Wondering what you can do to nurture vibrant, healthy
skin from the inside out? Tackle stress! Make Dr. Amy's
seven habits -- which are the heart and soul of her book,
The Mind-Beauty Connection -- part of your life. Then,
watch every inch of you -- but especially your face --
start to look younger, less stressed, more alive. Each of
these tips for healthy skin chips away at the nonstop
pressure and tension that can age you 6 years or more.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Shift your body's balance of oxygen versus carbon
dioxide in favor of energizing, stress-squashing oxygen
by doing slow, controlled breathing exercises. Practice
How often? Aim for twice a day.
Why do it? When you focus on your breathing, you're not
focusing on anything else (your to-do list or the late
babysitter). That mental shift helps remove stressors,
which can cause healthy skin to breakout, bringing you
to a deeper level of consciousness, a place where you
can put things into perspective.
2. Get Active
One of the top tips for healthy skin, a healthy body and a
clear mind is exercise. By putting your body in motion for
30 minutes or more each day, you can release the
repressed anxiety trapped inside and relax more fully
How often? Do something -- anything -- every day,
because exercise only tames stress for a maximum of 24
hours. So to reap the most benefits, you need to do it
daily. If you prefer, tuck 10-minute pockets of activity
into your day -- at lunch, after dinner, right after you get
up and the house is still quiet.
Why do it? Staying active boosts circulation, which
delivers more nutrients to cells and skin. It also increases
lung capacity, so you can take in more oxygen; lifts your
spirits and sense of well-being; and fights age-related
diseases. And, for many, it's the ultimate stress reducer.
3. Beat the Foods That Beat You
One of the best tips for how to look younger involves
eating a well-balanced diet. To eat for healthy skin and a
healthy body, try to reduce the allure of sugary, fatty
foods by eating more lean protein: fish, eggs, poultry,
low-fat dairy foods, and even walnuts. Use this list of
good-for-your-skin foods that can help lower stress and
fight wrinkles, too. Also, try to be more aware of what
you reach for -- and how much you consume -- when
you're stressed. Get some pointers on mindful eating.
How often? All day, but especially early on -- morning
protein helps curb afternoon cravings.
Why do it? Protein is key to avoiding mood swings and
energy dips. It helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar
balance, which in turn keeps certain hormones (including
insulin) in check. Bumping up your protein intake also
gives you more energy and fights hunger pangs, which
can play games with your moods.
4. Focus on the Good Things
Pick up a notebook you particularly like, and at the end
of each day, make a list of things for which you are truly
grateful. Or write down three things that went well, and
How often? Nightly, as part of your winding-down
Why do it? Keeping a journal that records the good
things in life helps shift your focus to what you're doing
right, and that can put the brakes on the stressful
negative chatter that often goes on in your head.
5. Stretch Out Your Sleep
When it comes to healthy skin, a clear mind and a
healthy body, there’s no substitute for a good night’s
sleep. Make it a goal to sleep as many hours as you
need to feel alive and productive the next day -- all day.
How often? Every night.
Why do it? Sleep is free cosmetic medicine, pure and
simple. When you ask Dr. Amy what single thing makes
the biggest improvement in how a stressed-out person
looks, she says, "Sleep." Nothing exacerbates stress and
etches in lines like exhaustion.
6. Take a Time-Out
For most of us, life is so hyperscheduled and speedy
that we never do absolutely nothing. It's rare to set aside
time to simply be -- no agenda, no demands, no plan.
(Just like a real vacation.) Find a comfortable, quiet spot
to sit for 10 to 15 minutes every day, stop all your
hustling and bustling . . . and simply, by yourself, be
How often? Try for once a day.
Why do it? Slowing down for a little while helps create a
sense of spaciousness in your life, a break in the
nonstop whirl that can open the door to new
perceptions, new solutions, new possibilities. It gives
your brain, your psyche, your whole being a break. Like
one long, peaceful sigh.
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