8 Stress-Reducing Tips to Look and Feel Your Benefits

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. 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.

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. 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? 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! 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

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! 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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

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.

Written by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training https://discovergoodnutrition.com/2017/01/plant-based-nutrition/

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