Happy Thanksgiving! Tis the time to give thanks for all we have. If you expand this holiday tradition of gratitude throughout the year you can reap benefits to your health, well-being and skin. Through scientific observation researchers at The Greater Good Science Center have observed and gathered data that supports the mind/body impact of positive traits such as gratitude on our health and well being. Affiliated with the University of California the researchers include psychologists, sociologists, and neuroscientists. What they observed was that people who practice gratitude, that is people who readily acknowledge the good things in life, sleep better, are less depressed, have less fatigue, have more self-confidence, and less systemic inflammation in their bodies.
If there were a product or pill that would do all of that for a person it would surely be a best seller. That’s why I am suggesting you add gratitude to your daily skin care routine. Practice gratitude morning and night and any time in between.
To begin, stop worrying and start listing the things you are grateful for. This shift in thought causes a biological response in your body. Social/biological psychologist Dr. Wendy Mendes of the University of California, San Francisco, measured the impact of gratitude on health and longevity. She conducted a study that reflected participants’ daily lives in their normal setting. Biological markers from people exhibiting a gratitude trait had lower resting blood pressure responses, their cholesterol levels were good, and better kidney function was observed. Data from blood draws showed positive restoration and regeneration of cells related to the cardio vascular system. Participants who held fond views of how they were cared for as children had better migration of cells than those with less optimistic views of their childhood. Just the recollection or memory of this caused a biological response.
Most of us know that anxiety and stress can bring about worst cell functioning. Your skin moves through a regenerative cell cycle. Stress releases cortisol that can wreak havoc on other hormones, stimulating an inflammatory process that can cause breakouts in your skin. Stress causes your blood vessels to constrict and may deprive the skin of oxygen and nutrients.
This connection between mind and skin is called psychodermatology. The skin is wrapped around our organs and connects to a lot of nerve endings. Emotions, being neurological events can be expressed through the skin. How can you increase your positive emotions and the likelihood of healthy skin? Try a dose of gratitude. Daily.
Find a positive mantra or phrase that means something to you and say it during your morning and evening skin care routine. Something as simple as: “Thank you for this day and everyone in it.” Repeat it during the day and before sleep.
Enter a relaxed state through meditation. Doing so can release chemicals that counteract the stress hormones. Eliminate toxins through the breath. Oxygenate the body. Yoga poses can stimulate blood flow and oxygenate the body as well.
Look for beauty in small things. Focus on the good. Keep a gratitude journal that you can refer back to from time to time.
Celebrate, compliment, and congratulate those around you. Doing so will make you feel good as well as boost their day. It’s a win-win.
To increase positive feelings, focus on the present moment – beyond your own activities. Don’t allow your thoughts to wander to the past or future, redirect them to the present. Try concentrating on your breath or body. You may be amazed at what you see, what you become aware of when focusing on the present.
To feel less negative, practice being nonjudgmental. Notice when your casting dispersions on yourself and others. Simply observe and articulate what’s going on. Use your five senses. Acknowledging and accepting negative emotions helps dissipate them.
What were the top three things most often mentioned in gratitude journals by participants in a study on gratitude? Family, friends, and the weather. What are you grateful for? Share it with others this Thanksgiving. As always, we are grateful for your continued support of YASOU products and this blog.