We’ve all experienced the feeling of emotional or mental tension or strain known as stress at some point or another, but many people don’t realise the direct effect this feeling can have on our physical wellbeing – particularly with regards to our skin.
Many skin complaints, including eczema, rosacea and acne, flare in tandem with our heightened emotions and you may find conditions worsen when you’re over-tired or stressed.
Why is this?
As the body’s biggest organ, the skin is the site of millions of tiny nerve-endings that send messages to your brain. Conversely, the brain also sends messages back, causing the skin to play out our psychological peaks and troughs.
It can be difficult (or even impossible) to control external factors such as major life events or work projects that trigger this feedback loop…but there are things you can do to manage stress levels.
Our top four tips for keeping stress levels to a minimum:
- Sleep – This is the crucial one! Tiredness and lack of energy are major contributors to stress.
If you’re one of those people who counts tomorrow’s tasks when you should be counting sheep, keep a notepad by your bed to jot down those niggling thoughts and sleep soundly.
- Downtime – Take regular breaks from work and really commit to activities in your spare time so you won’t be tempted to check your emails!
Although it might not feel like it at times, the company of other people is more likely to reduce rather than increase your stress levels.
Research has shown everything from laughing to kissing to reduce the chemical and physical effects of stress.
If you have, or can borrow, a pet – even better! Pet owners have been shown to have lower stress levels than their pet-free counterparts.
- Exercise – Exercise releases chemicals that help you focus, and reduces the release of those that cause stress.
Though high-energy sports can be a good outlet for pent up frustration, simple yoga and meditation exercises relax the mind and body.
Even a quick walk after work will do!
- Support your body – Alongside a nutritious and varied diet, it’s also worth investigating magnesium supplementation.
Stress depletes our bodies of magnesium leaving us more reactive to stress, which in turn results in high levels of adrenaline, which further depletes magnesium – it’s a vicious circle!
Supplementing with Magnesium Citrate, or adding Epsom Salts to your bath, can help to restore magnesium reserves to a healthy level.