Whether you’re feeling excitement about a special event, jitters before a big presentation or depressed after a debilitating divorce, there’s an undeniable link between our feelings and the way our bodies respond. While it has become a bit of a coin phrase, mindfulness matters-from managing cortisol levels to impacting the way our cells age, the way our brain thinks impacts the way our body copes.
This week, as a part of the Ostad 360º Total Body Wellness approach, I would like to share some of the ways the mind and body are connected.
It’s true: happiness does give you a glow.
It’s not just your bright smile that gives you away when you’re feeling good. Positive emotions like happiness and joy release endorphins and neurotransmitters that reduce inflammation in the skin. This increases blood flow to the face which often results in what others see as a “glow” in your skin.
Stress will age you-fast.
We live in a busy world and managing the day-to-day responsibilities of life while also trying to make time for loved ones can sometimes feel overwhelming. Though it might be tempting to push your own needs to the backburner, it’s essential to take a timeout for a little self care. High stress levels not only cause an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone linked to insomnia, belly fat and a host of other issues), but they also trigger the release of inflammatory mediators which bring about the production of collagenase and metalloproteinases. These are the enzymes responsible for collagen and elastin breakdown leading to increased wrinkling, laxity and aging.
Make no mistake: negativity will ruin your skin.
We all experience a wide range of emotions throughout our lives, but stewing in anger, sadness and/or other negative stress will release cortisol (see above) and epinephrine. Both activate the inflammatory cascade which can cause inflammatory mediators leading to excessive vasodilation which can lead to conditions like flushing and rosacea, an increase of oil production (the cause of acne and increased inflammatory cells) which can cause psoriasis and eczema and autoimmune skin conditions that cause increased hair loss in susceptible Individuals and a host of other skin conditions.
Yikes! Lower skin immunity can lead to serious side effects.
A number of studies have shown link between positive emotions and increased skin immunity as well as ones that highlight the ways the stress can trigger skin infections and slower healing time.