Meditation gets a ton of coverage in the media for its health benefits. If you are like me, you probably don’t have a strong interest in starting a practice because it sounds “boring” and feels like maybe you won’t be a good fit due to your constant racing mind. “How will I be able to relax enough for this to work?”- you ask yourself. I am incapable of shutting my brain off even when I sleep. However, this is actually the reason why myself and others alike SHOULD have a meditation practice especially if you want to keep your complexion tight (among many other positive benefits).
How Stress Affects the Body
Stress shows up in many different forms- tense muscles, lack of sleep, low immune system, and many others. The phrase “stress kills” is real, although the diagnosis of an ailment or illness usually isn’t 100% attributed to stress. If we are talking just skin, stress constricts blood vessels and releases stress hormones that decide that skin circulation is not a priority and to channel blood away from the skin toward muscles and other organs in the body. Not only is the skin deprived of oxygen and nutrients, but it becomes so sensitive that pre-existing issues, such as acne and eczema, tend to flare up. Our muscles tense and skin loses that rosy glow and fine lines and wrinkles begin to form. Oftentimes, we end up sleeping less, drinking less water, consuming more caffeine, skipping parts of our skin care routine and exercise less...and every little bit takes a toll.
How Meditation Helps
You can always up your retinol or get a facial to help your skin flare up but in the end you are treating the symptom not the problem. The problem is stress. Here is where meditation kicks in; when we meditate even for a little we allow our bodies to calm down and relax therefore releasing hormones that combat the fight or flight hormones. Concentrating on our breathing by taking deeper breaths helps eliminate toxins from the body as well (believe it or not most of us are taking short staccato breaths throughout the day. When you feel good on the inside, it is reflected on the outside. If you feel so inclined, incorporate a few yoga poses to increase blood and lymphatic flow as well as oxygenation throughout the body.