Stress, Eczema, and Emotional Triggers
Stress can have adverse affects on your health—we all know this. It’s especially true for eczema. Stress weakens your immune system in general and triggers your eczema in particular.
To help manage your stress, there are tactics that you can adapt. The most important thing is to learn to become aware of your stress triggers, and to monitor your stress if it starts to rise. Here are some tips to help you keep your cool:
Here are 7 specific areas that can help to improve your stress levels:
Outlook & Attitude
Optimistic people experience less stress than those who are pessimistic or have negative tendencies. Controlling your reactions, emotions, and overall attitude play a strong role in the way that you process stress.
Changing your emotional response can alter your entire disposition. If you feel stress rising, check yourself. Is there a way that you could flip your thinking? Is the trigger and your stress-response really proportionate to your reaction? Ask yourself, “What could I do to change the habit that contributes to my feelings of overwhelm?”
You can’t control all of the stressors in the world, but you can control the way that you respond to stress. Having a more optimistic view on things will allow you to take things in stride when encountered with stressful situations that are beyond your control.
Seek Work-Life Balance
Work to live, don’t live to work. Your overall health and wellbeing are directly tied to how much time you spend working. Studies show that robbing yourself of a rewarding personal life just to pay the bills is a huge factor when measuring stress.
On the other hand, if your personal life is riddled with torment, like a break up, a sick family member, or marital problems, your emotional state might need some attention and soothing. Avoid becoming defensive, angry, or passive and instead learn to be more communicative in a positive and constructive way.
In tough times, a strong social network is important. There’s a certain kind of comfort that people who know you well can provide. Alternatively, look into eczema support groups in your community. Contact the National Eczema Association for a list of eczema support groups in your area at www.nationaleczema.org.
Whatever the cause, stress and can have harmful effects on your health. Find ways to eliminate or improve those areas that need balancing.
Everyone knows that a healthy diet does wonders for your overall mood. Vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats will provide a better balance which will in turn make you less susceptible to mood swings and negative reactions.
Avoid sugar; spikes in blood sugar contribute to turbulent stress levels. Easy to grab, fatty, and sugary comfort foods are convenient when you’re stressed, and they might temporarily take your mind off things, but they’ll also add to your problems and to the disharmony of your mood. We’re not saying never to indulge. Just remember. Everything in moderation.
Also watch your caffeine intake. Caffeine can agitate the system. And by all means try not to rely on alcohol or drugs as stress-soothers as they are only mollifying in the moment but will be more stress-inducing in the long run.
Stay active! Studies have shown that physical activity helps control your mood and shed stress. Exercise makes you feel better mentally and this mental strength will have you feeling better prepared to handle your problems. Jogging and other aerobic exercises are good for some, while yoga and tai chi are better for others. Even a leisurely walk in the park can do wonders. Don’t believe us? Ask your doctor.
There are so many ways to calm the mind. The internet is filled with various relaxation techniques that you can do on your own such as breathing exercises and meditation. Furthermore, things like massage, aromatherapy, or even reading a book can all be good options to help relieve eczema symptoms, and improve your overall state of mind. Do some research on relaxation techniques and try to find something that resonates with you.
The lack of REM sleep, or the lack of quality sleep in general, can contribute significantly to a person’s stress level. Sleep is how the body recovers. People with eczema definitely suffer from sleep deprivation because of the itching and scratching and itching and scratching. Studies show that people with eczema lose up to two hours a night from itching and scratching. Equipping yourself with the right materials can really help with this; there are eczema undergarments and eczema clothing made out of tencel® and tencel® sheets that help to reduce the night time itch. It’s also a good idea to bathe in warm water right before bed and then immediately apply a moisturizer like Vaniply to minimize itching at bedtime. Wearing eczema clothing over Vaniply after a warm bath can really decrease nighttime itching.
Spirituality means different things to different people and is very personal. Getting in touch with your spiritual side can often lead to a clearer mental state, which relieves a lot of pressure from a person’s life. Explore the ways that help you feel more connected with the world and at peace with yourself. Respect the relationship between mind and body.
The ways in which stress manifests itself are different for every person and there is no catch-all stress management tool that works universally. Figure out what works for you, adjust and correct along the way. Whatever you decide, just keep in mind that chronic and ongoing stress wears down the body's natural defenses which leads to symptoms that include eczema flares. If you suffer from atopic dermatitis/eczema, keeping your stress level down is really important. Reduce your stress your mind, body, and spirit will all benefit.