Stress Effects on the Aging Skin, Mind, and Body
Stress affects all aspects of our lives, including our skin, mind, and body. Your body is flooded with the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline to increase your heart rate, quicken your breathing, and get your muscles ready for action. Stress induces a short-term response to a situation, requiring a “fight or flight” response. However, stress that affects you day after day can negatively impact your skin, mind, and body.
The Effects of Stress
The hormone cortisol, which is released when you are stressed, triggers the production of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is suspected to stimulate the release of oil from sebaceous glands around the hair follicles. This excess oil can clog your pores and lead to acne.Under Eye Bags
Chronic stress can result in sleep deprivation, which worsens the appearance of under-eye bags and increases fine lines and uneven pigmentation. If stress is causing you to lose sleep, your face will show it, making your aging skin look older than it actually is.Poor Mental Health
Chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety.Weakened Immune System
The high cortisol levels released under stress suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. Not only that, but chronic stress can increase the amount of time it takes you to recover from an illness or injury.High Blood Pressure
Stress hormones tighten blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure. Having consistently high blood pressure puts a strain on your heart and increases your risk of heart disease.Triggered Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are those in which the immune system attacks its own body. Some examples include psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.
When the body withstands long-term stress, it can burn through its cortisol reserve because the adrenal gland cannot keep up with the demand. When cortisol levels dip too low, autoimmune diseases are often aggravated. This effect is why those with psoriasis may notice a flare-up following a stressful experience.
Tips to Combat Stress Effects
When stressed, the body builds up the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, but there is often no outlet for them. Exercising helps to use up these hormones while also producing endorphins, which help to improve your mood. Exercises that use repetitive movements of large muscle groups, such as walking and jogging, are especially beneficial.
Other types of exercise, such as yoga, focus on joining the body and mind and effectively combating the mental health disorders that those with chronic stress may develop.
Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect many aspects of your life, so it is crucial to ensure you get the quality sleep your body needs. If stress makes it difficult to fall asleep, try implementing a relaxing bedtime routine and sticking to a consistent schedule. Exercising during the day also helps to improve sleep, so give that a try.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Stress eating is a thing for a reason; certain foods provide an immediate surge of energy or happiness that the body craves when stressed. However, to positively reverse the effects of stress, it is crucial to focus on eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. It also doesn’t hurt to stick to heart-healthy foods since stress can take quite a toll on your heart.