So, I have a confession to make. Although I don’t get eczema flare ups anymore, the last couple of weeks during winter, I had a bit of eczema show up on my fingers, feet, and dry patches on my face and arms.
When I noticed it, I had that feeling of deep frustration and resentment came back.
If you have eczema, you might understand and feel the same frustrations sometimes.
In this post, you will learn:
– How stress and emotions can affect your eczema (plus research that backs it up)
– Tips to help you reduce stress and negative emotions
– What I did to help reduce stress and worry
-Products to help you reduce stress
But perhaps most importantly, it really gave me a wake up call. It made me really reflect on some questions:
- How am I treating my body?
- Am I putting my body in priority as number 1?
- Am I resting enough or over worrying about things?
- What have I been doing that made a bit of this eczema show up?
And then I realized what it was: I haven’t been sleeping enough or exercising. I’ve been overworked, worried, and constantly stressed.
I’ve been so busy with a full time job, planning our wedding, managing this blog, working with clients, responding to the many emails that I get….and I can’t help but feel like I’m juggling 2-3 jobs at once. There were times I would work 9-5 and then come home and continue working non-stop until it was time for me to go to bed.
Not very healthy, for someone like me.
The overwhelming feeling of starting a new business and taking care of wedding stuff slowly took priority over my health, and I failed to realize it. My skin was not very happy with it, and then I became even more consumed with fixing my skin.
Note: Keep reading below to see what I did to fix it.
This happens to many people with eczema. Many people I work with get so stressed and fixated on their eczema situation that it consumes their whole lives. And, I know that for many of us, life gets so busy, becomes full of worries, and we get caught up in the whirlwind of stress, without even noticing it.
So this is my turn to ask you:
- Are you letting the worries, stress and fears of your eczema (or things in life) take over you?
- Do you talk down, criticize yourself, or ever have feelings of discontent with yourself?
- How are you treating your body?
- Are you placing yourself as the number 1 priority in your life?
- Are you sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating well?
If anything applies to you above – that means that we have something to work on.
Many of my clients with health issues tend to be people who go through a lot of stress, worry and frustrations (especially over their health issues).
They often spend most of their time overworrying, being consumed, and fixated on how they can fix their eczema (along with the self-esteem issues that come along with worrying about how eczema looks on the skin). This often leads to a lot of stress (and sometimes, poor sleep). Plus, on top of that, they have a lot of discontentment, criticism, and dissatisfaction towards their body.
Does this sound like you?
If so, it creates a vicious cycle that can cause eczema or other health issues to deteriorate even more.
Think about it this way:
You were born to be healthy to be loved, and to love yourself. You were born to enjoy life and not to live life in worry and stress.
Even Jesus says to his people in John 15:9 – “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.”
So if it’s one thing I want you to take away from this post, it’s this:
…Go love yourself. 🙂
Loving yourself and putting yourself as #1 in your life will lead to a healthier, brighter, you.
Think about it: if you’re constantly worried, stressed, overanxious – and not taking the time to enjoy life, enjoy yourself, and be happy with yourself, you will be constantly surrounded by negative thoughts. This negativity will not only affect your body image, but it will create unnecessary stress and disappointment in your life, which can in turn affect your health issues and eczema.
Stress and worry are the complete opposite of resting and relaxing. Instead, learn to enjoy each moment that you are given.
Here are 2 studies that back this up:
Study #1: Rice Experiment
In a Japanese experiment by Dr. Masaru Emoto, he labelled 2 jars: one jar said “Thank you and I love you,” and another jar was labelled with “I hate you, you fool.” Everyday he would speak over those words to them twice a day for 30 seconds, and the results were miraculous!
After the 30 days was up, he noticed that the rice in the container with the positive label was growing, flourishing, and still white and fluffy! Whereas the rice with the hateful words was turning all moldy and rotten (see images below).
Note: I had to find 2 different before and after pictures from different sites because I couldn’t find too many great before & after pictures to use.
This experiment really demonstrates that what we think about ourselves can really affect our reality.
Study #2: Water Crystal Experiment
In another water crystal experiment, Dr. Masaru Emoto also looked at the effect of words, prayers, and music on the crystalline structure of water.
He found that certain words that we speak over ourselves really affect the crystalline structure of water. Notice that when kind and appreciative words are used, the crystalline structure of water is more symmetrical and much more beautiful (whereas the crystalline structure of water is very asymmetrical when rude words, such as “you make me sick” are used).
This experiment really demonstrates that human thoughts and even things we do to help our body relax (such as prayer or meditation) can alter physical reality and the composition of things – such as the molecular structure of water.
Given that humans are comprised of at least 60% water, this can really affect our bodies as well.
So what can we do to reduce stress, worry, and make our health as our #1 PRIORITY?
Here are a few pointers:
Incorporate stress management techniques:
This is super important. Notice how some people can be more stressed than you – yet they don’t seem stressed? Why is that? This is because stress is a perceived reaction to something. Change your outlook, change your life. Incorporate visualization techniques, prayer, meditation, journaling, practicing gratitude, pursuing a hobby, or even going for a walk in nature to help you relax.
Exercise reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, and releases endorphins to help you feel good! It also takes your mind off of constantly being fixated with your issues in life, and helps you to relax. Not into running? No problem – there must be some form of exercise that you enjoy. Whether it’s biking, swimming, or playing basketball – find something to your heart’s content and go enjoy it! 😉
The more you sleep, the more your body will heal and rejuvenate itself. Plus, it puts your body into a resting state so that you can heal.
Remove negative words
As much as you can, be aware of when you are negative and critical of yourself. Try and remove those words as much as possible and turn them into good words. For example, if you often say, “I hate my skin,” turn it around and say “I love you skin.” It will take a while to adjust – but the key is to learn to adopt positivism and remove negativity in your life. It was hard and I would tell my skin that it was beautiful all the time – but look what happened!
You can also stick post-it notes around your house with words of affirmation that say things like “I’m beautiful,” “I will heal,” or “I am loved.” During my flare ups, I stuck post it notes around my house with bible verses to affirm myself and remind myself that God would one day answer my prayer and heal me. 🙂
Find a Support Group
You are as strong as the people are around you! The people around you help strengthen you and help you overcome obstacles and challenges. They provide encouragement when needed. Don’t underestimate how much you need this. Avoid negative and critical people in your life. Find additional support from eczema forums or Facebook groups like EczemaVoice.com, Talk Health Forum, or the Topical Steroid Withdrawal Group on Facebook. You’ll find that you’re not alone in this journey.
In short: Commit to loving yourself. 🙂
Learn to put yourself as first priority. Spend time with yourself. Go out and enjoy life more. Worry less. Love more. Accept yourself. Love yourself for who you are! You are your own best cheerleader in life. I can’t stress the importance of putting yourself first as a priority.
What I personally did to help my eczema improve during this stressful time
For myself during this stressful period, I learned to incorporate several good habits. In fact, something that really helped my eczema get better was learning to relax and learning to sleep early. I try and sleep by 11 on most days (although it’s still hard to do it everyday. I’m slowly improving). I pray regularly and read the bible as my form of relaxation and it fills my heart with peace again. I’ve also created a new boundary that I will not work once I get home from my full time 9-5 job. I have since felt more rested and relaxed.
It makes a world of a difference!
I spend that extra time doing things that relax me even more (like using the sauna, journaling, or exercising). By trading my busy work times for health, I definitely feel a lot happier and healthier!
Here are a Few Products for Reducing Stress:
Honey Lavendar Stress Relaxation Tea
Sipping tea can also help you relax – especially if it’s Honey Lavendar Stress Relaxation Tea to help calm you and help you unwind 🙂 This tea also has great reviews (based on over 120+ reviews!)
Stress Free for Good Book
For other more simple and action-based strategies to reduce stress – check out this book: Stress Free for Good.
Headspace Meditation App
I’ve also heard good reviews about the HeadSpace Meditation app. I believe you can use it for about 10 days for free. I’ve heard that it helps people and it’s also been featured on the NY Times and other media outlets.
This really helped me a lot to gain peace during this time. I know everyone has different religions – so I’m just putting this here as a nice-to-have which you can feel free to try if you want. This app is free – or you can get the Kindle version but it’s pricier.
What about you? What is one thing you’re doing to improve your eczema and health?
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.