Stress is part of the body’s natural, protective response system. It can help you out of a dangerous situation, or make you perform better at work and in life. However, if stress is not managed properly it can have a negative effect on work, relationships and even your skin. Stress can cause aging, wrinkles, blemishes and even skin cancer. On the other hand, happiness can improve the blood flow causing a skin-glowing effect. Here are some of the affects of stress on your skin and what you can do to improve it.
Were you greeted by the mirror this morning with dark, under-eye circles or wrinkles on your forehead? You might think that walking around with that frown is causing premature wrinkles. The truth is that when we don’t take time out of our busy schedules for ourselves, premature aging skin is a common problem. Unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and lack of sleep are all reasons your face may start to take on an aged look. Exercise is a great stress beater releasing endorphins in the body ands or wrinkles on your forehead? You might think that walking around with that frown is causing in the body and giving you an instant high. It can also improve your mood, help with sleep habits and improve blood flow causing oxygenation for skin cells. Your health is worth at least 20 minutes a day to walk, run, dance or ride a bike to start improving your skin and overall health. Breathing exercises also improve skin by boosting oxygen levels. Try 20 minutes of meditation with cold teabags or a cold spoon under the eyes to relieve stress and minimize under-eye circles.
Acne and Eczema
Stress causes the body to produce a hormone called cortisol which makes your skin produce more oil causing acne. Take time out to care for your skin. Drying creams or lotions can help excess oil that causes blemishes. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin naturally. Stress causes pre-existing conditions, like eczema, to trigger flare-ups due to a lowered immune system which limits the body’s ability to fight off illnesses and limits the skin’s healing levels. What’s a fun way to improve your immune system? Laughter has much of the same effect as exercise, activating the immune system and even lowering blood pressure. Take time out for a movie night and watch a comedy.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that chronic stress combined with UV radiation caused suppression of the immune system. The tumors developed by the mice in the study were shown to be squamous cell skin cancers, a fairly common, non-melanoma cancer, which usually occurs on the face. Protect yourself from UV rays by wearing facial cream with at least SPF 15 every day. Recognize when you are stressed. Muscles will be tight and breathing might be labored. Calm yourself with your senses. Burn a candle: lavender and citrus are great aromatherapy stress relievers. Listen to soothing music. If you are not in to soothing calming sounds, that’s okay! Upbeat, high-energy music can also improve mood and decrease stress. Keep a journal and write positive thoughts before the start of each day.
The power of a positive attitude is underrated. Have some Chamomile tea before bed and have a good night’s sleep. Improve your body’s overall defenses with simple stress management techniques and taking time for yourself.
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