Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is Stress Making You Look Older?


Yet Another Reason To Banish Stress From Your Life
We all know when we feel stressed. For too many, we now simply shrug our shoulders and accept that overwhelmed, frazzled feeling as “just part of life.” Stress at work or trying to find work, stress over maintaining the family, even fighting rush hour traffic. Yep, life is stressful. Here is yet another huge reason we need to take precautions against chronic stress: it makes you look older. It shows up on your face as:

  ü  Worry lines
  ü  Tired eyes
  ü  Dry, sallow skin
  ü  Dark shadows under the eyes
  ü  Breakouts

How Stress Affects Your Body
When the body feels stress, it immediately shifts into “fight or flight” mode. This fight or flight mechanism is like the body’s alarm system.  It signals to the body that there is imminent danger, and that we need to begin preparation to defend ourselves from harm - or to quickly run from it. This is normal.

Where it becomes problematic, is when we have this response to routine life challenges such as work related issues, traffic, relationships, family, interpersonal conflicts, etc on a continuous basis.

When this happens, the body is stuck in self defense mode indefinitely and, unfortunately you have no defense against this finely honed machine that is your body’s personal defense system.

Once your flight or flight mode is activated, the adrenal systems begin preparing you to be stronger, faster, better so you can deal with the perceived danger. Stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine are pumped into the body. This eventually results in inflammation in the body, and inflammation is bad.

Stress Leads To Premature Aging
Inflammation coursing through your body will lead to depletion of collagen, reduced blood circulation and reduced growth hormone. These are all essential to younger looking skin. Often when we are stressed, sleep becomes elusive and that makes tired eyes worse, the fine lines deepen into permanent worry lines and furrows, sallow skin looks so much worse.  We all have seen the effects of too little sleep even for just one night.

Can Stress Cause A Breakout?
Breakouts usually happen when we are stressed because the stress hormones are imbalanced and they trigger the sebaceous gland to overproduce – leading to oil buildup and clogged pores.  Keep in mind that  as we age, it gets more difficult to eliminate those pesky dark spots. The mottle your complexion and can cause permanent scars. Better to avoid them in the first place. Personally, I am morally opposed to fighting both acne and wrinkles at the same time. And I aim to put a stop to it.

The effects of chronic stress and anxiety on the aging process is more harmful than you would imagine. But since some stress is a part of life, it is imperative that you learn how to effectively keep your emotions in check. I know you’ve heard it all before. But if you are serious about anti-aging, handling your stress is a must-do.  There are many stressors that can be avoided altogether but where they cannot be avoided, take steps to reduce them to the barest minimum.

Here Are A Few Ways You Can Begin Feeling Less Stressed
  o   Get more sleep
  o   Exercise (yes, here it is again)
  o   Create some slack in your overly tight schedule
  o   Surround yourself with the most positive people you know
  o   Listen to your favorite music while you’re on the go
  o   Practice meditation
  o   Delegate more
  o   Practice proper breathing
  o   Get professional help with stress management techniques

Stress less – you’ll look better for it!

How do you reduce your stress?

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Live each day Passionately - as though your life depends on it - Because it does! CJ Monet