Health Impacts of Stress
Stress is a funny concept, try to define it – go on … I bet if all of you sent me your personal definition of what you perceive as stress, it would fill pages and you would find that different things stress each of you differently.
For example, some of you might find driving stressful, some of you enjoy driving. However, this does not mean that driving is not stressful, at least for some of you. So what is Stress?
Stress is any situation or circumstance, which if overgoing over an extended period of time will cause your body's physiology to change.
Basically there are two forms of stress "good stress" and "bad stress" – an example of good stress is sensible exercise, which is a stress on you body's physiology which will improve your overall health.
Bad stress on the other hand is an activity that will do the reverse – for example: worried about money, or rather the lack of it … That can keep you awake at night, create anger, resentment and usually negatively impacts your relationships with your family and friends. It can also be working a job you hate, but for reasons, known only to yourself, you can not leave the job and feel you have to put up with it.
As a student of traditional Chinese medicine, during my course on differential diagnosis, stress was listed as a cause for just about every disease known to man; and this right across the spectrum of medicine (orthodox and traditional forms).
Think about this for a second – stress has the potential to cause, or contribute to causing almost every disease known to medical science …. That's amazing!
There are lots of books and other information on how to help recognize and manage stress in your life, and I will not go into a lengthy how to manage and recognize stress session here.
This article focuses on how stress will show up and affect your skin – especially your facial skin.
Someone once said that your parents are responsible for how you look until your 30 – after that it's your responsibility …
So are you smiling or frowning more often during the day …? Both produce different lines on your face – do not believe me – look in the mirror and smile, then frown – see. Which do you like better?
Frowning causes your neck and facial muscles to tense up and this in turn reduces blood flow to the skin, which is in part responsible for causing facial lines and wrinkles prematurely.
Did you know that smiling requires a lot less effort and energy than frowning? And that it's better for you? Did you know that smiling can actually make you feel happier?
Scientists and psychologists have found that the muscles around our mouth and jaw that allow you to smile really stimulate a specific part of our brain which is linked to our emotions. When these brain cells are stimulated, they make us feel happy. So, even if you feel sad, irritated, angry or frustrated, just by smiling, it will make you feel better. Aside from this physical benefit of smiling, a smile to others often makes them feel happier.
Picture this. If someone greets you every morning with a sullen and sulky face, it does not help you to feel any better, in fact, it will also dampen your mood. If you are met, however, with a cheerful smile and a friendly greeting, you easily catch the happy mood and you start the day with enthusiasm. This simple yet very effective technique of bonding and motivating others is an underestimated and undressed skill.
Would not it be great if we could train ourselves to smile instead of frown? To have a 'permanent smile' on our faces? We'd end up with happy lines on our faces and lots of other faces smiling back at us – good idea?
Here's a very simple way that you can start changing the lines on your face and reduce the effect of stress on you body without buying anything, reading any books or spend any money.
One way you can have this 'training' start right now is by asking someone you live with or a trusted friend to make an agreement with you – each of you agreements that when the other one is seen to be frowning, they get charged a frowning fee – say $ 0.50 and this is put into a jar. At the end of a month, you both get to go out and do something which will bring you joy or make you happy. That's got to be worth trying, No?