Stress Leads to Ugliness

Healthy flawless and younger looking skin is a dream of every woman. She spends a lot of dollars to achieve that aim. Its true that nothing can alter the genetic traits of our skin such as skin type, texture, color and pore size but our care and pamper can improve them. An Asian woman with typical Asian complexion can never change her complexion to a European type fair complexion (having no melanin), no matter how much expensive bleaching products she may use. But her efforts can reduce and control the melanin to some extent. Similarly aging process can never be stopped but our efforts can slow it down.

All the beauty sites and magazines are bombarded with advertisement of different cleansers scrubs toners, moisturizers and AHA’s products. Each one is promising to fulfill the utmost desire of a woman that is changing her skin into supple soft, vibrant and wrinklefree one. I don’t deny the importance of these beauty products but I believe that these products are not solely responsible for giving healthy skin. There is one very important ingredient in our life recipe that is mental health, which is the utmost factor in making us beautiful. All the beauty products are useless if one is emotionally disturbed and stressed. Stress is increasing day by day thus disturbing our every sphere of life including our looks.

Our skin is reflection of our inner physical and mental health. People with acne problem must have observed a positive correlation between acne and stress and have experienced increase in acne problem during stressed phases. Just a week of sleep disorder either due to stress or tough and long working hours bring dark circles under our eyes, which no cosmetic product can eliminate completely, but mental relaxation and sleep can do magic.

Emotional stresses disturb the body homeostasis that results in hormonal malfunctioning, impairment of body immunological functions and slows down the skin rejuvenation. Skin constantly renews itself. At young age the cell renewal process completes within 28 days but as we grow older the speed of this process slows down. In addition to age that process is also effected due to our mental state of mind. The period of mental disturbance slows down the process of cell renewal, destroys collagen fibers in the skin, breaks down its elastin and increases the production of sebum oils in oily skin people and dehydrate dry skin. If you want to have healthy glowing complexion than you have to take care of your mental health too because that is the key to your beautiful skin.

Practice following rules to get rid of stress:

First of all just leave the stressful situation and drink a glass of water.
Don’t make any decision during those phases.
Don’t make any negative judgement about yourself.
Think about positive traits of your personality. Nobody is ideal and perfect in this world. Every one has some weakness, if you too have some than there is nothing wrong with you.
Don’t try to seek the help of cigarette, alcohol or any drug.
Get involved yourself in some easy to do work like cleaning your wardrobe, arranging your bookshelf, do painting. But whatever work you start you have to complete it.
Call your friend, talk to him/her about your problem. If you don’t want to do so than just take a paper and write down about every thing that is coming to your mind without censoring anything.
Do aerobics or yoga or just go out for a long walk.

A step by step relaxation exercise that you can perform without the help of any instructor is as follows:

1. Lie on the couch or bed and if you are at your work place and bed or couch is unavailable than just sit comfortably on your chair.

2. Close your eyes and take a deep slow breath and imagine tension in all your muscles. Now breath out and imagine that you are letting out as much inner tension as possible. Repeat this step five times.

3. Focus your mind on your feet and calves. Breath in and stretch your feet and calf to an extent that doesn’t hurt you. Hold your breath for few seconds and than breath out and at the same time relax your feet and calves muscles.

4. Focus your mind on your thighs and bottom. Breath in and stretch these muscles. Hold for few seconds than breath out and relax your muscles.

5. Focus on abdomen and chest. Repeat the same procedure of stretching and relaxing with these muscles.

6. Focus your mind on your hands and arms. Stretch your fingers straight and tense all the muscles from your shoulders to your fingertips. Hold for a few seconds and breath out and relax muscles.

7. Now focus your mind on the muscles of shoulders and neck. Push your shoulders back and stretch the muscles of shoulders and neck. Hold your breath in for a few seconds and than breath out and relax.

8. Focus your mind on face and head. Breath in and at the same time tense your forehead, close you eyes tightly, clench your jaw, scrunch up your whole face and hold on your breath for few seconds. Now breath out and relax your muscles.

9. Now repeat the step two again.

You’ll feel that your are relaxed and your mind is calm and peaceful. No cleansing, buffing or nourishing of skin does any good unless you get rid of your tension.

The Author:

Shakila Akhter, a clinical psychologist with interests in health and beauty, dress making, knitting and cooking.

© Copyright 2002 Shakila Akhter

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