The Effects Stress Can Have on Our Bodies
We’ve all been through the ringer; from daily ups and downs, to major life changes like divorce, death, school and traumatic experiences, we’ve seen the effects that stress can have on our bodies.
For some its weight gain, or weight loss, bags under the eyes, an increase of wrinkles, hair turning grey, and the dreaded acne. Stress doesn’t always cause acne, but research shows a significant link between the two. Today’s focus is how to reduce stress related hormonal breakouts through breath work!
What Does Stress Do to My Hormones?
As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands make and release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. Often called the stress hormone, cortisol causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Normal levels of cortisol are also released when you wake up in the morning or exercise. But stress-related hormones send skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands into overdrive, which mixes with dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria.
What Can I Do to Naturally Lower Stress and Save My Skin?
During stressful moments, conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy instead of storing it in your body. This is important because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.
Breath work has other benefits too! It can increase alertness and oxygen flow and allow your body to release toxins more readily. Although breathing is something your body naturally does, it’s also a skill that can be sharpened.
What Breathing Technique is Best for Reducing Stress?
In my opinion, box breathing is the BEST way to reduce stress within minutes! Box breathing is a powerful, yet simple, relaxing technique that returns breathing to its normal rhythm. The technique is also known as resetting your breath or four-square breathing.
It is easy to do, quick to learn, and can be a highly effective technique for people in stressful situations. This is also great to do while laying in bed trying to fall asleep!
Take your time!! Any time you feel stressed, focus on your breath. You can do it in the car on the way to work, before you start your day (which I highly recommend). It’s such an underrated, unconscious, unused tool that holds so much power in lowering cortisol and stress.
Next time you feel upset, sad, or want to reach for the sweets to make you feel better, take time out to BREATHE! Cutting back on sugar and stress can help manage breakouts AND will make you feel better in the long run as well!
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