Stress. It is a word which in today's society many of us know all too well. It may even be something you are feeling right now. Perhaps you are aware of a muzzy head, anxious thoughts or a racing heartbeat. Maybe you feel tired, agitated or hyperactive. Any of these feelings can be an indication that your stress level is higher than it should be and is manifesting itself negatively in your mind and body. Every time stress is high it can also have consequences for our faces causing premature ageing.
So let's look at how stress can affect the face. On an internal level, stress can affect the natural production of the plumping agents collagen and elastin in the face. These are what give the skin plumpness and suppleness and low levels of these can lead to a sallow, aged appearance. Stress can also be a contributor to dehydration, poor circulation and the inability to remove toxins from the skin. When high levels of the stress hormones are prominent the lymphatic system can't do it's job properly meaning the waste products are not been moved out and the goodness is not being let in.
One of the main ways in which stress affects our faces is on an external level. It is the frowning, the grimacing and the squinting which we can all do without thinking when we are stressed. It is fine to hold the face in certain positions for a while with no negative affects but it is when we hold the skin and muscles in this way for years and years that we contribute to those really deep set lines and wrinkles. Maybe you can picture yourself sat at your computer squinting and furrowing your brow or can you see yourself in a busy traffic jam permanently having your eyes brows raised or your jaw locked really tight. Although holding the face in this way is a huge contributor to deep set lines and wrinkles, this is actually very easy to put a permanent stop to.
So lets start with understanding your face. If you have ever done Yoga for your body you will know that awareness of yourself is key to bringing relaxation and a toned, strong body. Face Yoga works with the same principles as Yoga and gives you the ability to let go and relax. Try this quick exercise to be aware of how stress may be ageing you and how to put a stop to this:
• Take a look in a mirror now and notice where you have lines and wrinkles. Make a mental note of this or write it down if you like.
• Then close your eyes and focus your attention on your face. Are you wrinkling your brow or raising your eyebrows? Or maybe you are squeezing your eyes too tight, pursing your lips or tensing your jaw?
Ok what did you notice? Did you surprise yourself how much tension you are holding on to or how many deep set lines you have. If so, don't worry! Just try this:
• Close your eyes again and take a deep breath in through your nose. Then take a deep breath out through your mouth and make a sighing sound and motion with your mouth and the rest of your face. Do this 5 times and each time feel you are relaxing your whole face with each exhalation
• Next, take both your index fingers and both your middle fingers and place on your forehead. Now, gentle tap all over the forehead with the fingertips, move down to the eye area, then the cheeks, around the mouth, the jaw line and then all over the neck. As you tap feel that any tension on your face is being released. This will also boost the circulation and encourage production of elastin and collagen.
• Lastly, keeping your eyes closed bring your attention to each part of your face one by one. Imagine the forehead smoothing and relaxing and really feel this happening now. Move through your face until you feel it is completely relaxed and you can visualise your face as smooth and calm.
When you have finished open your eyes and take another look in the mirror. How does your face look? You may notice an immediate change or you may just feel a little more relaxed. Either way you are helping to remedy the problem. Remember that this technique needs to be used regularly to prevent any further deep set lines.
As a final point, remember dealing with stress mentally and physically is important too. Taking regular exercise, eating well and relaxing is vital for good skin and staying young. Looking after you genera; health is key to a great complexion as what's on the inside can show on the outside.
For more Face Yoga techniques visit www.faceyogaexpert.com
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