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  • Writer's pictureDr. Brooke Grant Jeffy (Dermatologist)

How Practicing Gratitude Can Help Improve Your Skin Health

There are many psychological benefits of practicing gratitude, but I bet you didn’t realize just how much it helps your skin too! We know that mental stress triggers inflammation body wide and exacerbates dermatologic conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne. This inflammation also promotes collagen breakdown, contributing to an aged appearance of the skin. So we want to utilize all the tools in our toolbox that can help us deal with this stress and minimize its disastrous consequences on our bodies. Gratitude is another tool, along with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

Practicing gratitude reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and gives your immune system a boost. Studies have shown gratitude practice to have positive effects on sleep quality and to improve overall happiness and satisfaction.

So how do you reap the benefits of gratitude?

Journal. Jotting down a few things you are thankful for is a great way to start or end the day. Include something you appreciate about your skin and enjoy the positive headspace.

Positive affirmations. Create a daily mantra or one that you always rely on for when any self doubt creeps in. Make it skin focused with something like, “I am radiant and strong.” The point is to ground and refocus your energy.

Perform acts of appreciation. Show someone you care with something as simple as sending a text to say hello, a phone call or a note. Express gratitude to your body by fueling it with healthy foods, avoiding alcohol, and staying hydrated and well rested. Whatever the act, It’s all about the positive connection this act creates between you and another person or you and your body.

Offer thoughts of loving kindness. You can offer these thoughts to anyone or anything. There are so many reasons to love your skin, so consider making it your focus at times.

Thank it for

acting as the first line of defense against illness.

serving as a window to our internal health.

connecting us to others through the sensation of touch.

telling the story of how we have lived and our unique genetics.

protecting us from the environment.

Things to be grateful for and ways to express gratitude are plentiful. Spend just a few moments a day practicing gratitude and sending positivity out into the world to reap the benefits for your skin and entire body.

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