Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives.
Whether you’re worried about stretching your next paycheck or work and school has you frazzled, dealing with the unavoidable hangups of stress can leave you feeling burnt out and demotivated.
What many are unaware of are the physical implications stress has on the body.
How often did you find your skin breaking out abnormally, or that your appetite has changed beyond recognition?
While not everyone has the same skin type, what is consistent is how exactly hormones in the body are released when you’re stressed and how those hormones may affect the skin.
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“When we are under stress, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, which triggers inflammation and accelerates the ageing process of our skin. This results in a range of skin issues, such as acne, wrinkles, dullness, and conditions like psoriasis and eczema,” explains Clere skincare brand manager Su-Marie Annandale.
High stress levels can also contribute to developing an unhealthy relationship with food.
There’s no shame in admitting that you might reach for the extra chocolate or two when hounded by the anxieties of everyday life.
However, research has shown that chronic stress impacts the neurological system and can promote increasingly compulsive behaviour, like overeating.
While chomping away on your favourite snack in between meals or feeling like you deserve a treat after a long day can make you feel happy in the moment, family physician Dr Louise Chalmers explains how stress can lead to unhealthy choices.
“Daily stress and the fast pace of life can entice us into habitually eating more than our bodies need, often without being fully aware of it, with harmful implications for our physical and mental health.”
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Worry not, we have all the pointers you need from wellness experts on managing your stress levels to prevent the toll stress often has on the body:
1. Get enough rest
Our bodies need to rest and recharge. Too little sleep is unhealthy, but so it too much sleep. Getting enough sleep is a crucial step in achieving optimal health, so establish a regular sleep routine and remember that rest gives you the opportunity to be more active and improves mental health too.
2. Practice mindfulness
Self-care activities such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are some of the techniques that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation and calm the mind and body, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.
3. Opt for healthier food options
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins is a great way to take care of your mental health and can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin.
4. Flesh out your skincare routine
A good skincare routine can help combat the effects of stress on our skin. Use a gentle cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen daily to protect and nourish your skin. Try products with tissue oil, glycerine, and vitamins E & A to help moisturise and keep your skin healthy.
5. Talk to a professional
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help to manage your stress levels and the subsequent symptoms. Whether your skin or eating habits are becoming difficult to manage or need to someone to talk to about your stress levels, help is always there.