When you were a child, you probably didn’t even know what stress was, you probably just heard your parents comment on how stressed out they were. As an adult though, I’m sure you have a whole new understanding of stress and how much of a toll it can actually take. From missed deadlines at work to buying a home to financial strain, there are countless things in our day-to-day lives that can totally stress us out, and when stress hits for long periods of time, it can have some serious side effects. Consider the ways stress might be impacting you and commit to reducing stress for a healthier life.
Your Physical Health
Too much stress can make things go haywire in your body, and you might not even realise a lot of the things that you feel are due to stress. For instance, maybe you get migraines when you have to pull an all-nighter studying, or you get a stomach ache right before giving a major presentation at work. Stress can also lead to major health issues, such as heart attacks and arrhythmias, which are definitely a lot more serious than a mere headache. Plus, people who deal with acute stress are also more likely to deal with mood problems, like depression and anxiety. All of these side effects are more than enough of a reason to try to regulate your stress levels.
It may sound strange, but too much stress may actually be dehydrating you and leading to dry skin. Because stress messes with your skin’s ability to lock in moisture, you might notice you have to reach for lotion a lot more often. Go with a moisturiser that is very rich and has plant-based ingredients, like aloe vera or shea butter, so that you can give your skin an extra boost during your most stressful times. Also make sure to drink plenty of water; invest in a Hydroflask and keep it on-hand all day long.
There is a lot that we do not know about our skin. I mean, what are blackheads, anyway? Well, blackheads are caused by clogged pores, and clogged pores can be a symptom of stress. When we get stressed out, our bodies start producing the stress hormone cortisol, which basically prepares your skin for acne breakouts by encouraging oil production and blocking your body’s ability to keep inflammation under control.
Not only will stress lead to acne breakouts, it can also lead to premature ageing in the form of wrinkles. You know how stress messes with your body’s cortisol levels? Well, cortisol can also cause your blood sugar levels to rise, which leads to more sugar molecules in your blood than there should be. The sugar then bonds to proteins present in your skin’s collagen fibres, which then causes the fibres to become hard and crack, resulting in an overall loss of tight skin. All of this causes loose skin and wrinkles. If you are feeling especially stressed and want to limit the impact on your face, make sure to eat as many vegetables and whole grains as you can while limiting your consumption of fatty foods and junk food. Sign up for deliveries of fresh produce from FarmFreshToYou.com within the USA or places such as Riverford and Abel & Cole in the UK.
Falling Prey to Bad Habits
One of the worst things that stress causes us to do is fall prey to our worst habits, which can affect all of the above and make it so much worse. Some of us chew on our fingernails when we are feeling stressed out, or we pick at our pimples or forget to wash our face before bedtime. Whatever your vice is, I’m sure it is not a good thing, so you need to make sure to take extra special care of yourself when you are feeling overly stressed out. Maybe you should pick a day and pamper yourself with a salon appointment for a facial. Just make sure you pick one that is especially soothing and calming, and encourages you to spend some time relaxing in a sauna before your appointment.