Stress has so many immediate and long term negative effects on the body. These harmful effects can be both physical and mental. Stress can induce chronic disease, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, panic attacks, and other difficult health issues. Matter of fact, 90% of all chronic disease is caused by stress, and to make it worse, about 70% of the population knows that they are stressed out and only about 25-30% try to do something about it.
What are easy ways to reduce or deal with stress?
Breath. Yes, this may sound corny, but if you can really pause for a few minutes, close your eyes, and practice deep breathing you will immediately feel less stressed. Scientifically, your body can not release the hormone that causes relaxation at the same time as the hormones causing stress therefore this practice works if you focus. Simply inhale 4 to 8 counts of breath and exhale the same; repeat for a few minutes.
Journal. Taking a few minutes to write out how you are feeling will help you prioritize, organize, and refocus your thoughts. It may bring a new perspective or give you an “aha” moment that will help you calm down and distress.
Move. Many people find that exercise is a great way to release stress from the body. It can take your mind away from the issues or challenges at hand while pushing your body into a new level of awareness. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that cause you to feel good and motivate you to eat well and work harder. Exercise can be strenuous or just a light walk.
Sleep. So many people underestimate the importance of getting AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep every night. Inadequate sleep leads to decreases in important hormones that help manage stress levels within the body.
Hydrate. Dehydration does not allow your brain or body to function properly. Drinking the recommended amounts of water daily and avoiding large amounts of caffeine will help keep your mind conscious and more able to deal with challenges and changes thrown at you.
Eat Right. Avoid processed, sugary, or fatty foods. Having a strong and healthy body will give you more energy and fuel to work through stress or even totally avoid it. Here is a great article that discusses foods that aid with stress relief via Mind Body Green : http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4170/7-Foods-to-Fight-Stress.html
I have already written a post about how great switching over to natural skin care is for your body and overall health. I introduced the great affordable product line I discovered; S.W. Basics. I have loved using their cleanser and toner and have seen a great improvement in my skin since I started. After writing about the dangers of putting so many chemicals into your body through your skin, I inspired my sister to head over to a local natural skin care boutique in Boston, Follain Boutique, to make the switch to natural products. She went a little over a month ago and has seen amazing results with her skin. So, I decided it was about time I head over to their second location in Wellesley and get some more products that are fit for my skin type.
Before I get into the great products and recommendations I received during my walk in, I must say that it is the most beautiful skin care boutique. Everything is simple, clean, and extremely well designed; it makes you want to spend all day hanging out in there. Not to mention the customer service is impeccable; every employee working is so engaging and knowledgeable in all the product lines and their specific benefits. Follain has a mission to create a movement with the way people look at beauty products. Their credo, which is simply put and impactful, is:
My Product Roundup
After talking through my skin type and the type of breakouts I experience with the lovely associate Ashley, I was recommended a full skin care routine:
Activated Charcoal is a powerful ingredient that pulls toxins and other buildup out of your skin. This cleanser is great for acne prone skin. I learned during my visit that you are only supposed to use a cleanser once a day and preferably at night. Washing your face in excess only causes you to lose natural oils and moisture which causes breakouts.
A great simple and gentle toner for everyone. It is gentle which allows you to use it often throughout the day. Using a toner after you cleanse is ideal to balance your PH levels and tighten up your pores. Instead of cleansing in the morning, it is recommended to just splash your face with water then proceed with the toner and moisturizer.
This face oil acts as your moisturizer. It is made with evening primrose oil which is great for acne prone skin, especially hormonal acne. This oil also contains Vitamin E and Carrot oil which brighten your face and improve skin strength.
This mask is made for individuals with oil and problematic skin. It has many different ingredients but the main ingredients; activated charcoal, turmeric, and a blend of Amazonian clay, together bring bacteria to the surface, eliminate blackheads, and overall clear blemishes. It is recommended to use this mask 2-3 times a week.
This cover up has a coconut oil base allowing you to not only cover your blemishes but treat them at the same time. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties as well as moisturizing.
Then we talked body soap, scrubs, and lotion as well as deodorants and hair care. It is important to not feel like you need to quickly switch all your beauty products at once. Some of these seemed overwhelming, so I took samples to test out and over time will begin to incorporate them into my routine:
Switching to all natural deodorant can seem scary but it is essential since you are currently clogging your pores with toxins and not allowing your body to release them. All natural deodorants allow this natural process to happen which in turn, over time, begins to lessen. This line of deodorant is great for sensitive skin and works (even through a workout).
I learned the importance of exfoliating, on the regular, during my trip at Follain. Exfoliating your skin daily or a few times a week is essential for keeping your skin healthy. I was recommended a local brand, Organice Bath Co scrub to use. This company uses all fair trade ingredients and donates some of their profits back into the fair trade industry!
Lastly, switching over to shampoo and conditioner is a very hard transition. I couldn’t fully pull the trigger during this visit. I took home a sample of Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner to try. The expertise at Follain really encouraged me to first start by slowly reducing the times I shampoo my hair down to three times a week. Once I am through this transition to then start using these products to see the best effects. Most women wash their hair every day, which I am guilty of, but it is extremely drying and hurtful to your hair. The first week of reducing your washes might be a little tough but it is proven that once you get through the first week you will not feel like your hair is greasy anymore.
I can’t express how great my experience at Follain was and I encourage anyone in the area to make a trip to one of their locations. If you are not local start by checking out their website and reading the product descriptions to see if they match your skin type. You can also search your area for a natural beauty boutique as well. Take the pledge with me and start to slowly switch your beauty products to natural ones for optimum health and wellness.