Feeling stressed and anxious lately? You’re not alone!

It seems that nowadays, stress comes part in parcel with how we live our life. Smartphones constantly pinging, pressure professionally or socially, and not enough ‘me time’ can take its toll and leave you feeling far less than 100% as well as having an effect on your physical health too.

But what does stress actually do to the body? We asked our pal, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Life Coach Jacqueline Hurst.

“Stress is ultimately when the body and mind go to what we call “fight-or-flight” where the body releases lots of stress hormones, including cortisol, to gear the body up to cope with an emergency. People who are under chronic stress have cortisol pouring into the bloodstream all the time. No wonder they don’t feel so good….

Many people talk about stress manifesting in physical illness such as getting regular infections, colds and flu, headaches and sometimes even muscular aches and pains. Sleep patterns can also be disrupted by stress and insomnia is an obvious red flag, but if you start waking early when you’re still tired, that’s a sign of anxiety, too.”

And what does this mean for our skin?

Well, the release of cortisol sends our sebum production into overdrive, causing inflammation, congestion and breakouts commonly in the lower jaw and chin area. If you’re sleeping less, that will have an impact on skin renewal as well as having an effect on your usual routine that you do to maintain your overall skin health. Usually, skin clears and improves as your stress levels decrease but keeping stress levels low is easier said than done right? Maybe not…

“I teach my clients and students that stress can be banished from your life by learning how to think right. Stress is, in fact, an emotion which can be changed via your thinking” says Jacqueline

Jacqueline believes that with the right tools, getting a handle on your stress can be simple. Here are her top 5 tips:

 

1 Sometimes its good to step back and ask yourself, “Is that going to make any difference in ten years’ time?” Ninety per cent of the time, the answer is no. Get perspective – put the issue you face into perspective, accepting that most of the things we worry about are not life-or-death issues. Try to mentally shrink what’s worrying you, and it won’t seem like such a big deal after all.

2 Balance your expectations. So many of us have sky-high expectations on ourselves, way higher than we would set it for anyone else. Whatever it is you are stressed about ask yourself how you would talk to a friend in this situation. Would you be yelling at her that she will never get it sorted out or is an idiot to have got into this situation or would you treat her with kindness and love? Exactly…treat yourself nicely and be kind with your thoughts and the stress will slip away.

3 Noticing that you are ‘stressed’ can actually be good for you (!) because it’s a signal that you can either carry on doing what you are doing and getting the same results or that something is in need of change. I think the best way to look at stress being good for you is that it is simply a signal for change.

4 Small changes can yield big results. First of all, our thoughts rule how we feel. It’s important to understand how we think creates our feelings so if we are feeling a feeling we don’t want to feel, like stress, we have to start thinking about things differently. We teach all our students at The Life Class how to think correctly because the truth is none of us we were taught how to ‘think’ or deal with our ‘emotions’ at school and yet this is so important to understand fully that your thoughts create how you feel. If you are stressed the first thing to do is start by writing down your thoughts – get it out of your head and onto paper

5 Start to look at those thoughts. In other words, are you choosing thoughts that feel good or feel stressful? Let’s say you are stressed about a presentation you need to do for work. If you are thinking ‘I can’t do this’ you won’t be feeling great. Instead, you need to start thinking about it differently to create a different feeling. Start challenging yourself on the opposite, in other words, start looking for evidence to prove to yourself, why you absolutely CAN do it.

You can find out more about Jacqueline Hurst here and The Life Class here

Our favourite products for de-stressing:

De Mamiel Altitude Oil – warm this botanical blend in the palms of your hands and take a deep breath of the beautiful aroma to re-centre yourself and have a moment of peace in a busy day. £28 and available at the clinic

Elequra Rose Quartz Massage Tool – if you’re struggling to sleep at night, practising facial massage is a great way to wind down before you go to bed. We love this tool as it tones, drains and boosts the skin! Use with your favourite face oil or rich moisturiser. Treat yourself! You deserve it. £33 and available at the clinic

Botane Whipped Cleanser – if you don’t have the headspace or time to do anything else, a good cleanse morning and evening will help to keep skin clean and shift any debris from the day that can contribute to breakouts and lacklustre skin. This gorgeous cleansing is easy to use and has the added bonus of fruit enzymes to nibble away at any dead skin cells. £37 and available at the clinic

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum – This indulgent serum is a highly nutrient dense combination of 22 botanicals (and free of any chemical nasties) that are packed full of fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that tighten, brighten and aid the healing of your skin. It’s the perfect luxurious treat for that will make you look and feel wonderful. £175 and available at the clinic

 

Photo: Dennis Stenild