Stress and Acne: Stress Less
From road rage to emotional upheaval, stress is a fact of life which we all undergo on a daily basis. There are many causes of stress, including friends, family, co-workers, finance, health and more.
Although stressful situations are inevitable, it is important to minimize your stress levels through relaxation techniques and other lifestyle choices.
Worrying about a problem doesn’t resolve anything. Worry only serves to make you feel depressed and helpless – another form of stress.
Acne and Stress: Sources of Stress
Coping up with stress and reducing its effect is an important skill that you must learn. Before you can handle stress, however, you need to identify what your stressors are.
1. Work-related stress
Any work situation can be stressful—from the demands of the job to relationships with co-workers.
2. Relationship-triggered stress
Dealing with family, friends, and acquaintances can also be stressful. How many times have you made excuses not to attend family reunions simply because you didn’t want to see a relative?
3. Health-induced stress
Illness can cause serious stress for everyone involved, especially when the sickness is chronic in nature. Health related issues are likely to induce stress in both the patient and their loved ones.
4. Psychological stress
Stress is a basic human instinct, designed to keep us safe. When our perceptions of non or mildly threatening situations overreact, however, stress becomes a large issue in its own right. Crossing the street, for example, is an ordinary activity; but it can be dreadful for some who perceive it as dangerous or life-threatening.
5. Traumatic events
Death in the family, divorce, job concerns, or the break-down of a relationship are all stressful circumstances, the psychological effects of which can be long-lasting and detrimental to a person’s long-term happiness.
6. Meeting expectations
As human beings, we are often too hard on ourselves. Perfectionists would rather not try at all than risk failure. Others are often worried about what the people around them would say about them..
Ill-effects of Stress: Acne and Depression
Stress triggers a hormone-related reaction in the body, often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This panic is temporary and will subside once the threat is over, but can leave the body feeling tired or shaken due to increased levels of adrenaline.
Chronic stress, or stress experienced over a long period of time, can lead to serious health conditions. Initial stress response is often manifested through:
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Lack of sleep
- Difficulty in focusing
- Chronic headache
- Upset stomach
As you experience more stress, your body succumbs to sickness.
It is common to see people who are stressed to be suffering from frequent anxiety attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and heart ailments. Some lose or gain weight, which can, in turn, lead to further medical conditions.
Stress and Spots
Stress can lead to an acne outbreak. There’s no conclusive study on the direct relationship between stress and acne, but there are clear indications that people who are under stressful situations are more likely to have acne than those who are relaxed. Medical experts attribute this to the overproduction of facial oil which gathers dirt and bacteria, causing infection.
Furthermore, stress causes a decrease in the efficiency of the operation and condition of the body, such as affecting the performance of the detoxification system (the liver and the gut). This decrease is a major contributor to acne, as excess toxins that would normally be expelled by the liver instead are excreted through the skin, leading to acne lesions.
Stress is everywhere, but we can minimise its effect on us, our physical and mental wellbeing and our lives. It all boils down to being prepared to work at it.
The first step in managing stress is identifying the cause. You will then be able to react accordingly. If it’s an over-bearing boss that causes you stress, then try to sit down with him/her and deal with it squarely. If the situation is too much to bear, then you might want to look for another job. Finding a new employer or the possibility of not getting hired immediately is also stressful, but would you rather report back to work daily to a place you simply despise?
So what makes you feel stressed? What triggers you to react negatively to any given situation? Does the sound of a squeaky chair irritate you? Why?
Answering these simple questions will help you understand how stress affects you and how you will be able to manage it effectively.
Simple and Immediate Stress Relief
It may take a long time for you to completely deal with any stressful situations. But there are simple things that you can do to minimise its immediate impact or simply de-stress yourself.
1. Walk away
Get as far away from a stressful situation as possible. Physically removing yourself from a difficult situation will help you to gain perspective and clarification. This doesn’t mean that you should totally turn your back on a problem; it simply gives you time to recompose yourself.
2. Diet and water intake
Eating the right kind of food will help you maintain your health and stamina. Energy levels are highly dependent on diet: a hearty breakfast before going to work will help you to combat stress throughout the day.
Hydrating is also very important. When stressed, your heart beats faster, your breathing becomes more shallow, and the sudden burst of adrenaline triggers perspiration. Calm yourself down by drinking a cold glass or two of water. Additionally, having plenty of water in your system allows your circulation to work properly, by relaxing your muscles and veins.
3. Find a relaxation routine
There are a number of ways to relax: listening to music, sitting on the porch, or even getting a haircut can help. Perhaps a body massage once a week could allow you time and space to be by yourself. Even a 10-minute walk to enjoy the scenery around you could be all you need to relieve yourself of stress. Find an activity that doesn’t involve much brain power.
Regular exercise helps you to stay fit and healthy. When all your body parts perform to their fullest, you are less likely to be affected by any stressful situation.
5. Healthy conversation
Often it can simply be a person’s perception that results in undue stress. A particular problem could be perceived as an impossible obstacle, whilst another person’s perspective may highlight the same problem as a simple challenge. As such it can be quite helpful to talk to other people about problems that are causing you stress. Often, their offering of a different perspective is all that is required for you to be able to see things in a different light.
There are times that you may need someone to listen to you blurt out all your frustrations. Releasing pent-up emotions also help relieve stress. If seeing a psychologist will help, do so; otherwise, a friend beside you will do the trick.
Long-term Stress Solutions
Analyze what stresses you and deal with it accordingly. You may also want to talk with health care professionals who will be able to help you cope with stress. A psychologist is a good candidate, especially if you are already experiencing anxiety attacks. If you are losing your appetite or resorting to binge eating when distressed, a sit-down with a mental health professional will help gain a clearer perspective of your reaction to stress.
Minimizing stress in your life means that you take action to lessen its impact. Being conscious of what causes you stress is the first way to do it. Making a conscious decision to live a stress-free life is the next step. Stress will always be in your midst, but you can live a meaningful, acne-free life as long as you know how to handle it.