Stress and its Negative Effects on Eczema
While we can define stress in many ways, let us just put it this way: stress is caused when something disturbs your physical, social and mental routine. For example, when your job is described as a routine work then suddenly you are loaded with a pile of document or perhaps tasked to solve an office problem and come up with an immediate solution, that’s stress. Studies show that people with demanding job has an 80% chance of being depressed.
Acute Stress – A Good thing?
Our bodies response to stress is it will trigger the production of hormones like adrenaline which will surge throughout our body’s system where the stress level in each person varies. Caused by a short term and a minimum amount of stress, acute stress can actually be good for us as it keeps us active, alert and accomplish the task easily.
Further, acute stress creates this temporary feeling of satisfaction as your self-esteem is boosted as a result of accomplishing the task on time and efficiently. But on the other hand, if the stimulant that causes stress is long term, otherwise known as chronic stress, there is a strong possibility of damaging consequences such as health problems.
Eczema and Stress
The immediate outcome of stress especially if you can no longer handle the stimulant like noise, pollution and work overload is headache. In extreme cases, some people will develop severe migraines, depression or anxiety. Along the lines of extreme cases, if you are suffering from Eczema like myself, stress can be a major Factor . The response from the body caused by stress will increase our skin’s sensitivity to the environment thus increasing the chances of an outbreak a.k.a “FLARE UPs.”
I used to be stress all the time when I was young and many time it cause lots of flare-ups along with heightening my depression. This in turn made me not want to be out in the public because of what my skin looked like. Now that I am older I realized this and made important changes to my lifestyle. I still get stress like any regular person but now it doesn’t linger around long term because I learn how to diffuse it. I still get my terrible flare-ups but it isn’t attributed as much by stress and not as frequent as before.
Effects on other Conditions
It may not be the root cause, but stress can worsen your asthma attacks. This is particularly evident in stress brought about by parenting which greatly affects the asthma attacks of their children. Studies shows that children, whose parents are stressed out either from work or parenting, has a higher chance of developing asthma.
If you are diabetic, stress can worsen the situation as it often leads to excessive eating and drinking. Stress has also been found to increase the glucose level or persons with type 2 diabetes. Other health problems can occur like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and accelerated aging among others.
Tips with Dealing with Stress
In handling stress, the first logical thing to do is to accept that you are stress and take control of the situation as follows:
Work Stress? – Take a break and breather
Taking a break or time-out should be your instant reflex to stress. Go outside or to a different environment where you can diffuse for 10 minutes. Your brain will be relaxed and hopefully your mind will be emptied from any negative thoughts. This will allow you to address the problem with a more clearer and open mind.
Inhaling and exhaling slowly creating a deep breath will also do the trick. Others find it effective by counting up to 10.
Talk about it to someone close
Not necessarily to a professional, but by talking to someone unloads a great burden of stress related thoughts.
Mediation and Yoga
Another recommendation is to learn to meditate for a short period. You can find many videos online that will teach how to do this.
Laugh! Allow it.
Always allow humor where a good and nice laugh can really boost your positive side. Go watch a comedic film/series or hit up the comedy club.
For example taking courses on painting, pottery or drawing.
Exercise is a wonderful way to minimize stress. I have been taking kickboxing lessons the past year and it has dramatically help my skin and mental health. It will also help build your immunity but do not forget to have a healthy diet as well.
The only issue and downside of exercising as a Eczema sufferer is sweat, which can cause my skin to be irritated. I haven’t written an article on how I deal with sweat, but that will be coming soon and I will post a link here.
Also if you are having issues with starting or maintaining a weekly routine of physical activities because of motivation issue, then please read this article.