The Choices You Make Affect Your Face Part 2
As we continue on with discussing lifestyle choices as they relate to aging, and in particular external signs of aging, it is important to look at an issue that all human beings deal with throughout the duration of his or her lifetime. This issue is stress. Stress is a natural part of life. It is your neurological reaction to environmental factors. Your body releases stress hormones as a coping mechanism when difficult or dangerous situations arise. In a short term sense, this is a positive reaction that allows us to focus our energy on the situation at hand. However, chronic stress can set you off balance and induce more serious health issues.
Stress can be caused by a infinite list of catalysts. Every individual is different as in what causes stress and how one deals with different types of stress. The key words here are "how one deals." Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, insomnia, decreased immunity function, among so many other harmful maladies. Stress can also cause premature aging. Prolonged high levels of stress can make you more susceptible to fine lines due to repeated facial expression, dry flaky skin due to dehydration, dark circles and bags under your eyes due to sleep deprivation, and acne due to hormone fluctuations and increased oil production. It is completely normal to have moments of stress, however, it is important to learn how to eliminate unnecessary stress.
The first step to managing your stress levels is figuring out what exactly is stressing you out. The most common causes of stress are issues related to money, work, health, relationships, and major life changes. Everyone will experience in one way or another stress related to one or all of these causes at some point in his or his life. These five categories are just part of life. When something is "broken," instead of completely stressing out about it, try looking for ways to fix it. This can definitely be easier said than done sometimes, but as a species we have the innate skill sets necessary to problem solve. By realizing that the natural reaction of stress is designed to help us problem solve, we can actually harnass that energy to our benefit instead of our demise. The mind is even more powerful than some of us might realize.
There are also little adjustments to our daily lives that can be helpful in reducing the effects of stress, and in the long term help us achieve a more natural balance of physiological and psychological health. Leading a physically active life is vital. It is even better if you can find physical activities that you actually enjoy; maybe that's yoga, surfing, golfing, swimming, or walking. When you exercise, even for 10 minutes, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins act as a natural painkiller and produce feelings of overall wellness. Endorphins can also help you sleep, which is very important for stress management. Exercising also promotes alertness, mental stability, self-esteem, and reduces fatigue, tension, and anxiety.
On top of engaging in a proper exercise regiment and receiving sufficient hours of sleep, we can't forget about our spiritual side. This is not referring to any religion or individual beliefs, this is remembering to take care of our deeper minds. To lead a peaceful and happy life, we all need to have things that make us feel that way. Some find this through meditation, reading and drinking tea in a comfy chair, cooking amazing meals for family and friends, traveling to new places, writing, creating art, surrounding yourself with nature, listening to music...the list is truly endless, but the point is we need to find time just for ourselves. We need to do the things that we love. A life with too much of just one thing is not a balanced life, and when that thing or things is causing chronic stress, you run the risk of continuing your life with physical or emotional pain.
When you feel great on the inside, your outside will tend to reflect those feelings. Little changes, adjustments, or additions to your lifestyle can make a world of a difference as to how the rest of your life is going to play out. You have the power to make all of those positive choices! Eliminating smoking, drinking in moderation, if any, protecting your skin from the sun, catching sufficient z's, staying hydrated, exercising, and allowing yourself the time to do some of the things that you love and that make you happy, can take years off of your internal health and external appearance. This is your life, live it well; you deserve it!
Thank you for sharing a smile!