There is a direct correlation to stress and our skin. Have you noticed when we are embarrassed, our checks turn a flush? Our internal nervous system is the gateway to our skin’s appearance.
Turning up the dial in our stress level breaks down our skins outer barrier which protects it from premature aging. Here are four things that you can do to keep stress level at bay and increase your overall physical and mental health at the same time.
1. Internal Control: Daily meditation (we’re talking 10 minutes here) is key to overall balance. Through meditation, our bodies release the happy hormones, Serotonin and Oxytocin, which influences our mood and ultimately reduces our chances of depression. From a physical level, meditation also decreases tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems which can lead to “stressed-looking skin”. *Try a series of deep breathing exercises in the car to add additional calming stimulation throughout the body.
2. Get moving: Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem (releases cortisol which is the hormone that causes us to hold onto weight) – think MORE SMILES. Regular movement also helps to increase overall circulation which leads to a more even and radiant complexion.
3. Diet: Our health is so centered around our diet and maintaining a wholesome diet is essential for combating stress levels too. Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm oatmeal, boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Other foods can cut levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time. A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Work to illuminate complex carbs (think anything white – pasta, white bread, pastries) and reduce the amount of sugar that you eat. Stick with whole grains, nuts, antioxidant rich foods and fish that contain essential fatty acids and Omega 3, 6 and 9 that support overall brain health. Your skin will thank you too – think blemish-free and increased luminosity.
4. Sleep: Getting your beauty sleep (8 hours a night) is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Adequate sleep reduces overall body inflammation, boosts immune system and maintains overall proper health.