As more studies are being conducted on stress, anxiety, and depression, we are continuing to learn how much our mental health plays a role in all of our body’s functions. Stress can negatively affect our lives all the way down to the tiny pores in our skin.
How It Works... When we feel stressed, a triggered response happens in our body that causes us to produce a hormone called cortisol. It’s the nasty hormone that tells our glands to produce more oil on the skin, ultimately leading to more irritation and acne flareups. If you already struggle with psoriasis, rosacea, or eczema, stress certainly can cause a flareup of all three conditions, leaving you with unhappy skin that can cause discomfort.
On the other hand, sometimes stress can change our daily routine, leading to us washing less, skipping our self-care routine completely, and often compromising the routines we put so much work into. In a short period of time this can lead to a cycle of disliking the way our skin looks, therefore feeling stressed, and the flareups continuing or worsening. But, as dreary as this all sounds, there are steps we can take to relieve stress and keep our skin healthy and happy.
What You Can Do... Some stress-inducing events are completely unavoidable and ultimately out of your control. What you can control, though, is the amount of effort you put into making sure you are well taken care of, healthy, and as happy as you’re able to be within your own, unique circumstances. This can start with a simple set of steps or routine that helps you relax when you feel stress is weighing you down.
Most common, breathing exercises can help to reduce your heart rate, ground your mind, and aid in calming your body so that you can look at your stress-causers in proactive ways. Another option is finding a routine that you feel comfortable doing. Maybe it’s putting on your favorite album and shaking the stress out of your limbs. Perhaps you prefer to sit with your eyes closed for a while, connecting with your other senses and letting your mind wander freely outside of the stressful tasks it usually runs on. Whatever trick you find, the key is to give yourself the intentional effort you deserve in managing your stress so that it doesn’t continue to harm you. You have the power to give your skin a fighting chance at beating the stress villain! It all starts with your first step.