There are thousands upon thousands of blogs, publications, and discussions on natural hair, great products and more. However, there are so few conversations regarding the significance of self-care and how that impacts our health and ultimately our beauty. I'm sure there are many who have heard folks say they were so stressed out that their hair fell out, they loss weight or their backs gave out. These are common physical symptoms of stress and warning signs indicating a need for self-care to prevent dis-ease leading to disease. So today we will discuss a few 15-30 minute exercises and techniques that will effectively reduce the stress in your body. In addition, it is very possible to navigate stressful or even high pressured situations without panic, it’s called ‘a knowing’ that you'll have the same or even better outcome if you learn to respond to those same dynamics with a cool, calm and collected approach.
Let us explore a common outcome of stress which is called Hair Loss. There are three types of hair loss that can be associated with high levels of stress:
- Telogen effluvium.In telogen effluvium (TEL-o-jun uh-FLOO-vee-um), the stress levels can stimulate a significant amount of hair follicles into a stagnant phase. This pause in the hair growth will then turn into a shedding overtime and a noticeable difference within a month or two when the hair begins to fall out suddenly when combing or washing it.
- Trichotillomania.Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is when one has an urge to pull out their hair from the scalp, or other areas of the body. This pulling at the hair, which can often be unconscious, is due impart by a nervous reaction to dealing with stress or tension - nonetheless it causes hair loss.
- Alopecia areata.With alopecia areata, the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles which therefore causes hair loss, this is not a contagious condition, and can be brought on by stress.
Hair loss can be a fairly traumatic experience, it impacts self esteem, and one’s confidence. However, hair loss as a result of stress is just one warning sign among many before a greater and far scarier health issue or breakdown of the body occurs. The ability to preach about living a stress free life is easier said than done, but there are scientifically proven ways that you can use to reduce the stress which are quick, fun and not to mention - relaxing.
One way to reduce stress is meditation. A quick 15 minute moment of meditation has been scientifically proven to be an effective way to reduce stress and add years onto your life. The effects of meditation's ability to drop blood pressure has been referred by the US National Institutes of Health, as the most effective means for helping mild hypertension. Meditation reduces stress level, as relaxation reduces the activity of the adrenal gland.
Breathing methods are another scientifically proven way to reduce stress. A 15 minute breathing technique can induce relaxation as the breathing slows and deepens. The calmness that's felt during these techniques is an indication that the body is under the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces a relaxing effect.
Walking is by far one of the oldest and most guaranteed ways of reducing stress within the body. Brisk walking for 30 mins boosts endorphins which causes a reduction in the stress hormones and alleviates mild depression. This easy activity can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your blood sugar.
All three of these techniques can not only add length and health to your hair but also to your life. Unfortunately, so many of us have been taught to not prioritize our self-care or to view it as a waste of time and not proactive. Nonetheless, we can’t accomplish any of our goals, complete or navigate any obstacles if we’re not alive due to dis-ease leading to disease. The ability to take the time to reprogram our minds and teach it to prioritize our self care is as important as practicing these techniques. The maintenance of our inner self will surely bring about the beautiful glow we seek in our outer self.
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