Stress and the Face

What is Stress?

Stress is the way we cope with pressure. Stress is not the cause, stress is a symptom and pressure is the cause.

What Happens When We Get Stressed?

The body has an inbuilt physical response to stressful situations. Faced with pressure, challenge or danger, we need to react quickly. We release hormones that are part of the "fight or flight" response resulting in a heightened or stressed state that prepares the body for optimum performance in dealing with a stressful situation. Very often, modern day stresses do not call for either fight or flight. However, the same stressing hormones are released as part of the reaction and this natural reaction to challenge or danger, instead of helping, can damage health and reduce the ability to cope.

What Causes Stress?

Many things can lead to stress, some examples are:

  • pressure to perform at work

  • guilt, perfectionism, worry

  • money worries

  • arguments

  • family conflicts

  • divorce

  • bereavement

  • unemployment

  • moving house

  • poor nutrition, alcohol, smoking.

Sometimes, there is no particular reason for developing stress, or it arises out of a series of minor irritations. Also, just the anticipation of events or circumstances can lead to stress.

Who Gets Stressed?

Everyone is at risk of being stressed, since it can be caused by a range of common place situations. However, everyone has different lifestyles, personalities, up-bringing and genes which can mean people cope with stress differently. It is important to differentiate between temporary stress that you know will go away when a situation is resolved, and long-term or chronic stress. Most people can cope with short periods of stress, and it can often be relieved by relaxing, sleeping or exercising. Long-term and chronic stress should be dealt with more seriously before it becomes too physically and emotionally damaging. To prevent and to cure long term and chronic stress, the first step is to understand your personal stress levels and be aware of how stress might be affecting you.

How Can Stress Affect the Face?

  • Too much stress can have devastating effects on our body and mind, but it can also severely affect the face.

  • Stress can affect the natural production of the plumping agents, collagen and elastin in the face leading a sallow, aged appearance.

  • Stress can also be a contributor to dehydration which makes the skin look unhealthy, tired and older.

  • Stress leads to poor circulation which means toxins are not correctly removed from the skin leaving a dull appearance.

  • Stress often means we frown, grimace and squint for very long periods of time which leads to deep set lines and wrinkles.

  • Understanding stress and then dealing with it, is the key to feeling healthier and happier as well as looking younger and healthier in the face.

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