9 Ways To Relieve The Effects Of Stress

9 Ways To Relieve The Effects Of Stress

It’s no secret that as a nation, we are stressed. With work hours increasing and people cramming more into their schedules than ever before, our fast-paced lives are not without cost. You may be taking steps to tackle the more obvious effects but what about your skin?

Stress releases cortisol, which disrupts and unbalances our hormones; in the short term this can cause breakouts, but when stress is sustained it leads to premature ageing. Those with an extremely stressful lifestyle age up to 3.5 times faster than those who do not. So, what can you do? We've teamed up with beauty brand Murad to bring you some simple, effective ways to support both you and your skin and stop you from burning out.

1. Be Mindful Of Your Skin
Stress releases cortisol, which slows down the body’s natural regeneration of skin cells, reduces skin’s ability to retain water and increases retention of blood. Some of the most prominent indicators of stress can be seen around the eyes: dark circles, puffiness, dullness and fine lines are all indicative of someone working overdrive. “Stress appears in our skin as dehydration, sallowness, roughness and deep expression lines,” Says Dr Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD.  Look to targeted treatments that deal firsthand with these issues like Murad’s Revitalixir Recovery Serum. Advanced ingredients including hyaluronic acid and a cannabis derivative relaxes the visible signs of stress on skin, whilst reviving caffeine and niacinamide renew vibrancy. These ingredients work alongside a unique dual-delivery system to provide a formula more potent and better able to deliver results.

Revitalixir™ Recovery Serum, £70
Revitalixir™ Recovery Serum, £70

2. Avoid Stimulants
Coffee might be necessary to wake you up in the morning, but it could actually be fueling your stress levels. Dr Pascho recommends replacing coffee with water and herbal teas as these will “keep you hydrated and enable your body to cope better.”

3. Exercise
Physical activity increases endorphins, which boosts your mood and help alleviate some of the negative feelings stress can bring. Staying active doesn’t have to be an intensive HIIT session; low impact exercises such as walking, yoga and swimming have equal benefit when it comes to reducing your stress levels.
4. Meditate
The positive effects meditation can have on your wellbeing are near endless. Studies show daily meditation can alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress, as well as reducing general psychological distress. Set aside 10 minutes each day to sit somewhere quietly and calm your mind, if you don’t feel like you have time, try doing it on your commute.
5. Sleep
Sleep is as crucial for your mind as it is your body. Not getting enough can really affect your mood the following day. “Sleep deprivation or sleep interruption can increase stress levels. Sleep helps our brains clear away toxins, plaques and proteins that build up throughout the day. Sleep also helps us to remember the new things we’ve learnt and improves concentration, mood and metabolism, so it is vital we bank between six and eight hours of sleep each day,” explains Dr Dimitrios Paschos, Consultant Psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health.
6. Don’t Do it All
Be realistic about how much you can accomplish, both in work and your social life. Letting the candle burn at both ends is never a good idea and will undoubtedly leave you feeling overtired and stressed. Rather than organising something every night, stay in and relax if you’ve had a busy day at work. Sometimes it’s better to put yourself first and say no.
7. Write It Down
When you’re feeling particularly stressed it can really help to take some time and write down what’s playing on your mind. A great way to clear your head before going to sleep, journaling stops anxieties brewing and helps put the day’s worries into perspective.
8. Work Smarter
Knowing how to prioritize will stop you getting overwhelmed at work. As soon as you get into the office, make a list of everything you need to do that day. Spend some time thinking about which are the most important, being realistic about what you can get done.
Breathe Deeply
When you’re feeling overwhelmed deep breathing can lift the sensation of impending doom. By taking a couple of minutes to slow things down and really focus on your body and breath, you’re forcing yourself to slow down and your body to relax, this reduces cortisol levels and has been found to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.

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