Psychological Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction

The Top 6 Psychological Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction

A man doing mental exercises for erectile dysfunction

Are you one of the millions of men suffering from psychological erectile dysfunction? If you are, know that it is common to feel helpless and alone in your struggle. However, it is possible to reclaim control over your sexual performance by equipping yourself with the right tools to address it.

Fortunately, there are a few simple mental exercises that can help substantially improve even the most severe cases of psychological erectile dysfunction.

As a sex therapist, I have seen men experience tremendous success in overcoming psychological erectile dysfunction by treating the underlying psychological causes.

In this article, I will discuss the top five psychological exercises men can use to help treat erectile dysfunction.

Mindfulness Meditation

Struggling with erectile dysfunction? Mindfulness meditation is here to help! In fact, it is one of the most effective psychological techniques used to treat this condition.

Mindfulness teaches us how to stay in the moment during sex, preventing negative and anxiety-provoking thoughts from interfering with it. This prevents sexual performance anxiety from occurring, which is the number one cause of psychological ED.

On top of helping us prevent performance anxiety from occurring, mindfulness meditation is also an excellent tool for reducing stress and alleviating depression, both of which can lead to psychological ED.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9 out of 10 men who practiced mindfulness meditation for 4 weeks were able to regain their ability to get and maintain an erection during sex.

You can practice mindfulness meditation using online courses and apps or with the help of a certified sex therapist.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a technique in which one visualizes a successful scenario of a situation they are dreading, such as sex.

Since the mind often cannot differentiate between imagination and sex, it gradually replaces bad thinking habits with new ones.

This can help eliminate erectile dysfunction caused by anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a powerful evidence-based form of talk therapy that helps people become aware of negative or distorted thinking patterns and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.

CBT is useful in treating performance anxiety, as well as providing much-needed relief from daily stressors and aiding depression management.

CBT can be done with the help of a sex therapist or using a special type of meditation therapy called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCBT).

CBT and Mindfulness-Based CBT are well-researched forms of talk therapy, and they’ve been shown to be effective for many people.

The main benefit of Mindfulness-Based CBT is that it provides the opportunity for self-reflection – all within the comfort of your own home!

Other modalities of talk therapy, such as insight-oriented therapies, may also be helpful for some people.

Work with your sex therapist to determine which interventions, or combination of interventions, might be helpful to you!

Breathing Exercises

Belly breathing, also known as “diaphragmatic breathing,” is a simple yet effective technique to reduce feelings of anxiety and improve sexual function.

Deep-breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety levels and improve overall sexual functioning.

While this technique may not be as effective for more serious cases of performance anxiety as some other techniques out there, when used ‘in the moment,’ it offers great support during times of higher pressure and strain.

Sensate Focus

Sensate focus can be an excellent way to help you and your partner connect.

This practice involves non-sexual touching in a pressure-free environment, allowing both of you to appreciate the sensation without worrying about performing or climaxing.

During a sensate focus practice sessions, you and your partner will take turns sensually touching each, but without the need to achieve an erection, orgasm, or penetration.

Sensate focus can be an excellent way to help you and your partner connect. For best results, consult an experienced sex therapist who can guide you through how exactly it works.


Self-hypnosis is a technique that can be used to change negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by inducing a trance-like state. It involves using self-suggestion to achieve a desired state of mind and can help individuals to achieve their goals and persevere through setbacks.

You can practice self-hypnosis by using instructional videos or audio recordings.

Although hypnosis is a less mainstream and less studied method for treating psychological ED, it may be helpful for some men.


There are many psychological exercises that men can use to treat erectile dysfunction, such as mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, cognitive-behavioral therapy, breathing exercises, sensate focus, and self-hypnosis.

If you are struggling with psychological ED, it is important to seek help. There is no reason to continue suffering in silence from a problem that, in most cases, can be treated successfully! 

About Bailey Hanek PsyD

Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist

Dr. Bailey Hanek is a clinical psychologist and an AASECT-certified sex therapist. She serves as a professional consultant for Between Us Clinic. Dr. Hanek provides sex therapy and general psychotherapy to adults in her private practice. In addition, she works to increase access to information about relationship and sexual health through her founding role in The Relationship Coaches.