• Anca I.

Is Thinking About Wrinkles Giving You Wrinkles?

On top of having things to worry about, we often worry about worrying and make the whole thing worse. Thinking too negatively or intensely on problems has been shown to exacerbate them. Meta-anxiety is a real thing Worry and concern about aging, weight, or other outward appearances can actually negatively impact our health and the aging process. 

Anxiety and stress, in general, are incredibly bad for your health, and looks. And it’s no small issue either. While stress and anxiety are normal parts of life and should be expected in doses, when experienced without relief, it can cause problems. 40 million people in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder. With pop culture normalizing business, the hustle, the "sleep when I’m dead" mentality, more and more people are suffering from chronic stress and anxiety. 

Aside from physically aging, what does it do to age other parts of your body and mind, you may ask? 

  • Stress inflames the body. And while inflammation can be good when trying to fight off a cough or to protect you from a predator, in our daily lives the presence of chronic inflammation is a worrisome ordeal.  When your body is constantly inflamed it becomes a breeding ground for potential diseases and ailments as the heightened state of inflammation can be directed toward our own bodies. 

  • Stress and emotional distress have actually been shown to speed up cellular aging. 

  • Thinking about your looks, weight, and health in negative terms can actually cause more stress and create a negative feedback loop that creates even worse circumstances in those areas! A UC San Francisco study showed that even the anticipation of stress can lead to an increase in age-related disorders. 

Yeesh, it’s hard to get a leg up on anything these days. Rest assured, there are things that you can actively do to reduce stress and anxiety. 

How to effectively mitigate stress 

Reduce booze, coffee, smoking

Have fewer vices. And we know, it’s easier said than done. But your body and mind will thank you if you can cut back on a few habits. 

Alcohol alters your brain chemistry and in the long run, can affect the neurotransmitters in your brain that are responsible for mood regulation. Heavy drinking can contribute to exacerbated anxiety and depression, and decrease your ability to handle stress effectively. Coffee can overstimulate you if you’re prone to anxiety and cause more harm than help. It can simulate a “fight or flight” response in your body and can imitate the feelings of anxiety. 

Do we really need to mention smoking? It is absolutely terrible for your body and skin overall. Nicotine provides quick relief for anxiety but after time it can alter your mood and decrease your ability to handle stress and anxiety. It can increase the chances of getting cancer, can cause high blood pressure, and leaves your skin dry and discolored. Not a good look. 

Get moving 

A sedentary lifestyle will kill you. This is well known that the effects of a sedentary workplace can nearly have harmful as smoking and obesity. However, now for over 80% of our workforce, a sedentary desk job is the reality of their situation. 

An inactive lifestyle wreaks havoc on not only your body but also on your mind. It can increase brain fog, reduce cognitive function, and reduces quality sleep, all of which affect your stress levels. Combine that with the typical

American diet filled with processed foods, sugar, and fats, and it’s no wonder anxiety and stress are rising. 

Living a more active lifestyle is key to reducing stress and managing anxiety. Moving more is a must and making it a priority can be as easy as making a few small changes. Asking for a standing desk, take a walk during your breaks and lunches, and incorporate some active hobbies into your leisure time. 

Call your friends 

Loneliness is a killer- a study from 2017 found that loneliness and social isolation rival obesity as one of the main leaders of premature death. We are innately social beings, and modern life is seemingly impacting our relationships. The stress that accompanies loneliness is real and detrimental for people. 

Last year, the Independent released an article stating that loneliness was becoming one of Britain’s most lethal conditions. Our brains have evolved to experience social isolation and rejection as actual pain, and the stresses on the body and mind are immense and increasingly common in our overloaded and hectic world. 

Making connections with those around us isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity to our wellbeing and mental health. Reach out to old friends, sign up for a group class, or call a family member. Staying connected is key to maintaining a balanced life. 

Take Away 

Taking steps to improve your overall health and stress levels will always help improve your appearance. Stress can cause acne, weight gain, and premature aging. When it comes to appearances, we can only do so much before we relinquish control over what is. Enjoy yourself, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and worry less about your looks. It will help in the long run. 

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