We are regularly reminded to ’Relax, chill down, ignore, cool it, forget about it, it’s not worth it’ and many many more terms that sound much easier said than done.. Stress, is by far the world’s most common culprit that is the main underlying cause to many diseases nowadays. However, maybe if we told you that no matter what you do in order to hide the stress you’re going through, it will affect your appearance eventually.. Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction that can wreak havoc on our faces and bodies, aging us faster than a lifetime of smoking and bad eating habits…
What Goes Around In Our Bodies When We Stress?
To begin with it’s very important to understand that there comes a point when everything surrounding us and bombarding our daily lives will clearly have a result, make our nervous systems more sensitive.
When we get super stressed, our bodies feel endangered, thus responding by releasing hormones that increase breathing and heart rates, and our muscles get tighter and ready to respond to the perceived danger. Our blood pressure and energy levels go up and our body turns off functions that are not essential to your survival, like digestion and reproduction. Being in this high alert mode, you will think more clearly, and learning and memory are enhanced. As very useful as it may seem, this serves you only if you’re dealing with a true life-threatening situation, however, reacting to minor situations with that same level of stress response it’s a different game.. When we don’t personally recharge and do stress-mastery techniques, the consequences will be greater than ever.
How Does Stress Manifest On Our Appearance?
When stress levels stay elevated much longer than necessary symptoms start to appear..
1 || Hair
Simply put, hair will fall out! Disturbance of the hair cycle caused by stress can cause ‘telogen effluvium’, a condition that occurs when a large amount of hair follicles are pushed into the resting phase. ‘Alopecia areata’, can happen when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss. ‘Trichotillomania’, which is picking one’s own hair is another result of stress and needs psychiatric help. Stress can cause the melanin in your hair to stop producing, leaving it gray as well..
2 || Skin
As long-term stress suppresses the immune system in all organs, our skin becomes more susceptible to infections and even disrupting menstrual cycles, which can lead to hormonal breakouts. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is the main culprit, when its levels are disrupted, acne and eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and atopic dermatitis might occur. At times of stress, valuable vitamins and minerals are prioritized for our body’s vital metabolic processes and the production of stress hormones therefore ignoring our hair, skin and nails… Dull skin at times of fatigue and stress, more lines and wrinkles, breaking down and failing to repair tissues, decreased collagen and elastin production are all results of chronic stress.
3 || Nails
Cortisol causes a loss of biotin in the body, and the combination of adrenal fatigue can weaken nails. Healthy nails require vitamins and minerals like protein, biotin, silica, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Stress makes it harder for our bodies to absorb the nutrients they need, so nail ridging, pitting, and shredding are all side effects..
4 || Body
Overeating and binging on high sugar, fat and carb content foods at times of stress will release dopamine, a feel good neurotransmitter. One night of less than five hours of sleep can lead to the consumption of an extra 300 calories. Women with high cortisol levels tend to store more visceral fat, the ‘deep’ fat stored further underneath the skin and around the organs linked to metabolic diseases and increased inflammation, than those with lower levels.
5 || Teeth
Stress can cause us to clench and grind our teeth, resulting in joint and muscle pain called ‘temporomandibular disorders’. This results in headaches, neck and back aches, and worn-down, unattractive-looking teeth. The tongue can even collapse and close off the body’s airway, leading to problems like sleep apnea.