This week, my restored challenge was about forgiving someone who has wronged me. I like to put out different challenges because I believe that having a healthy, stress-free life has a large impact on the health of my skin. Holding grudges and anger against a person creates a lot of unnecessary stress and worry that can wreak havoc on your overall health. It is amazing how your body responds to external factors. Stress hormones start off a chain reaction of symptoms that lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression, stomach issues, and muscle pain.
Stress is mainly a reaction to external factors which means it can be completely preventable. A sure way to make yourself sick is to hold on to anger and bitterness. As I get older I’ve realized that the miserable people around me are those who allow anger and bitterness to eat them up inside.
Just last week, I had been grappling with an issue with a friend who said some hurtful things. I was heading down the road of unforgiveness. Instead, I decided to let go of what I was holding; I expressed how I felt to the person and was able to move on and complete my challenge for the week!
Just as stress can lead to many different diseases, it can have just as big an impact on our skin. Managing stress should be an important component of your skin care regimen. Below are 3 ways stress has a major impact on your skin.
Skin inflammation and blemishes. When we are stressed, the nerve endings in our skin release neuropeptides, which are stress-induced chemicals that cause inflammation in our skin. The inflammation can be redness, bumps, itching, burning, tingling, pain, or sensitivity. Neuropeptides can also stimulate the sebaceous glands and cause them to produce more oil, thus creating an environment for bacteria to grow.
Slow healing. When your body is fighting an infection, your body releases immune cells that are dispatched to aid in the healing process. This often causes an inflammatory reaction which you may typically see with allergic reactions (swelling, itching, rashes, etc). The inflammatory reaction is a sign that your body is working to respond to what it perceives as a foriegn substance. When you are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released as a response to our stressful situations. Cortisol’s role in our body is to depress our immune cells and slow down this process of healing. The more stress you’re exposed to, the more suppressed your immune system becomes and the healing process is delayed. The ability for blemishes and scars to heal are directly compromised by stress.
Sugar cravings. When you are in a stressful situation, have you noticed how your urges and cravings heighten? That’s why you see the Snickers commercials where people turn back to normal once they eat a Snickers bar. We begin to crave foods full of sugar, starch and fats when we are stressed out. Eating a diet high in these foods can cause a spike in hormone levels which is thought to stimulate more oil production and worsen any current acne issues you may be dealing with.
Understanding the impact of stress makes it that more clearer that healthy skin has just as much to do with internal factors that it does with external factors. Your goal should be to live a healthy lifestyle overall and the results will be a healthy and balanced life with beautiful skin.
- July 04, 2015
- Tiffany A