Do you meditate frequently? What was once seen as a spiritual practice reserved solely for yogis has now become generally recognized as something that can help to fight all of the health concerns include better digestion and gut health.
When you consider that 75–90 percent of all doctors’ visits are linked to stress, it’s no wonder the benefits of meditation are so widely sought after and celebrated.
Benefits of meditation:
- helping to lower blood pressure
- treat anxiety and depression
- restful sleep
- reduce stress
- increasing feelings of relaxation
Impacts of stress
Most of us are under a lot of stress in today’s world. The impacts of stress can manifest on your skin, and this is because your gut and your skin are in constant conversation with one another.
When you’re stressed, your body is flooded with hormones, particularly cortisol, which sends you into fight-or-flight mode. This directs energy and nutrients to critical organs such as your heart, brain, and lungs, which all play a key role in your survival.
As a consequence, less important bodily functions such as your digestion and non-essential organs like your skin are deprived of oxygen and nutrients as these resources are directed elsewhere.
what’s going on inside your gut?
Stress can increase gut permeability (leading to leaky gut), slow digestion, cause constipation, gas and bloating and throw the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut out of whack. It has also been closely linked to gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Considering around 80 percent of your immune system sits within your gut, a healthy microbiome is critical to your overall immunity and wellbeing, too.
Stress can increase:
- gut permeability
- slow digestion
- gas and bloating
How all this affects your skin?
The symptoms of stress can be more cosmetic. Ongoing or chronic stress is particularly detrimental, leaving skin looking dull, dehydrated and lackluster, as it’s consistently deprived of the nutrients and oxygen critical for cellular turnover.
Slowed digestion can also lead to congested, red or rash skin as your skin has to deal with the toxic burden of a system literally under stress.
An influx of cortisol in your system elevates your blood sugar levels, damaging collagen and elastin (the proteins that keep your skin looking smooth, plump and hydrated) and increasing your susceptibility to inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis.
Not to mention the damaging effects of free radicals are also increased during times of stress, leading to premature aging.
Stress increases the production of 5-alpha reductase, which thickens the oil your face produces and this, combined with slow cell turnover, can contribute to blockages and breakouts.
And when it comes to pigmentation, the sun is not the only culprit. Stress can also be a trigger.
The melanocyte cells are incredibly sensitive, and they react to stress chemicals by releasing melanin, which then darkens.
Stress-induced pigmentation is normally mottled and focused on the outer edges of the face.
When you are under stress, your forehead contracts. Blood vessels become constricted and the skin looks tired and lackluster.
- Dull Looking Skin
- Dehydrated And Lackluster
- Red Or Rash Skin
- Damaging Collagen And Elastin
- Psoriasis, Acne, And Dermatitis
- Premature Ageing
- Oily Face
- Dark Skin
Meditation is a form of relaxation that not only superficially helps the skin appear fresher and more luminous, but on a deeper level helps to keep your stress hormones in check, which can help with inflammation in the body, metabolism and weight control, as well as immune health and wellbeing.
The bottom line is, no matter what your motivation may be for developing a meditation practice, it can be as simple as carving out a few minutes a day to sit in stillness and practice deep belly breathing. While at first, it may seem challenging to quieten your mind, it’s genuinely one of the simplest ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing.