Stress sucks and although it might feel inevitable at times, there are some little known ways stress affects your appearance as well as your body. Let’s face it, if we could, we’d all eliminate stress from our daily lives so that we could look and feel better all the time but since that’s not really feasible, let these 9 ways stress affects your appearance enlighten and convince you to not overwork and overstress yourself out!
1. It’s Written All over Your Face
One of the most obvious ways stress affects your appearance is that it rear its ugly head on your facial skin! Your skin starts producing oil from stress hormones, you break out or your skin can look dull and lifeless. Stress can cause skin to go wacky like make you break out in hives or cause a flare-up in a pre-existing skin condition like eczema. There’s actually a new branch of medicine called Psychodermatology that focuses on emotions and their effects on skin!
2. Your Hair is Thinning
Some ladies like myself know firsthand how stress affects your appearance, through your hair! Seriously stressed people can expect to see hair loss and loss of vivacity in your normally healthy and shiny hair. You can use expensive hair care products and go to high-end salons for haircuts and blowouts but it won’t do much for hair loss or thinning from stress!
3. Nervous Nail Habits
Stress can cause us to subconsciously do things that we don’t realize we’re doing and it leave unattractive results behind and that’s just one of the ways stress affects your appearance. Some people bite their nails from nerves and stress whereas others do repetitive movements with their fingers that can cause indentations and leave grooves on the nail bed. Other signs of stress found on nails include dry and brittle nails or peeling nails.
4. Lines and Wrinkles
Another way stress affects your appearance and skin are the lines and wrinkles that eventually become permanent from constantly furrowing your brows, grimacing, frowning or any other facial expression stemming from tension and stress. Most of the time we do make these expression involuntarily and then before we know it we start seeing lines on our forehead and in between our eyebrows.
5. Effects of Stress Causes More Stress
This is kind of an odd addition to this list of ways stress affects your appearance but it’s an unfortunate and widespread fact of life. The very effects of stress like acne, cold sores or other skin conditions that arise as a result of stress can then cause you to be stressed and self-conscious about your appearance making another skin flare up inevitable.
6. Weight Gain
This is one of the more well-known ways stress affects your appearance as there are so many magical diet pills on the market promising to reverse the effects of an increase in the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to weight gain. Stress produces lots of different effects and behaviors within us and weight gain from stress can come from the things you do in order to try and combat the stress or it can just be hormones out of wack causing your waistline to increase.
7. Your Go-to Stress Relief Foods
Many people like to treat themselves with sweets or other junk food as a way to relieve stress or get their mind off of things but taking part in this behavior is another way stress affects your appearance. Sugar can be toxic to skin and if you deal with stressful situations by having indulging your sweet tooth and having as many cupcakes as you can handle, the excessive blood sugar and glucose will show up in your skin and it ain’t pretty!
8. Lack of Sleep
The lack of sleep from stress can certainly lead to ways stress affects your appearance such as sallow and dull skin on our faces, dark circles around our eyes, weight gain and parched skin. Stress can easily affect our sleep from tossing and turning or racing thought making sleep close to impossible. Sleep is necessary in order for us to function normally and optimally so you can imagine the mayhem that can stress and lack of sleep can cause!
9. Poor Dental Health
Who would’ve thought plaque was one of the ways stress affects our appearance but it happens! Stress can cause an increase in plaque production which can later lead to gum disease, bleeding gums or gingivitis. Although our gums aren’t always the first thing people see, bleeding or inflamed gums are very obvious! Stress sure knows how to kick us when we’re down; we don’t need all of these other potential problems on top of gum disease!
Have you ever experienced any of these nine ways stress affects your appearance? I can attest to the validity of some of these consequences of having too much stress in my life and I had to take a good, hard look at my life to see what I can change in order to live a healthier life. If you live in constant or frequent state of stress, think about modifying some of the factors in your life that you can change not just for the sake of your appearance but for your health!
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