I’m sure you know the feeling…you can’t stop looking in the mirror; you’re hyper-aware of your skin, maybe it feels warm, looks red.
The thoughts start rolling.
You’re worrying about the friends you’re meeting up with in a couple of days, the work colleagues you’ll see tomorrow, or the classmates at school.
All of this creates a fight or flight stress response by the sympathetic nervous system in the body which sets you up for:
- Increased inflammation
- Slowed digestion
- Increased cortisol
- Decreased progesterone
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Sugar cravings
- Dysbiosis and candida
- Negative mental patterns
And maybe you already know that, but you still can’t seem to shut off the thoughts and emotions. It’s hard, I know!
For most of us who have suffered with skin issues, you’ve been here.
While it would be great if the solution in this moment could be as simple as manifesting clear skin just by thinking it into existence, we need to take a step back and look a little deeper.
Step 1: STOP
Drop what you’re doing, step back from the mirror, tell the thoughts to hold on for a second.
Step 2: Ground
In this moment as the body is in fight or flight before you do anything, make any decisions, or go on with the day you need to bring the body back into balance.
Get out of the stress response and find your “rest and digest” state of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Try this technique:
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in through your nose into your belly and your chest.
Slowly release the breath through the nose.
Start to notice the sounds around you – the birds, cars, the wind in the leaves of the trees.
Notice the feelings around you – sunshine on your skin, wind in your hair, or the coolness of the surface you’re resting on.
Continue taking deep breaths, making your inhales longer and exhales longer each time.
Send love to yourself.
Sending healing energy to yourself.
Send gratitude to yourself.
Send love to your thoughts and allow them to gently move along.
Take a few more deep breaths.
Open your eyes.
Step 3: Write
Journalling is an amazing tool for connecting to yourself. Allow yourself time to write down any thoughts or feelings you have in this moment. List your fears, your worries, your angers.
Now list your strengths, list the positive things you’ve done to care for your health and your skin. List some things that make you feel good.
Write down what you need, what is your body asking for? Is your body asking for more relaxation? Do you need more self-love? Do you need a green smoothie? A walk in nature? Exercise?
Step 4: Go do it!
Write anything that comes to mind and then close the book. Go do the thing that your body is asking for or schedule the time for it.
If you still feel out of sorts and need more relaxation try the meditation one more time.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn your mind from stress to calm with a minute of deep breathing.
When you’re dealing with stress this is an essential technique to prevent the stress from manifesting into larger issues (and more acne).
At the height of my anxiety and stress (and skin issues) I could feel it in my body. The feeling weighed me down and made me uncomfortable or restless yet tired at the same time.
My mind would race, breathing shallow, my body ached.
I came to recognize this feeling over time and now if it starts to creep back in I come back to meditation and notice what my body is asking me for and then I do that.
Your skin is giving you a sign that you need something. Get out of the stress response so that you can tune in and understand what that something is.
You can use this simple and effective method anytime, anywhere, for free!
Stop, ground, write, do.
Samantha is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor (200hr) currently working toward a diploma in Massage Therapy. She is also a former acne sufferer, and mentor in the Love Vitamin’s Naturally Clear Skin Academy.
Samantha has a passion for learning and for holistic healing through nutrition, movement, and mindfulness that she brings to her clients. Check out her wellness-based instagram @stretch_therapy.