Are You Stressed Out?
It’s a question we’re often asked when we look bad, have a terrible temper, are in a hurry, or any other sign that the situation is not right.
If we take a quick look at our image in the mirror at that moment, we will discover that our face will indeed confirm that we are stressed-out.
Pathological level stress is one of the most common disorders in today’s world, and there seems to be a tendency to be more and more present in most people’s lives.
But just as a troubled and turbulent lake is not beautiful, chronic stress in our lives is blurring our natural beauty.
The consequences of such a state are present in our mind, body, and social environment. For example, the skin and the mind are in a close relationship, so many skin conditions are psychological.
Some skin-related conditions such as acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, brittle nails, or excessive sweating can worsen and even appear during periods of chronic stress.
The consequences of stress on the skin undoubtedly affect it significantly and tend to affect self-esteem because of its aesthetic effect. Also, these skin lesions are a source of stress. For example, vitiligo or alopecia can diminish a person’s quality of life and make him/her even more stressed.
It is the case, for example, that a person suffering from acne manipulates the lesions in his or her anxiety, causing additional damage that often leaves permanent scars.
Stressed skin also means that its natural protective mantle has been disrupted. Hence, it is common for the skin to become fragile, suffer from dehydration, become very reactive to irritants, and more prone to infection.
In permanently dehydrated skin, wrinkles and flaccidity are accentuated. In other words, chronic stress accelerates aging.
Stress also affects the skin’s appendages. In hair, for example, it can cause hair loss or the appearance of gray hair. According to a study by Kanazawa University in Japan, stress can make hair grey because of the damage it causes to the stem cells in the hair follicles.
Another of the results of the studies carried out by this university about stress and its consequences on our organism is that chronic stress can lead to the appearance of varicose veins in our legs.
When we are trapped in the vicious circle of stress, those who suffer from it lose motivation or lack the time to develop the necessary routines to solve their skin problems. In some cases, they even make them worse.
Undoing the vicious circle of stress and poor skin condition is essential to start recovering our natural beauty inside and out. According to Dr. Fried of the American Academy of Dermatology, managing stress can improve people’s condition on their skin.
In his opinion, if we combine traditional dermatological treatments with psychotherapy, relaxation, meditation, tai chi, music therapy, or yoga, the improvement is usually remarkable.
That way, when the person begins to notice that there is a visible improvement, he or she will start to be more confident and be more motivated to continue on the path to recovering their beauty and well-being.
Stress, the Plague of the 21st Century
A significant proportion of the world’s population suffers from a disorder that is on the rise and is often associated with other ills.
When we talk about stress, it is often immediately associated with adults. However, the disease is now so widespread that children, adolescents, and young people are also involved.
Specialists suggest that in the modern world, potentially overwhelming situations are occurring at increasingly younger ages. The stress suffered by young people makes them prone to irritability and to suffer from anxiety or depression.
- According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the so-called Millennial generation turned out to be the one suffering most from stress. 39% of people between 18 and 33 years old claim to be stressed.
- Generation X (between 34 and 43 years old) declared to suffer from stress in 36% of the cases.
- The Baby Boomers (between 44 and 66 years old) was 33%.
- Those over 67 years old seem to live the most peaceful lives, as only 29% indicated feeling stress in the fulfillment of their responsibilities.
History of Stress
The concept dates back to the 1930s, when Hans Selye, a young Viennese medical student at Prague University, observed that several patients had common symptoms, such as fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep difficulties, and asthenia or feelings of weakness. He called this set’ sick syndrome’.
After graduating, Selye conducted a series of experiments to try to understand what was going on. The results showed that lab rats undergoing strenuous physical exercise ended up with high levels of adrenal hormones (ACTH, adrenaline, and noradrenaline), atrophy of the lymphatic system, and gastric ulcers he called ‘Biological Stress.’
Pandemic in Today’s World
Stress can be considered a sensation that we create when reacting to specific events. The way the body prepares itself to act in a problematic situation with strength, vigor, and mental acuity, so it is not a priori something negative.
The events that provoke it are a variety of realities, and the body responds by activating the nervous system and certain hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more adrenaline and cortisol and sends hormones into the bloodstream that increase heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, and thus metabolism.
The blood vessels widen to allow more blood circulation to the muscles. The pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of the stored glucose to increase the body’s energy. Sweat is generated to refresh the body. All in order to prepare the person for the challenging circumstance, either to fight or flight.
Stress occurs in certain situations, although not necessarily dangerous, for example, when we have an exam, prepare a party, or simply when we are tense. A little stress of this kind can be beneficial, as it helps to keep us alert, ready to face any challenge.
Without the short-term stress, most of us probably wouldn’t be able to finish projects, or get to school on time, or get to work. However, when stress becomes chronic, it often turns into something negative, which affects a healthy quality of life.