Stress comes in the ‘cake mix’ of life. We all feel stressed from time to time. However, when we feel stressed out majority of the time without taking counter measures, the constant activation of our body’s stress response will start to take a toll on the body. This is when stress becomes chronic.
Chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular effects and can contribute to anxiety, burnout, depression, addiction, and obesity.
In this blogpost, I am going to discuss the one thing nobody told you about stress, and 9 tried and tested prescriptions for stress management.
The One Thing Nobody Told You About Stress
Did you know that stress can also leave a mark on your face? Wrinkles, greying or thinning hair, acnes, puffy eyes are just a few of the ways stress shows up on your face.
Basically, if you don’t take steps to regulate your stress overload, it will also speed up your aging, albeit unwittingly!
Although aging is inevitable, and there is no magic wand for stress, we certainly can be smart about managing stress so that it does not speed up our aging.
Why does chronic stress manifest on your face?
Based on my research on stress, inflammation and skin aging, I have summarised below the key reasons why chronic stress end up as marks on your face:
- The hormones that your body releases when you feel stress (e.g. cortisol) can lead to physiological changes that negatively impact your skin.
- Stress causes changes to the proteins in your skin which results in reducing its elasticity, hence causing wrinkles, sagging skin, puffiness/swelling under your eyelids.
- Eye strain from prolonged use of digital devices will add to fine lines, dark circles, tension headaches.
- Stress causes changes in cell formation that disrupts the normal hair growth cycle and hair pigmentation (melanin) production.
- Stress impairs the skin’s function as a barrier and affect skin water retention.
- Stress from sleep deprivation increases fine lines and reduced elasticity.
- Our habitual tendency to hold on to emotional stress in our face will crystallise into bad habits such as frowning, grinding your teeth or biting your lips. This will in turn impact your face in the long run.
The 10 ways Stress Shows Up On Your Face
- Digital Eyes Fatigue
- Puffy Eyes
- Dry skin
- Tension Headache
- Greying/thinning hair
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
- Sore lip
Tried and Tested Prescriptions for Stress Management
I’ve spent half of my life in the fast-paced high-stress corporate world.
I didn’t take good care of myself and my health.
I didn’t have access to appropriate tools and support for stress management.
As a result, I suffered from varying degrees of burnout, depression, frozen shoulders to name a few.
Below are my 9 tried and tested prescriptions for effective and sustainable stress management, which in turn will avoid burnout and accelerated aging:
- Avoid stressful situations and people. If possible, avoid or keep to a minimum the external causes of stress in your life.
- Try my ‘energy indicator’ – Up, Down, Neutral- Check if a given situation or people is bringing you a lift (positive), a drop (negative) or indifference (neutral) in your energy level. If possible, avoid the things or people with drop/ negative effect.
- Release chronic tension from face and head region. We seldom pay attention to releasing chronic tension held in our face, neck and head region. Our face, neck, ears and scalp area is also where the Vagus nerve innervates (the crania nerve responsible for our rest and digest response). Keeping the condition of our fascia connective tissues in this region hydrated is crucial to keeping our body juicy and supple!
- Discover the power of my Signature Anti-Aging Qi Facial to release stress and tension from your face and head region. My Signature Anti-Aging Qi Facial is an Inside-out 3-in-1 rejuvenation of your face, organs and nervous system
- Move and Release physical tension and blocks. If you are holding on in your body, it is almost guaranteed that you are holding on in your mind. Thus, releasing physical tension in your body and face is the gateway to release mental and emotional stress.
- Everyone has a different way to release physical tension. E.g Fascia Bounce, running, skipping, swimming, tennis, walking, Qigong, dancing, Chinese healing art of ‘Pai Da’ or tapping.
- Choose one that is doable and enjoyable for you.
- One recommendation for men, running or other cardio exercises will help release any extra testosterone from their system.
- Commit to regular self-care and relaxation in your routine. Schedule time for self-care to relax and take better care of you, your health and healing.
- For example, it can be as simple as allowing time to rest, sleep meditate, walk in nature, body massage, yin yoga, sound bath, listening to music.
- A great way for women is to relax is to hangout with girlfriends (oxytocin- happy hormone) is triggered.
- Learn meditation + breath work. The practice of meditation helps us to us to sharpen our ability to be present and breath work helps us to down shift our nervous system. Done together on a regular basis, you will accumulate critical mass for greater calm and the ability to cope with stress in the long run.
- Try a simple mindfulness practice below 🙂
- Sleep! Sleep is one the best way to regulate stress to slow down aging. If you have having trouble sleeping, learn the healing art of scalp combing, to enhance sleep quality!
- Scalp combing is available in the Juicy Rituals Online Course.
- Simple self-acupressure treatment by pressing on the Sun acupressure point with the tip of your finger or knuckles with moderate pressure for 1-2 min.
- Eat a healthy diet with supplements. A subject matter that warrants a post on its own.
- Connect others. we human beings are social animals, we need human connection. Talk to your loved ones, family and friends. Don’t be afraid to seek support from a therapist, trusted teacher to hold space and co-regulate your healing!
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs. Smoking is a confirmed case of critical chronic stressor that impacts skin aging significantly.
The Bottom Line
The secret to to effective stress intervention is bite- size practices on a regular basis, as opposed to the ‘once in a blue moon’ type of lazy effort.
Schedule in stress release and regulation into your daily routine just like how you would brush your teeth everyday!
This way you will successfully build up a resilient system that will help restore harmony, improve your body’s response to everyday stress and slow down aging! This is the basis of how you can be Juicy, healthy and peaceful at any age!
If you are interested to discover natural self-care tools to release stress and tension for optimum health and aging, please check out my online course – The Juicy Rituals – an essential natural Anti-Aging Self-Care Toolkit for women. 🍒
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