Reducing Stress: An Important Lifestyle Choice for Eczema Sufferers
Is Stress Exacerbating Your Eczema?
Nobody enjoys stress, but when you suffer from atopic dermatitis/eczema, keeping your stress level down is very important. We often underestimate the relationship between our mind and our body. Stress is extremely demanding on the body. It weakens our immune system and makes us more vulnerable, and when you are already prone to eczema flares, stress can further weaken an already compromised system.
In addition to eczema flares, stress and a weakened immune system can lead to other disease. It’s hard on the heart, as well as the lungs, liver, and other parts of the body. Children who are prone to stress have more instances of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues, and are more likely to develop mental illness, particularly if it runs in the family. If you have a child with eczema, talk to them about their feelings. Watch your child and see when they act agitated and help them with problem solving skills. A child with eczema can suffer social anxiety so watch out for this and make efforts to make your child feel comfortable. Read this article on the social issues of eczema
To start to reduce stress, we need to tune into our bodies. Learn to attune yourself to your stress level and how it’s affecting you every day. Before bed, take some down time and let your body feel quiet and reflect on any tension that you might be holding from the day. Consciously attune yourself to that stress and release it. Here are some relaxation techniques that can help:
1. Focus on the Breath
Do you ever pay attention to your breathing? You should. It has a calming effect, slows your heart rate, and is therapeutic for the body. Take a break and focus on your breathing, concentrating on inhaling through your nose, how it starts in your the abdomen and then rises. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
2. Go from Scattered to Present
Have you heard the expression, “be present”? It’s all about slowing down. Too often, we are so busy that we feel we’re always speeding up, multi tasking, and jumping from one thought and task to the next. Being present is all about slowing down and concentrating on one thing at a time. Take a break and notice the details of how you’re feeling, your surroundings, and all of your senses. Taking a few moments throughout the day to focus on this “present” feeling will take you from scattered to centered.
3. Eat Well and Exercise
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again; eating right and moving are good for you. As someone who suffers from eczema, eating well means avoiding trigger foods that can cause an eczema flare, but it also means eating healthy foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients that will help you feel your best.
Exercising doesn’t having to be complicated. Just make sure that you’re moving every day. Going for a walk outside is good both for your physical movement but also for your mental well-being. It’s a great time to work on being present and breathing well too.
4. Learn to Meditate
Meditation is something that anyone can learn. You can start out small; meditating for even just a few minutes each day can do wonders for anxiety. Again, concentrate on your breathing, but instead of noticing all of your surroundings, try to empty yourself. Find the peace, quiet, and calm from within. Just 10 minutes of meditating a day can be life changing for many people, and can have a profound positive impact on your eczema-prone skin.
5. Take a Warm Bath then Moisturize
There are many studies that report a warm bath can reduce stress. There is also a lot of research on the benefits of bathing and moisturizing eczema before bedtime. Bathing and moisturizing can not only be relaxing but it can also reduce the itch of eczema which promotes more restful sleep. Only use cleaners and shampoo every other day and apply eczema clothing after moisturizing.
What causes your stress? Are there ways that you can reduce that stress? It’s normal for us to have some level of stress in our lives, but if there is stress that you can reduce or eliminate, it’s certainly something to strive for, particularly when you have eczema. Reducing your stress can have very positive affects on your overall health, and can help to reduce eczema. Try to work on the techniques mentioned here, and also consider, what helps you to relax?
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