Photo from Holly Mosier

At 51, I know a few things about wrinkles and aging skin. When I learned how to reduce my stress, not only did I lose weight, the condition of my skin improved dramatically. Why? Here are some of the reasons, and some of the easy things I do that not only keep my stress levels down, that help keep my skin in top condition. This week, I’ll share the ways I keep my stress down. Next week, I’ll give you my easy home-remedies and eating tips that keep my skin looking smooth and healthy – and help me to appear (almost) ageless.

Opt Out of unrelenting schedules:

This is my number one rule for my skin, and my life. Chronic stress is debilitating for your health (it is at the root of everything from high blood pressure to heart disease and diabetes).  And it is hard to enjoy life when you are under constant strain.  But stress also ages our skin.  How?  Because high stress not only causes inflammation in our bodies, it prods us to behaviors that trash our skin, like overeating junk food, overdrinking and smoking. That’s the reason that, at this stage of life, I simply refuse to overload myself with innumerable commitments that simply suck the life out of me and raise my stress levels.

Get enough sleep:

Collagen production is accelerated when we sleep, but many of us are sleep deprived. I found that once I opted out of the crazy scheduling, my sleep improved dramatically. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Sleeping soundly was a huge bonus for my skin; I noticed the improvement within days.

Do some kind of exercise every day:

Exercise enhances blood circulation, bringing much-needed nutrients to the skin. But until I cut my stress, I was simply too fatigued to think about moving my body every day. Opt out so your schedule is no longer crazy, get enough sleep and I promise you’ll have the energy to at least walk every day.

One-Minute Stress Remedy:

Deep breathing is the quickest and easiest way to reduce stress. The best thing is that you can do it anytime, anywhere.  I do! Here’s my tool for keeping stress at bay – I call it my Four-Count Breath. It’s simple. Breathe in through your nose while slowly counting to four, then exhale through your nose to the count of four. After just three or four of these breaths, you will feel calmer and steadier. If you repeat it throughout the day, pretty soon it will become a habit. You’ll find you are calmer and more serene all the time.

Next week, I’ll share some easy home-remedies and eating tips that keep my skin looking ageless.