown that people who are in happy, stable relationships have better self-esteem and an increased sense of self-worth and self-confidence. Furthermore, these people incorporate safer behaviors in their daily lives and experience fewer feelings of depression and anxiety.
The bottom line
Everyone craves intimacy in their lives. Whether it’s physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, or spiritual intimacy, it’s what brings people together and makes them feel connected with other people.
A lack of intimacy, particularly on a frequent basis, can have serious consequences that exacerbate existing mental health conditions and even cause new ones to develop.
Although it can be hard for some people to maintain intimacy, it’s vital to your mental health and overall well-being, so don’t let go of it, no matter what.