We don’t exactly have to do a lot of research in order to know that being stressed out is bad for you. We know that stress not only gets under your skin to deal with, but also wreaks havoc ON your skin. Here we will explain the inner processes of how stress develops from the inside out.
Let’s start by defining what stress is. Stress is the body’s response to a certain kind of adjustment; specifically dealing with changes in a physical, mental, or emotional state. Everyone has experienced this at one point or another in their life which is normal and can even be a good thing such as being alert (fight or flight instinct), but depending on the environment and frequency, stress can be bad. If not coped with properly, stress can negatively affect the body and produce long term health problems.
How We Deal With Stress
The human body is designed to deal with the challenges of stressful situations, but it’s when there are no breaks in between or recuperation that tension builds and becomes an issue. Such tension can be defined as distress (a negative stress reaction) and can result in physical symptoms such as headache, nausea, chest pain, and high blood pressure. Again, if stress is not dealt with properly or healthily, it can lead to more severe physical symptoms or disease.
Several people resort to substance use and abuse such as tobacco or alcohol aka “self medicating” in order to alleviate stress. This may relieve stress temporarily, but only worsens it over time. Long term conditions may result in health issues such as heart problems, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
Cortisol and other hormones triggered by stress, tell the sebaceous glands to produce more oil which is why those who have oily skin by nature are more prone than others to breakout. Stress can worsen not only acne, but other skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, hives, and psoriasis. This is why it is important to be devoted to a daily skincare regimen so it can help fight the physical effects of stress.
There are ways and home remedies you can practice to also help fend off the stress effects on your skin. These can be done as:
- Exercising regularly which was discussed in last week’s Why Wednesday. This promotes not just a better body, but better skin.
- Give yourself a break by being rewarded with something you enjoy doing such as taking a walk or hot bath
- Practicing breathing exercises such as making sure to take deep breaths
- Getting enough sleep (7-8 hours is recommended)
- Having a confidant to discuss problems or issues you are having
Stress is inevitable, but if handled correctly, can be managed well. We must always remember to give ourselves breaks and time to recoup. Several of us, especially in this day in age, push ourselves to the brink. It is imperative to understand our body’s capacity to endure only so much and to respect its limits.