When you’re stressed, so is your skin.
Ever notice how every time you’re anxiously trying to meet a deadline or have loads on your plate, you unexpectedly see blemishes pop up (especially along the jawline)? That’s because stress can trigger breakouts.
When your stress levels rise, your adrenal glands, which are in charge of regulating stress, work overtime. When this happens, the adrenal glands stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (oil). And you know what happens when there is excess oil in the skin – acne.
But the last thing you need is to be all the more stressed out by your complexion. By incorporating certain habits into your lifestyle, you can keep both tension and acne at bay. Here are three tips for fighting stress.
Meditate and Practice Deep Breathing
Even if it’s just a few minutes each day, try to relax using these proven ancient techniques. For some people, sitting in a quiet space and simply breathing does the trick. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for five counts, hold then exhale through your mouth for another five counts. Repeat until you feel your tense muscles unwind. You can also engage in meditation, a practice proven to calm the mind and even help with physical conditions like lowering blood pressure.
Regular physical activity will help cut stress too. Exercise, whether in the form of running, hiking, cycling or swimming, will benefit the body by increasing your blood circulation, resulting in more oxygen sent to your body systems. Just 20 minutes a day can calm your mind and body—and lower your stress. Physical activities also boost endorphins, the brain chemicals that improve your mood.
Eat Clean, Healthy, Real Foods
Yes, food can counteract stress! Grapefruit, oranges and other food rich in Vitamin C have been studied for their ability to lower your stress hormones (cortisol). Craving for something sweet? Snack on dark chocolate, which is also known reduce levels of cortisol in the body. Omega-3s, which are found in nuts and seeds such as walnuts and flaxseeds, as well as salmon and other fatty fish, may be calming and serve as stress-busters for the body too.