EFFECT OF PRACTICING MINDFULNESS AND MANAGING STRESS ON THE SKIN
- 14 Sep 2021
Are you stressing about something at present? Is your mind overthinking endless possibilities of what could go wrong? While this is natural and happens more often than one might think, it doesn’t help the situation. Stress can disrupt your natural sleep cycle, digestion, and responsiveness. As it turns out, it affects your skin as well.
How does stress affect our skin?
Skin is the first place that exhibits the signs of stress. It increases cortisol levels and oil production by the glands. It increases the likelihood of skin diseases. Stress even speeds up the aging process.
Stress can lead us into a never ending cycle that causes many skin problems. Most skin cells are white blood cells found in connective tissues which come into action due to stress. In response, they are the reason that causes stress.
This leads to skin inflammation, which can cause acne, pruritus, psoriasis, and more. So if you’re wondering why that zit won’t go away, the key is to maybe stop worrying for a bit. As a multifold effect, stress leads to changes in diet patterns and sleep cycles. This reduces the proper nutrition that the body needs. Lack of sleep also shows up as dark circles and increased blemishes.
How to manage stress?
The key to stress management is meditation. It is the first step for decluttering thoughts and getting your focus back. It is a lifestyle change that has so many positive effects on our body.
Many of you may have tried your hand at it, but would have discontinued. Habits take an average of three weeks to form. Considering meditation is a positive change that would require altering your habits, give it some time.
Taking out even half an hour in a day to meditate can show some excellent results. You can even download apps on your phone to help you practice. Just jump in, stick to it, and trust the process.
Focus on breathing
Focused breathing is one of the simplest and most impactful techniques. It helps in improving your concentration power. Proper breathing exercises also improve the flow of oxygen to the cells and organs, adding a glow to the skin.
There are many easy exercises that can be done by taking just ten minutes out. Inhale while counting till 5, hold your breath for 6 seconds, and exhale while counting to 7.
This can instantly calm your mind and get you at peace. So make sure you inculcate this habit in your routine. You can even do it while waiting for your tea to boil or while you’re at the red light!
Pause and take a minute
The list of tasks is always endless. It seems that new ones keep cropping up before you check old ones off your list. Panicking is a natural response in such a situation. But that is just double the amount of stress for you.
You may even start stressing about the stress you know you are going to take. Let go of this and just pause for a minute. Take a few deep breaths and think about what you are doing.
Structuring your thoughts and planning your steps helps to manage the stress effectively. Once this becomes a habit, the stress may not even arise anymore.
Be aware of the present moment
We are constantly thinking about what we have to do next and where we will be in the future. We often tend to forget that the present we’re in right now was a future we had been planning for.
Be fully alive in the present. Make the most of what you have. This basic change is the most important mindfulness habit to have.
Take a walk outside, cook something you like, or take a relaxing bath. These little pleasures are truly what makes life more enjoyable.
Pay attention to your body
Do a daily body scan. You can do this anytime in the day, but preferably before going to bed. Pay attention to the parts that feel stressed and need attention.
Sometimes little things go unnoticed. For instance, unclench your jaw. Relax your forehead and don’t squint your eyes. More than anything, constant stress can show as worry lines on your face.
This can even lead to premature aging. Focusing on each part from head to toe can bring out neglected areas. Work on what needs attention and make yourself feel better.
Make skincare your selfcare
Skincare is one of the best forms of self care. Devise a proper morning and evening routine. With time, you will find yourself getting excited for this ‘me time’.
Skincare is something that has so many avenues that you can always keep learning and getting better. Not only does it directly benefit your skin, it helps you relax. Put on a face mask and fix up some warm drinks and you’re good to go.
It’s the best break you can take in a busy week. But if you’re still short of time, you can always make it short. Instead of having an elaborate routine, just focus on 2-3 steps that refresh your mind as well as your skin.
What are the outcomes?
After regularly working on these steps for a month, you will see visible changes. As the habits form, you will notice it’s easier to carry on these activities without making an extra effort. As your stress levels reduce, your mind will feel free and your skin will be less stressed. Meditation suppresses the cortisol response of the body. This has a direct impact on skin inflammation and acne, which will start to fade. Your skin will get clearer as you keep going.
Practicing mindfulness keeps your youth intact and delays the signs of aging. Your skin will glow and will become more vibrant. You can say goodbye to the fine lines and wrinkles that have emerged early in your youth. This is why wrinkles are known as worry lines!
On top of this, reduced stress also reduces hair fall and hair problems. You can notice stronger hair that grows thick.
Overall, practicing mindfulness can help you lead a much happier and balanced life. Finding joy in everyday things keeps you younger. It helps you be more proactive and organised, instead of just stressed about your endless tasks. And the best part, it makes your skin feel absolutely amazing.
So jump on this habit, and let’s see where this takes us in a month. Share your journey with us in the comments below. Have these habits added to your glow?