Stress is probably the greatest age-accelerating precipitator there is.
As a dermatologist, I can also unequivocally state that stress is also the precipitator of a great many skin problems; in fact, these problems often have their very roots in the psyche.
This can include everything from acne to eczema, rosacea to psoriasis and worse. Unfortunately normal day-to-day interactions with our partners and children can be stressful – no matter how much we love them. Of all of the physical conditions we experience, stress is also the most deadly.
Many circumstances create stress in our daily lives. Arguing with family, friends or colleagues, not getting enough sleep, worrying, working too hard, or even playing too hard can all create stress. Weekend warriors, who try to make up for a week of inactivity by spending hours engaged in strenuous physical sports, raise their stress levels to an unhealthy degree. Any activity that is practiced without moderation can lead to a stress response.
To help reduce the negative effects of stress, I recommend following the anti-inflammatory diet and taking targeted anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements (I’ve recommended a few below). I also suggest implementing these simple strategies:
Make sure that you get enough sleep
Try to minimize situations that create stress in your life
Don’t drink coffee. Coffee contains many organic acids which can elevate our cortisol levels. It’s important to avoid spiking these levels, as it can be toxic when large amounts of cortisol are circulating in our system for prolonged periods of time. It is not specifically because of the caffeine because you can drink a cup of decaffeinated coffee at 8 AM and your cortisol levels will still be measurable at 10 PM –the same effects as a cup of regular coffee.
Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day for meditation or prayer. It is a well- established fact that people who do this have significantly lower cortisol levels. Long term benefits include keeping our skin clear, maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing age-related diseases, such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease
Consider learning some simple Yoga exercises. Yoga is an outstanding stress reducing discipline and can lower cortisol levels.
Substitute green tea for coffee.
Get out in nature—fresh air, trees, blue skies, all contribute to our physical and mental well-being.