Stress Is A Leading Cause Of Psoriasis
Smart Psoriasis Diet Plan Step 6
Reduce Stress, reduce psoriasis
Managing your stress levels is vitally important to controlling your psoriasis. I would even go as far as saying that you can relax your dietary restrictions if you live a 100% stress free life and get sunshine or take vitamin d3 supplement daily.
Unfortunately a 100% stress free life can only be achieved if
- You have enough money in the bank that you never have to work again
- You have fantastic relationships with your family and friends
- Nothing bad ever happens in your life!
Unless you inherited a few million dollars, you can forget never having to work!
No matter how much you may love your family and friends there will always be times when your relationships are tested.
No one goes through life without anything bad happening so you will encounter stress at some stage not matter how hard you try to avoid it.
How To Combat Stress
Here are some strategies to use when trying to lower your stress levels. I cannot emphasise enough how important this chapter is.
Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 3 times a week
I believe exercise to be one of the most underrated activities when trying to control psoriasis. I played team sports up until my mid twenties and I always saw a big decrease in my psoriasis when I was fully fit.
When I suffer a psoriasis flare up, the quickest way to clear it is to go for long runs 3 times a week and stick to the smart psoriasis diet. This usually gets it under control in 4-6 weeks, dependant on the severity of the outbreak.
Also the endorphins released from running ensures my mindset is clear and positive .This positive outlook will ensure that the diet is easier to stick to and I believe a faster recovery for the skin condition. So while you are young and able, get out there and exercise at least 3 times a week. You can usually run 5km at a moderate speed in 30 minutes.
For those who have not exercised in a while, it is alway best to start slowly and worth considering the couch to 5km training plan at www.coolrunnings.com.
Back away from fight or flight situations, rest and digest instead
Have you ever heard of the “fight or flight” response? It is how our body reacts to dangerous situations. But you might not of heard of the rest and digest response, which is the polar opposite and helps the body maintain a long term healthy balance.
Both these responses are part of a system called the autonomic nervous system which alters how our internal organs operate.
If you are suffering from a psoriasis outbreak even though your vitamin d levels are in check and your diet is in good order, chances are that your “fight or flight” response has been activated far too often in the recent past. These kinds of stresses prompt the body to release large amounts of stress hormones like cortisol.
The two parts of the Autonomic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system, or the “fight or flight” response, prepares our body for action. All of the organs involved in getting ready for a physical challenge (“fight”) or preparing for a retreat (“flight”) are activated through this system. The parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) helps produce a state of equilibrium in the body. Both are part of the greater Autonomic Nervous System, responsible for involuntary and reflexive functions in the body.
The Sympathetic Nervous System
When we are in fight or flight mode, functions that are not deemed immediately essential for the body to operate and shut down, such as your immune system to a certain extent. As psoriais is an autoimmune disorder, too much of being in this state can exasperate your condition or cause an outbreak.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System
When you are in rest and digest mode, your system is operating at a much slower pace and your body is in a state of balance, allowing it to repair and maintain itself. In this state your body increase more digestive enzymes, which we know are essential for psoriasis sufferers, as we have problems digesting proteins!
Even though the sympathetic nervous system originally was meant to protect us in times of physical dangers from people and animals, the world has now evolved to a state where this can be triggered to daily ordinary stressors like work, financial or relationship issues.
We all know that many diseases and illnesses are caused by chronic stress such as
Cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, and immune system suppression are classic symptoms. Other symptoms include constipation and digestive issues, cold sores, jitteriness, sweats and anxiety.
We can take influence the fight or flight or rest and digest states quite easily. If we think of being forced to do a sky-dive, it could trigger a fight or flight response however doing activities such as reading an entertaining book, watching a light hearted tv show, soaking in a bath, getting a massage, playing with your pet dog or cat, breathing exercises, light forms of exercise such as walking, yoga or tai chi are great relaxation strategies.
The main take-away from all of this is that you need to find areas in your life that allow you to relax. Make a list now of your top 5 relaxation activities and make sure to do one or two of them everyday and especially if you have had a busy day at work or with the kids.
Talk About It
I am a big advocate for talking about your skin condition to friends and family. For years I bottled up all the emotions caused by psoriasis and this did not help me from a mental side of things. I suffered depression when it was bad and elation when it was good. Kind of similar to someone with bipolar disorder.
One of the things I use to do was lie to people about not going out, making up excuses to avoid social situations and this really affected me mentally. Instead it took me years to realise that all I had to do was say to my friends “Look I suffer from this skin condition called psoriasis. Alcohol has an adverse affect on it so I need to take a break from drinking for a while”.
You will be surprised how your friends react. One of the most common responses I got from my friends or work colleagues was, “ Oh my cousin has that” or “ Oh my ex girlfriend has that” etc. So it’s no big deal. Plus everyone has their own problems, so what ever you think is your big problem, other people do not really care about it. They like you for your personality not for your skin’s appearance.
Join Support Groups
It is now easier than ever to find people in similar situation as you. There are so many forums and facebook groups for psoriasis sufferers. Sometimes it just makes more sense to talk to people who will fully understand what you are going though. Search out these groups and contribute when you can. I especially urge you to forward this ebook to anyone if you find it has helped you control your psoriasis and spread the good news.