While everyone is on the “do right” kick, I would like to speak to you all about stress and the effect it has on your body. In this fast-paced world, we are constantly moving….working, nurturing, shuttling kids around and trying to maintain. Few of us take the time to give our body a break from this daily hustle. As women, we are often burning the candle at both ends, which leads to a stressful lifestyle and soon, we start to throw the word “stress” around as if it’s just a word.

Our body is designed to help us combat short periods of stress with ease and efficiency but when stress is prolonged, the body goes into a distress mode, which has both physical and emotional effects on the body.

Chronic stress affects every organ in our body negatively, skin included. One of the body’s “help” mechanisms involves sending extra doses of hormones. These extra hormones add extra sebum (oil) in our glands, which causes breakouts. Also, those with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis often find themselves dealing with exacerbations (increase in severity) when they experience chronic stress.

Here are some physical and emotional issues that arises from chronic stress:

Brain: Difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings and mind fog
Cardiovascular: Higher cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Joints and Muscles: Increases inflammation, tension, aches and pains, muscle tightness
Immune System: Decreased immune function, lowered immune defenses, increased risk of becoming ill, increase in recovery time
Skin: Hair loss, acne, dull/brittle hair, brittle nails, dry skin, acne, delayed tissue repair
Gut: Nutrient malabsorption. diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, bloating, pain and discomfort
Reproductive System: Decreased hormone production, decrease in libido, increase in PMS symptoms

So while you’re being mindful and intentional about the goals you have for yourself this year, please be certain to practice stress reduction techniques/rituals for yourself. You won’t be able to perform your job, care for your kids, your spouse or any other obligation if you’re broke down and sick!

Make yourself a priority this year!