Stress and Aging: Could a Stressful Lifestyle Be Making You Age?

Worry lines, frustrated furrows, and perplexed pursed lips…

If you’re overwhelmed by stress, your face is bound to show it eventually. Beyond our troubled facial expressions, stress also affects our health in deeper ways, causing damage and speeding up the signs of aging from within.

It’s no question – if you want to keep your skin healthy, young, and glowing naturally, you’ve got to do something about all that stress.

Let’s learn why stress causes such an issue with aging and what you can do to maintain youthful skin, no matter what life throws at you.

Stress and Aging: Why Does Stress Make Us Look Older?

We joke that stressful events (or even stressful family members!) will give us gray hair and wrinkles. While we might be exaggerating, it’s true! Over time, high levels of stress, frustration, worry, and irritation break down the body’s ability to heal, rejuvenate, and stay vibrant.

So, how does stress cause aging?

The main cause of aging is oxidation. Oxidation is the damage that happens to our cells from free radicals and toxins. When enough cells are damaged, we start to notice issues in our tissues, organs, organ systems, and eventually the entire body.

Stress is one of the most common – and preventable – causes of oxidation and aging. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that primes us to act in the face of danger. We aren’t usually in real danger, so cortisol’s effects are left to wreak havoc on the body’s healthy tissues. This causes inflammation and oxidation – and therefore aging.

Stress also causes aging by depleting one of the most precious resources for beautiful, youthful skin: collagen. Collagen is what gives our skin a bouncy, toned look and feel. Stress can limit collagen production and degrade collagen stores in the skin, leading to wrinkles, lines, and sagging.

Aside from speeding up the rate at which we develop wrinkles and sagging, stress also causes a host of other skin woes. From breakouts to rashes, cysts to dry patches, stress causes inflammation and is an all-around skin-irritator. Excessive and chronic stress alters your body’s natural hormone levels, increases inflammation, and prevents your skin from accessing the nutrients and nourishment it needs to stay healthy.

How to Relieve Stress and Prevent Aging with Facial Acupuncture

It’s clear that stress is not our friend when it comes to maintaining healthy, youthful skin. But with our modern lives and the seemingly constant onslaught of stressors, what are we to do?!

We will never fully escape stress, but we can change the way our bodies react to stressors. This requires a simple “rewiring” of the body and mind, as well as some smart mindset and lifestyle habits. Here’s are the 2 steps to healthy aging:

1. Use acupuncture to your advantage.

The benefits of acupuncture are lengthy and well-studied, but the key idea is that it helps your body do its job better.

Acupuncture for stress helps by releasing feel-good endorphins and reducing oxidative damage (i.e., aging). It can also make you more resilient to stress, both mentally and physically. Studies show that those who complete regular acupuncture visits don’t have fewer stressors than others, but they perceive everyday stress to be less overwhelming.

The great thing about facial acupuncture for aging is that it’s comprehensive. A facial acupuncture session targets the skin and problem areas directly, addresses your unique root causes of aging, and improves your body’s relationship with stress. As a result, your hormone levels stay balanced, you avoid the myriad health issues related to chronic stress, and you generally feel happier (and look younger, too!).

2. Create a lifestyle for healthy aging.

Acupuncture is key for anyone who wants to look amazing, no matter their age. But it’s just one aspect. The other side of the story happens when you’re out of the treatment room and on your own. How you live plays a major role in how much stress you endure, how your body (and skin) responds to that stress.

When stressed, we’re not only aging faster due to that pesky oxidative damage, but we’re more likely to engage with habits that also speed up the aging process. Momentary stress-relievers like smoking, drinking, eating comfort foods only make our stress and aging worse in the long run.

Thankfully, healthy habits can offer more sustainable stress relief and reverse aging rather than accelerate it.

How to De-Stress Your Lifestyle for Younger-Looking Skin

Wellnest Denver’s facial acupuncture plans help you kick stress and set the foundation for youthful skin. The rest is up to you! Here are a few simple tips to get you started:

Eat foods that fuel beauty and good moods.

Eating foods that support your body and brain can do wonders when it comes to tackling stress. The nervous system is intrinsically linked to our digestive system. When we fuel it with the right foods, we feel less stressed, have fewer health issues, and feel more fulfilled.

In your stress-busting and anti-aging diet plan, be sure to include brain foods like walnuts, salmon, and leafy greens, microbiome foods like probiotics, miso, and kimchi, and beauty foods like papaya, berries, and avocados for a whole-body effect.

Move daily.

Chronic stress can’t stand up against regular exercise. The release of endorphins, reduction in cortisol, and overall boost your body gets from movement offer some of the best anti-stress and anti-anxiety “medicine” out there. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a gym rat to experience the relief and resilience that exercise can offer. Ideally, you’ll work up a sweat at least a few times a week, but even going for a walk, dancing in your bedroom, or stretching a few times throughout the day has plenty of benefits.

Here’s a bonus: exercise is great for your skin, too. Daily movement ensures good circulation and detoxification to your skin to prevent early aging and signs of stress.

Make digital detox part of your routine.

Our lives revolve around technology, and while there are many benefits to being constantly connected, there are also some concerns. Studies show that at least ⅕ of us are significantly stressed by our technology.

If you’re concerned about premature aging, the trouble doubles. Poor posture at the desk, squinting with eye strain, or the new “tech neck” phenomenon could leave you with sagging facial and neck skin, along with all that extra stress.

A digital detox allows you (and your devices) time to reboot. During a digital detox, you consciously spend off your phone, computer, tv, and any other electronics. This could be a whole day, a weekend, a week, or even just certain hours of the day that are reserved for non-digital time.

The Wellnest Denver Acupuncture Approach for Stress and Aging

At Wellnest Denver, we see the power of acupuncture and healthy lifestyle change on our patients’ faces every day. Our facial acupuncture plans take years off your skin while letting your natural beauty shine through even brighter.

But the real gift of facial acupuncture is how it shifts the mind. It offers a simple, natural way to release the weight of excessive stress and step into a profound feeling of resilience. And what better way to age than that?!

Are you ready to grow more resilient and reduce the signs of aging naturally? Book your consultation at Wellnest Denver to get started!


Looking for a Denver acupuncture clinic to help you with all of your general health, mental health, chronic pain, fertility, gynecological, facial acupuncture, or digestive needs?

Contact Wellnest Acupuncture + Holistic Medicine at 720.618.0770 or book an appointment online.

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