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Our world is FULL of things that damage our skin daily…

In fact, over 90% of all aging is environmental.

Between sun, pollution, and toxins, it may seem IMPOSSIBLE to avoid some of the worst offenders…

But there is one major skin-damaging factor in your life that you actually can control…

Stress.

Stress makes the body produce cortisol, a hormone that halts the body’s production of new collagen…

Leading to skin that ages MUCH faster, and shows much more visible sagging, wrinkling, and loss of radiance.

And stress levels are EXTRA high for most people this weekend… the last weekend before TAX DAY.

Now, when you’re under stress, it may seem impossible to get everything back “under control…”

But rest assured, there ARE a few things you can do to reduce your stress levels, and keep your mind (and skin) feeling calm and youthful again!

#1) Follow a schedule

A surprising 2014 study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine found that the majority of working Americans are actually LESS stressed at work than they are at home.

Now, it’s not immediately clear why, but it likely has something to do with the structure and routine involved in going to work each day and performing singular, concrete tasks.

If you work daily, you can take extra advantage of this phenomenon by dedicating a full 15-30 minutes a day to prioritizing tasks and getting organized. That little bit of time will save you a LOT of headaches later on.

If you’re retired or don’t work a full-time job, you can create this effect for yourself by structuring your daily or weekly tasks. Knowing “what’s coming next” can cut anxiety and help cortisol levels drop… So try creating a general schedule for each week and sticking to it!

#2) Try “ice diving”

Ice diving is a practice used by some psychologists to help their clients calm down when stress levels enter “panic mode.”

Now, there are two ways to do this. The most effective is to hold your face in a bowl of ice water for several seconds at a time…

But for most people, that’s a VERY intimidating process. Instead, try holding an ice pack or frozen piece of fruit (like an orange) about an inch underneath both eyes, for a similar effect.

This technique triggers your Vagus Nerve… a nerve in the face that signals your heart rate and blood pressure to go down when exposed to the cold.

This will FORCE your stress levels down by getting rid of the physical symptoms of anxiety…

And it’s very effective. It’s even helped some of my patients who come in nervous about a procedure…

Not to mention, the ice can help tighten skin and reduce puffiness. Win-win!

(Note: This technique may NOT be right for those with certain heart conditions… If that’s the case for you, check in with your doctor before trying it.)

#3) Schedule “worry time”

This is something I’ve been doing for YEARS, that really helps me stay calm and focused, even when tasks start piling up…

Simply take 15-30 minutes per day to sit in a quiet place… and worry.

Use this time to think about all of the things that are stressing you out… think of possible solutions, things that could go wrong, and your “Plan B” for the worst case scenario.

By separating this “worry time” from the rest of your day, you’ll get all that stress out of the way… and finally be able to focus on your present tasks without getting distracted…

And you’ll very quickly find your overall stress level plummeting.

#4) Give someone a hug

We all know that physical contact with someone we love – a spouse, child, friend, or even pet – can be an enormously calming, comforting experience.

But it’s more than emotional… There’s also real physiology behind the power of a hug.

Physical contact with a loved one releases a hormone called oxytocin, which you may have heard of…

But what you might NOT know is that oxytocin is a POWERFUL anti-inflammatory, which reduces physical stress on individual cells throughout your body…

Including skin cells.

So this weekend, take some time out to give someone you love a hug. You’ll immediately feel better…

And look better, too!

As Tax Day approaches, using these techniques can really help you to stay calm and comfortable…

And can even save your skin from the extra damage that comes with this stressful “holiday!”

 

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