10 Ways to Lower Stress and Clear Up Your Skin

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relaxed woman

Each time you feel stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol through your body. This can lead to everything from inflammation and accelerated aging, to acne and other blemishes.

While keeping stress levels to a minimum may be easier said than done, here are 10 techniques to try that have been proven to lower stress, and therefore help clear up the skin.

Get Moving

There are several methods out there when it comes to lowering stress, but exercise has been proven to be one of the most effective of them all.

Here are just a few of the ways in which exercise can help with stress:

  • Increases the production of endorphins, which quickly elevates the mood
  • Focusing on a single physical activity helps to clear the mind of anxieties, while improving calmness and clarity
  • Regular exercise can do everything from reduce depression and anxiety to improve quality of sleep, all of which can help to lower stress levels in the long run

In addition to directly targeting stress levels, exercise also benefits the skin by increasing blood flow. This helps to nourish the skin, while any waste products get carried away much quicker.

Wondering what type of exercise works best?

Aerobic exercises seem to be the most effective, but just about any physical activity will be able to help with stress levels. The key here is to pick something that you enjoy doing, as this will keep you motivated and help you to develop a regular exercise regime.

Have a Laugh

Have you ever heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”?

Well, this could not be more true when it comes to treating stress.

In the short term, here are a few of the benefits that you will experience after having a good laugh:

  • Cools down stress response
  • Eases anxiety and improves mood
  • Enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, which then stimulates your organs and increases endorphins released by the brain
  • Stimulates circulation while helping to relax the muscles, which lasts for up to 45 minutes after laughing

couple laughing

When it comes to laughter’s long term health benefits, here is what you can expect to see:

  • Improved immune system
  • Heart protection
  • Longer lifespan
  • Pain relief
  • Higher personal satisfaction

But what if you are so stressed that you are simply not finding anything funny?

The answer is…

Fake it!

Even stimulated laughter will have similar benefits to real laughter, and, once you get yourself into the habit of smiling and laughing more, it will not be long before this starts to come more naturally to you, even during times of extreme stress.

Breathing Exercises and Mindful Meditation

Meditation is such a great way to lower stress levels, but can often seem like quite a daunting activity to some.

If meditation is new to you, the best way to get started is by doing some breathing exercises. This is considered to be a form of “entry level” meditation, as it teaches you to clear your mind and focus on your breathing, both of which meditation promotes.

So, how exactly do you get started?

Begin by sitting down in a comfortable position, with your spine erect. Then, focus your mind on the natural sensation of each breath that you take, following the cycle from inhalation to the end of exhalation.

It is important that you do not try to control your breathing, and instead just follow it the way it is, whether this may long and deep or short and shallow.

At the beginning, it is natural for other thoughts to enter into your mind, but each time this happens, simply nudge your attention back towards your breathing.

Calming Teas

Herbs have long since been used to treat a variety of physical and mental health issues, one of which is stress. An easy way to make use of the power of herbs yourself is by drinking herbal teas.

Here are a few teas to try to help lower your stress levels:

  • Chamomile – stabilizes the mood and soothes nerves. A great one to have at night as it also induces sleep
  • Skullcap – relaxes tense muscles, calms nerves and eases headaches. Also helps with stress and irritability caused by PMS
  • Lavender – reduces nervous exhaustion, as well as headaches that have been brought on by stress
  • Ginseng – clears the mind of stress and mental exhaustion, and promotes peacefulness and calmness. Also good to help with sleep
  • Lemon Balm – reduces cortisol in the body while promoting relaxation, without causing drowsiness. Also helps with elevating the mood.
  • Passion Flower – contains a flavone called chrysin, which has anti-anxiety benefits

calming teas

These herbal teas are also packed with antioxidants, all of which will nourish your skin, while the extra hydration never hurts either.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been practised for centuries, and refers to the use of essential plant oils as a way to improve one’s health and well-being. In the USA, one of the most common uses for aromatherapy is in treating stress.

These essential oils can be used in different ways, from diffusing them into the air to massaging them into acupressure points on your body.

However, there are specific oils that you need to use…

Yuzu, which is an East Asian fruit, is a great one, and a recent study has shown that this citrus scent can reduce stress and lower heart rate in just ten minutes. What makes this even better is that the effects of this will last for up to an hour. 

Ylang Ylang also comes from Asia, and has a sweet and floral scent to it. This oil is able to calm the nervous system and relax the mind, which leads to a lower heart rate and a decrease in blood pressure.

Clary Sage is a close relative to common garden sage, and has been shown to have incredible effects that are similar to antidepressants.

Marjoram is an interesting one, as it has been shown to provide relief from emotional pain and grief, while vetiver is a grounding oil that will cool any flared emotions.

Schedule in Some “Me Time”

No matter how busy you may be, you need to learn how to take some time out from your hectic schedule for yourself.

Why?

Because this allows your body to rest and recharge. If it is not able to do this on a regular basis, you will experience everything from a lowered immune system to a lack of energy to a higher susceptibility to stress.

Ideally, you should be able to set aside a small amount of “me time” each day, even if this is only for half an hour.

Wondering what to do during this “me” time?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Read a book or magazine, as studies have shown that those who read tend to be more relaxed
  • Cook something, as this can clear the mind, plus provide a sense of accomplishment at the finished product
  • Spend time in nature, whether this may be walking your dog or sitting by your local river
  • Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, a massage, or an afternoon at a spa 

woman reading

It is important not to feel guilty or selfish about taking this time out for yourself, and it will not be long before you are able to actually see the benefits that some “me time” can have when it comes to relieving stress.

Turn On Some Music

The ability that music has to soothe the mind has been studied to a great extent, with music having quite the unique connection to a person’s emotional state.

Wondering how exactly music is able to lower stress?

Music can do everything from reducing your heart rate to decreasing your blood pressure to easing anxiety, making it a great tool to use during times of immense stress.

But what type of music is the most effective?

Research has shown that slow-paced instrumental music, such as the classical, Celtic and Native American genres, is best when it comes to reducing stress, but this does not mean that other types of music will not work either.

No matter the type of music you like, be it heavy metal or bouncy pop, listening to some tunes, and even having a little sing-along, can do wonders for your stress levels.

Have a difficult time getting to sleep at night due to stress?

Try playing some calming music before you head to bed, as this will promote relaxation and induce sleep

Surround Yourself With Animals

Spending time around animals has been proven, by multiple studies, to lower stress levels, and it does so in a variety of different ways.

To begin with, each time you touch an animal, endorphins are released into your body, and these will immediately reduce your heart rate, instantly making you feel calmer. In addition to this, the oxytocin that is now in your body will help to slow down production of cortisol, meaning that your stress levels will not immediately rise again once you stop petting the animal.

Animals are also known to be extremely therapeutic, which is why everything from dogs to rabbits become therapy animals, to help those in hospitals or schools.

In addition to all of these stress-relieving benefits, studies have also found that those who spend time around animals are able to keep their blood pressure lower during times of stress, compared to those who do not interact with animals. 

Don’t have a pet?

That’s ok, because there are many other ways in which you can surround yourself with animals:

  • Visit a local wildlife reserve
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter
  • Walk someone else’s dog a few times a week
  • Go to an animal-related event, such as a dog show
  • Offer to pet-sit for friends and family

volunteering at an animal shelter

It can be easy to allow stress to overtake your mind, but this is not only bad for your general health, it will also have negative effects on your skin. To prevent this from happening, give some of these stress-relieving methods a try, as you never know what may end up really working for you.

Write it Down

The act of writing to help with stress relief is referred to as expressive writing, and while it does not work for everyone, it can have some fantastic benefits for some:

  • Writing clarifies your thoughts and helps you to look at your stressors from a different perspective
  • Writing is meditative
  • Writing helps to induce sleep
  • Writing releases anger
  • Writing can help you to come up with solutions for your problems
  • Writing slows your breathing, allowing more oxygen to enter into your brain

But how do you get started?

Simply grab a pen and a piece of paper and begin writing. It does not matter what you write about, whether you scribble down your thoughts about why you are stressed, or write a letter to a friend, as it is the actual process of writing that relieves stress and brings peace to the mind.

Try to do this for 20 minutes when you are next feeling stressed, and see whether or not it helps.

A Touch of Yoga

While it is not fully understood exactly how yoga is able to lower stress levels, there is no denying that it can do so to quite an extent. It is currently believed that this has something to do with the effect that yoga has on the nervous system, as well as the way in which the body responds to stress.

Research has shown that yoga has the potential to lower cortisol levels, as well as blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, yoga can be just as effective as antidepressant drugs when it comes to treating anxiety and depression.

Never done yoga before?

Have a look online, as you will find many yoga sequences designed for beginners. Start off with something slow and easy, doing a sequence that lasts for just 15-20 minutes, and then build this up as you become more accustomed to it.

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86 comments

  1. Posted by Bernardina Sims, at Reply

    Thank for some of the helpful tips! I really need to lower my stress level and clear up my skin!

  2. Posted by Kelly Wilson, at Reply

    Great advice! I do yoga and it really helps with stress.

  3. Posted by Julie Barrett, at Reply

    Great info on the types of teas and their benefits as well as the aromatherapy scents and benefits.

  4. Posted by Leila Benhamida, at Reply

    Meditation works great for me. Looking forward to try some yoga classes this year.

  5. Posted by Debbie EDGAR, at Reply

    Need to cut stress, I have bad skin due to stress,

  6. Posted by Gail Lindsey, at Reply

    I like the idea of expressive writing to reduce stress. I didn’t know that that is what it’s called, but I’ve done this in the past and it works.

  7. Posted by Season Gudjonson, at Reply

    Love Vine Vera products!

  8. Posted by Diana, at Reply

    Exercise, yoga, breathing and calming teas and laughter to de stress and keep skin looking great!

  9. Posted by Susan, at Reply

    I like my Vine Vera products

  10. Posted by Kathy Pierce, at Reply

    I found the comments on stress to be helpful and I am going to incorporate them into my daily activities..

  11. Posted by Lucy Rapposelli, at Reply

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  12. Posted by Joyce McDaniel, at Reply

    I love your products and they work great.

  13. Posted by Jacqueline Paniagua, at Reply

    Eating and excecising is the way to go if you want healthy clear beautiful skin. Take care of yourself and your health as much as you can.

  14. Posted by Mary Sykora, at Reply

    Thank you for all of the tips on keeping skin looking healthy & bright!

  15. Posted by Nadia Ibrahim, at Reply

    Awesome ideas! I definitely have too much stress in my life. I take care of my skin in every way that I can but I definitely need to cut down the amount of stress!

  16. Posted by Wendy Hatton, at Reply

    Pets, meditation and writing lists is what I do.

  17. Posted by Alicia Hewitt, at Reply

    Great tips! Thank you!

  18. Posted by Gabrielle, at Reply

    People don’t realize just how interconnected mind and body are. Thanks for the stress relief tips! Definitely good advice for improving your skin… and your overall health as well.

  19. Posted by Brianne L, at Reply

    Ive seen how stress can affect my body, skin…..i realize now how important it is to care for it and ensure myself inside and out is taken care of.

  20. Posted by Rebecca P., at Reply

    this has so much great information. i am big at writing things down to clear my mind and feel it really helps.

  21. Posted by irina, at Reply

    I could follow the advice

  22. Posted by Mary Songer, at Reply

    I wish I had seen this post at the beginning of last month. So much stress that I was sick twice. I’m not often sick. I really will be trying some of these tips for reducing my stress.

  23. Posted by Shannon Whitney, at Reply

    Great tips! Especially love the animal section!

  24. Posted by Jamie Johnson, at Reply

    These are ALL great tips! The biggest helper for me was working out! I got really into it, and now, when I am super stressed, the first thing I want to do it TAKE IT TO THE MAT as I call it! I also have gotten into essential oils, yoga, and I became a morning person. I laugh hard, live fast, and never have any regrets! Seriously, working out changed my entire perspective and lowered my stress starting on Day one! Thanks for all the great tips!

  25. Posted by Deborah Beyer, at Reply

    A lot of interesting information I didn’t know before. Thank you.

  26. Posted by Elisse, at Reply

    Pets definitely lower stress! (I know for a fact tath puppy kisses cure depression. If only they reduced wrinkles, too! LOL) I am a professional writer, but I have journaled for many decades as a form of therapy- during periods of high stress, writing everything down literally kept me sane! I also use aromatherapy oils in a cold diffuser at my desk & on my person, but more because I like it, than because I’ve experienced anything noticeable from it. But I DO make a lot of “me” time- nothing beats curling up in a hot tub (or a warm bed) with a glass of wine and a good book! 🙂

  27. Posted by Pam Flynn, at Reply

    Lots of stress this past year so all of these ideas really gave me some ideas. Calming teas sound good.

  28. Posted by Patty wright, at Reply

    I never knew stress showed up in your skin

  29. Posted by Lori P, at Reply

    Good all-around advice, and apt resolutions for the New Year!

  30. Posted by Irina Gnatiuk, at Reply

    Thank you for the info!)

  31. Posted by Janice Cash, at Reply

    A lot of the things I already knew about at the same time, a lot I did not know about eliminating stress. ty for the article.

  32. Posted by Debbie P, at Reply

    Great article,thanks for the info.

  33. Posted by TJONG, at Reply

    Love Vine Vera products

  34. Posted by Isabel Marsh, at Reply

    I love aromatherapy but I have never used any of these oils.

  35. Posted by Angela Mason, at Reply

    You look beautiful! I have not been stressed since I moved to my new home 2 years ago. I think I look better now also. Have a Happy New Year!!

  36. Posted by belinda bell, at Reply

    I love all of these tips. I need to lower my stress

  37. Posted by Jacqueline Morillo, at Reply

    I love the schedule the “me” time. I do not get much of that right now with the kids, but I try when they are sleeping.

  38. Posted by Priska A, at Reply

    Great tips!

  39. Posted by Bessie Boyd, at Reply

    Great, honest, information!

  40. Posted by Deanna Takahashi, at Reply

    I have already decided I am going to smile and nod yes more. The act of smiling and nodding immediately releases negative feelings, which in turn also relieves stress.

  41. Posted by Anne C, at Reply

    Great list! Very handy and perfect for the start of 2018!

  42. Posted by Lanie, at Reply

    Great article. I do several of these things anyway, but the power of aromatherapy is underrated. It helps with so many ailments

  43. Posted by Anita Singh, at Reply

    Wow, such an amazing tips for de stress 👍👍 so useful in today’s lifestyle
    Thanks for sharing 😊

  44. Posted by amfriesen, at Reply

    great tips for everyone at any time for various reasons

  45. Posted by Helena, at Reply

    Good tips!
    Thanks for sharing!

  46. Posted by Asyiadeth mortera, at Reply

    Muy interesante. Me gustan este tipo de artículos y los productos más.

  47. Posted by Asyiadeth mortera, at Reply

    Excelente artículo.

  48. Posted by Adrienne Zedella, at Reply

    Laughing is my favorite thing – I’m usually pretty stress fee when I have a lot to laugh about

  49. Posted by Amanda Wood, at Reply

    I had no idea stress could play a role in how clear your skin is! sounds like I need some R & R haha! Thanks for the info!

  50. Posted by Gabrielly, at Reply

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Posted by Mary Rivera, at Reply

    Some times going for a long walk or relaxing music help me relieve some of the stress .

  52. Posted by DENISE HREHORUK, at Reply

    Sleep, water, meditation, moisterize

  53. Posted by Lisa Ogle, at Reply

    I am always stressed out so these tips will help a lot, thank you.

  54. Posted by Cathy Oppedisano, at Reply

    This article sounds wonderful and I’m going to drink a cup of tea today and hope to feel better.

  55. Posted by Jennifer Phillips, at Reply

    All great ideas for stress.

  56. Posted by Ridgebackwoman, at Reply

    Sounds like a plan. I love your product too, makes my skin so soft.

  57. Posted by Jennylyn Gross, at Reply

    interesting

  58. Posted by Clyde Gabriel, at Reply

    Very nice article. We really need to reduce stress in our lives to be more healthy and productive. More power!

  59. Posted by Anonymous, at Reply

    Love this vine vera products!! Best products ever

  60. Posted by Dana Butler, at Reply

    My kids stress me out quite a bit and any helpful hints to lower stress are welcome.

  61. Posted by gloria patterson, at Reply

    a lot of good information her that would help a lot of woman. Since I have retired my stress levels are so low

  62. Posted by Tara Reinhart, at Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful information!

  63. Posted by shannon fowler, at Reply

    Its so important to have a wide variety of coping skills. This highlights so many great ones!

  64. Posted by Kathryn, at Reply

    This is a really good topic on how to reduce stress to help clean up your skin. I think I will try some of these methods.

  65. Posted by Cindy Peterson, at Reply

    Not knowing how to handle stress is a problem with many people these days. These highlighted ways to lower stress should be shared with our children and teach them how to deal with stress . W

  66. Posted by Shelly P, at Reply

    I had no idea stress caused acne and aging. Scary.

  67. Posted by Surinder gurm, at Reply

    Why is it so hard to do what we know is good for us

  68. Posted by Sharon Harding, at Reply

    Some great ideas to lower stress! Tea and good food help me!

  69. Posted by Barbara Fehmel, at Reply

    A product which would be perfect for me.

  70. Posted by Barbara Fehmel, at Reply

    A product that would be perfect for this aging old skin. I always moisturize twice a day and pat cream or oil around my eyes. I will fight aging until I die.

  71. Posted by Brenda Disimone, at Reply

    Thanks for the informative article, im still getting acne and im close to 40

  72. Posted by Claire Woods, at Reply

    Great tips here.

  73. Posted by Kev Cannon, at Reply

    I can feel myself de-stressing just by reading this. Some good advice and techniques. Thank you

  74. Posted by Margaret Clarkson, at Reply

    Many useful points, thank you.

  75. Posted by Beatrice Pierre, at Reply

    I will be trying these tips to reduce stress.

  76. Posted by cheryl wong, at Reply

    great advice!

  77. Posted by Rita Spratlen, at Reply

    I love these tips to lower stress and help with my skin. I do have acne outbreaks even in my 60’s. I do surround myself with animals. 5 of them!!!

  78. Posted by Dana Rodriguez, at Reply

    I don’t have a problem with breakouts but this is great for those that do!

  79. Posted by Carol S, at Reply

    Great need to know tips. Helpful and informative, thanks for sharing.

  80. Posted by David Heath, at Reply

    I would love to try

  81. Posted by Annabel Greaves, at Reply

    This is really great advice

  82. Posted by Sheena Batey, at Reply

    I so agree about animals reducing stress i don’t know what I would do without my cat

  83. Posted by christine szlobodnik, at Reply

    awesome info!

  84. Posted by Katrina Torres, at Reply

    Definitely need to lower my stress level. Thanks for the advice!

  85. Posted by Adrian Bold, at Reply

    Thanks for sharing this information and for the blog.

  86. Posted by Leanne P, at Reply

    Worth a screenshot to save some very good ideas