Inflammation is the root cause of many skin diseases as well as diseases of other organs. Inflammation is a normal reaction that our amazing bodies do to protect us. If we have a cut or a virus our inflammatory cascade comes in and does it’s thing, heals us then it goes away. It’s when this inflammation continues to happen that it becomes a problem. It’s like a fire that starts spreading wild all over the body. We can use many lifestyle solutions to help fight that “fire”
- Reduce Stress: Stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system (calm mode). Stress stimulates our sympathetic nervous system (flight of fight mode). Stress increases stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) in the body that help us to do things like run from a tiger. We don’t want these hormones hanging out all the time because it adds to inflammation. There are many ways to help manage stress; meditation, warm bath, being in nature or doing a hobby you enjoy. The main thing is don’t get on a thinking train. Keep bringing your mind back to the moment where you are now; forget the past and the future. The more you practice doing this the easier it gets.
- Reduce certain foods: Certain foods increase inflammation; sugary foods/drinks, refined carbohydrates, dairy, processed meats, excess alcohol and caffeine. It helps to not focus so much on what you can’t have. Replace sugary drinks with herbal teas and spa water! Replace sugary treats with berries. It’s all about habits and doing little by little. Let your intuition guide you and stick to the grocery isles on the ends where there are less processed foods.
- Sleep: Try to get a full 7-8 hours a night. There are lots of habits we get into around bedtime that can affect our sleep. Try to wind down an hour before bedtime, that means turning screens off. Make sleep the priority that it should be and your body and mind will thank you.
- Gratitude: Being grateful reduces inflammatory markers in the blood! This is very exciting and there are actual studies proving it. Practice listing things you are grateful for daily. There are countless things to be grateful for we just have to focus our attention on them and let the happy neurotransmitters rush in. When we are feeling gratitude what we already have suddenly becomes enough.
- Movement: Exercise has so many benefits including reducing inflammation. The good news is it doesn’t have to be hours to work! Studies show 20 minutes of moving the body will do the job. So take a walk, jog, swim, bike ride, hike, dance, or do yoga. There are lots of free resources on YouTube that teach lots of exercises, for example yoga classes.