Stress, it is something that we all wish we didn’t have to feel, yet it is also something that creeps up on us at some point in our lives.
It not only affects your wellbeing and mental state, but stress can also have an impact on the rest of your body too. Hair, nails and skin can all issues crop up at times of stress.
Why is this?
When you are feeling stressed your body will kick start a surge of hormones ready to help you fight through the issue. This includes cortisol. In the most part cortisol is a great help when you need to power on but too much cortisol, for too long, in your body might cause problems.
How does it affect your skin?
The trouble with stress and your skin is that the hormones released during stressful times causes multiple problems. It makes the skin more sensitive and likely to react to allergies and irritants, especially true for those who suffer with psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. It also kick-starts the glands within your skin to produce more oil and as we all know, oily skin is more prone to acne.
If that wasn't bad enough, the cortisol surging through your body will trigger inflammation and in turn break down the all-important collagen which keeps your skin looking firm, plump, smooth and youthful.
What can I do?
Taking a 10 minute walk in the daylight can work wonders when you are feeling stressed. The combination of fresh air, sunshine (at least hopefully) and the exercise itself will bring down those cortisol levels and also take you away from the situation that might be making you stressed too.
Meditation is known to reduce cortisol levels within the body however, this isn’t to everyone’s tastes. Instead why not set your alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning and simply lie quietly. Clear out your mind and prepare for the day and you will soon feel the benefit.
Although they are deemed to be comfort foods, refined sugar and processed foods are known to spike your cortisol levels and are best to be avoided when you are feeling stressed. Instead you should munch on foods that not only lower cortisol but also are great for your skin too. Spinach, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, papaya and pineapple are all things you should have in your diet.
People who have higher levels of cortisol are often those who sleep poorly. So when you head to bed at night make sure you get some sleep if you want to feel great the next morning.
Stress is unavoidable at times, but it is how you cope with it and come out the other side that is important. So when you are feeling like everything is on top of you take a deep breath and don’t forget to look after your skin too.