Go with your gut.
According to Dr. Bincy Abraham, a gastroenterologist at Baylor College of Medicine, the brain’s nervous system is linked to the gut—which means mental stress can lead to stomach problems. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment can range from stool softeners to dietary changes. But exercise, which can boost endorphins and make the mind and gut feel better, may be the best natural remedy.
Hair today, gone tomorrow.
Major stressful events such as job loss or ending a long-term relationship can lead to hair loss. While it’s normal to see hair in your brush (losing about 100 strands a day is common), you may see more than usual about three to six months after said event. While there’s no food or supplement proven to restore hair growth, eating a balanced diet can help cell growth.
The eyes have it.
Stress is the most common culprit in these annoying muscle spasms, which typically occur around one eye and last for a few minutes. To ease the twitch, close your eyes, relax and breathe deeply. Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this four times while putting mild pressure on the lid with your fingertip.
Break down the breakouts.
Skin is sensitive to high levels of androgens, hormones that can contribute to acne flare-ups that can spike due to stress. In addition to natural stress-busting methods such as balanced eating and exercise, try oral and topical treatments and cleansers. These can unplug pores and wipe out bacteria that cause acne.
Aching for relief.
When you feel stress, your body produces hormones that produce a “fight-or-flight” response. In addition to elevating blood pressure and heart rate, this response also tightens muscles, which can lead to pain. If your back is in knots, movement is the best remedy. Stand up, do some stretches and try to get in a 10- to 15-minute walk.
Save your skin.
Because stress can throw your whole immune system out of whack, skin rashes and flare-ups of pre-existing conditions—like eczema—are common. Bland (non-perfumed) emollients and moisturizers can help ease discomfort and heal symptoms. But if the rash is accompanied by a fever and flu-like symptoms, experts recommend seeing your doctor right away.
Now where did I put those keys?
Ask any woman who’s got a lot on her plate and she’ll admit to forgetting a thing or two (find those keys yet?). Research shows that stress can shrink the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory. Fortunately, it will go back to its normal size once stress levels are lowered. Restore focus by going for a walk or climbing some stairs at work. Exercise helps keep the brain sharp.
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