Beauty and Stress: Chill Out to Look and Feel Your Best
Work overload, family obligations, overbooked social calendar, stand still traffic… life can hand you many reasons to stress out. But there’s one important reason to keep your cool: stress is beauty’s biggest enemy!
We’ve all had times when life and busy schedules get overwhelming. Sometimes it’s good to stay busy, but when it starts to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, that’s when it gets stressful. It’s important to stay calm during times of stress because it can affect us emotionally and physically. Aside from causing cranky moods, stress can actually have a negative impact on your looks.
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Stress and hair:
It’s been said that stress can cause graying and hair loss. This is because stress tends to speed up the aging process. We’ve witnessed global leaders go gray before our eyes, and it’s natural to wonder if stress had anything to do with it. Many factors can contribute to how fast hair ages including genetics, stress, and lifestyle choices. Even though stress can’t exactly be pinpointed as the culprit of gray hair, it sure doesn’t help it!
Hair loss can come in a few forms. Depending on the type of hair loss you experience (which can only be determined by your physician), hair loss could be stress related. Happily, in some cases, stress related hair loss is not permanent— at least that’s one less thing to stress over!
Stress and skin:
Have you ever had a huge blemish appear right before an important social event? I know I sure have! It was because I would stress out to the point where I had a few visitors on my face when the big day came! Anyone who has been under pressure will notice that it’s common to get blemishes during times of stress.
Another effect of stress on the skin is wrinkles. Stress causes the body to produce a hormone called cortisol, which many believe causes the breakdown of collagen. Skin needs collagen to help keep it firm and supple.
What can you do to minimize stress?
Chronic stress can have a toll on your looks, so it’s important to take some steps to chill out! Here are some things you can do when you start feeling the pressure:
Book a spa appointment
Not only will this help you relax, but you will be beautifying at the same time! Clear your schedule for a few hours and go get that facial or massage you’ve been putting off. Many spas offer massages specifically designed to relieve stress. Aromatherapy can be a great option to help you relax; lavender in particular is supposed to have a calming effect.
Spend time with friends or family
I’m not telling you to add events to an exhausting social calendar; I mean spend time with loved ones doing the things you really love to do. Maybe it’s connecting through conversation, doing something active, or taking up a new hobby. Time flies when you are doing something you love, enough to the point where your mind won’t be focused on whatever is stressing you out.
Get some exercise
My friend Samantha Clayton always tells me that exercise is a great stress reliever. Exercise releases endorphins, which ultimately make you feel good! If the very idea of exercise stresses you out, start with small changes—go for a brisk walk in fresh air. Any activity that gets your heart pumping will not only make you feel better, but will also promote healthy circulation which can contribute to radiant skin. Even if it’s just a quick walk or a few stretches, the idea is to just get moving!
Get a good night’s rest
When you feel like there are not enough hours in the day, put your to-do list aside early and get a good night’s sleep. With adequate sleep, you will be able to tackle all your tasks with renewed energy the next day. Getting into a habit of good sleep hygiene will help you look and feel your best. Let’s face it, we look fresh and have better moods after getting a full night’s rest too!
Try yoga or meditation
The mind-body connection is a powerful one. Many yoga practitioners will tell you that they believe it’s one of the best ways to relieve stress. Yoga involves stretching and holding poses while keeping the mind still. If the idea of bending your body doesn’t appeal to you, meditation is a great option to calm your mind. Deep, controlled breathing is a great way to calm down after a stressful day.
Make healthy food choices
It’s in times of stress that you need good fuel the most! It’s so easy to reach for comfort foods, but that won’t necessarily help your stress levels. It’s all about enjoying a healthy, active life. Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks that are loaded with sugar, think about how much better equipped you’d be to handle life’s curve balls with a healthy diet. A balanced diet will benefit your overall appearance and mental outlook.
Take a time out
When office deadlines and busy schedules are getting the best of you, take a small time out for yourself. Just a 10-15 minute break to get fresh air can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle looming deadlines. You could also try some stretches at your desk or a take water break with a colleague to calm your mind.
Make your home a sanctuary
When you have a chaotic day, the last thing you want to do is walk into more chaos at home! Block out some time when your schedule permits to work on creating a stress-free environment at home. This is especially important because sometimes there’s no way to control stressful situations at the office or on the road, but your home is one place where you can take control and make it into a place that makes you happy. Surround yourself with positive images and happy memories and watch your outlook change.
Life’s too short to stress over the small stuff! Small changes can make a big difference in your outlook and appearance. What are some of your favorite stress relieving tips? I’d love to hear from you!
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
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