Written and Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 9 October 2021.
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Skin: Our Largest Organ
Meditation is the practise of training the mind to relax and redirect your thoughts in an intentional way. You’ve probably heard of the numerous benefits it holds, but did you know it can also promote healthy glowing skin?
Our skin is our bodies’ largest organ, the only organ we wear on the outside. It protects us from foreign pathogens, maintains our internal homeostasis, and is arguably our first line of defence. The skin however is often neglected, subject to harsh environments, and easily overlooked.
Our skin can often be our bodies’ looking glass, revealing the earliest signs and symptoms that something is amiss in our bodies. For this reason, we ought to show it care and look after it, if not for vanity’s sake.
Stress and Your Skin
We turn red when we’re angry, pale when frightened or tired, blue when we’re cold and pink when we’re nervous. Sometimes, even green with envy, metaphorically, of course. This reflects how closely our emotions are entwined to our physical body.
Stress is a normal human reaction to a stimulus that inflicts an unpleasant sensation, resulting in a physiological response in our bodies. It is driven by a complex pathway of receptors, hormones, your brain and nervous system, alongside all organs of your body. Stress can be protective in certain circumstances, for instance in a dangerous situation, signalling our body to respond to protect ourselves. But it can also be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.
Long term exposure of stress can impact your skin negatively causing dehydration, dryness, increased sensitivity, premature aging and delayed wound healing. It also interferes with your innate hormonal system, triggering a domino of effects in your body, leading to issues like increased oil production, inflammation, itching and even hair loss.
Meditation For Your Skin
There's no denying it, stress wreaks havoc on our skin. Stressing about it more will only make it worse too! Here's where meditation comes to play. It can immediately calm and soothe your mind while also increasing blood supply, resulting in significant improvements in the condition of your skin.
Meditation seems to reduce overall catecholamine levels in people who practise it on a regular basis. According to new research, methods such as yoga, relaxing exercises, and cognitive behaviour therapy can help people with skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and vitiligo (a pigment disorder). More research is required to demonstrate the effectiveness of these methods in treating other skin disorders.
Just a few minutes of meditation daily will result in a sense of calm and relaxation, aiding in the restoration of your body's tissues and cells, giving the skin a healthy, radiant glow. When meditating, conscious breathing delivers oxygen to the skin, which is essential for cellular renewal. Increased oxygen rejuvenates your skin while both balancing your body and mind, and renewing your cells and tissues.
Meditation enhances the skin, removes lines, improves complexion and slows down the ageing process, all from the inside out. Meditation also helps you look and feel younger by lowering blood pressure and stress conditions including headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle aches, and joint pain.
How To Meditate
How do you learn to meditate? In the practice of mindfulness, we learn to pay attention to the breath, how it enters in and escapes out of our chest, and to note when our mind wanders away from this task. Returning to the breath and refocusing strengthens the muscles of concentration and mindfulness.
When we focus on our breath, we are learning how to intentionally return to and live in the present moment, learning how to anchor ourselves in the here and now without wandering and spiralling.
Mindfulness does seem to be a straightforward concept, but it requires discipline to exercise. I recall my first meditation practice, wondering to myself, “am I doing this right, I’m sure it’s easy, how long can I do this for”, and before I realised, my mind was wandering about wondering! It takes a lot of practice, but once a momentum is built, it does get easier and the rewards are tangible.
Anyone can benefit from meditation to enhance their skin health. You can do it without any special equipment or memberships, and you can do it anywhere and anytime.
Meditation programs, support groups and numerous apps are easily available to help guide you through this rejuvenating process. There are several types of meditation to choose from, each with its own set of strengths and advantages.
If you just have a few minutes a day to meditate, try it out and see if it fits your interests. By incorporating meditation into your daily routine, you can not only look better, but it will increase your overall quality of life.
Referenced on 19.5.2021