There is no denying that having acne, breakouts or sensitive skin can be very stressful, particularly in adults, who are becoming more and more susceptible to problematic skin due to their increased stress levels.
Acne is predominantly caused by hormonal imbalances, when you are under pressure your body produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, the two stress hormones. Stress hormone cortisol is also known to lead to the suppression of the immune system, which gives slow-growing bacterial acne the chance to form.
Regulating out-of-balance hormones may require the help of natural medications and herbs, but lifestyle changes, such as engaging in serotonin-restoring and cortisol-depleting activities will also help.
Here are a few little tips to add some calm into your daily routines:
BREATHE + REFLECT
Notice how you breathe – do you breathe from your chest, or your stomach? Are they short or long breaths? It may sound like simple and obvious advice, yet the simplicity of taking three deep, long breaths can calm the mind, release negative thoughts and allow you to gain perspective.
To take it one step further, why not start the practice of mindfulness and meditation? Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to our present moment experiences, how they make us feel, and how we choose to react. Studies have shown that the addition of a ‘reflection’ or ‘gratitude’ journal into your daily routine encourages clarity of mind, decreases negativity or negative thought patterns, aids in deeper sleep and overall contentment. If you need a little guidance in the beginning, there are many smart phone Apps and podcasts available to get you started.
Movement is so important to our overall health and wellbeing, and as mind and body are connected, movement through our body assists with clarity and function within our mind. Movement boosts our microcirculation which assists in boosting our mood, and blood flow. Any form of aerobic exercise will trigger the release of serotonin levels which is a great naturally produced and available cure for stress and anxiety. If you are short of time walking is a great way to start, park the car a little further and walk some of the way - wherever you are going.
When we are under stress, the body is placed on red alert, with the stress hormones flooding the body. Because of this, all ‘non-essential’ bodily activities are placed on a stand-by/shut down mode, you have probably noticed you're appetite isn't great when you're stressed or you crave sugar and carbs. So when it comes to eating be sure to eat foods that are gentle on the digestive system and stomach, soups and smoothies are best. Cut out things that will over-stimulate your nervous system - such as sugar and coffee.