Did you know that our nails are affected by what we eat, our way of life, and also by the stress we face?
Yes! Our lives have become very fast paced and demanding. Juggling multiple roles makes it challenging for most, if not all, to maintain a balanced and adequate lifestyle. It is this juggling that, to a large extent, can cause stress.
“But how can stress be linked to nails?” you might ask?
How Stress Affects Our Health and Nails
First and foremost, stress makes it more difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs. Strong, healthy nails require protein, silica, magnesium, zinc, iron, biotin, and other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, stress means preventing your body from absorbing vitamins and minerals that are needed for healthy nails. A lack of these essential vitamins and minerals can cause nails to become thin and brittle, form ridges, or become excessively dry, dark, and overly curved at the ends.
Stress also causes some people to engage in certain unfavourable habits. Many people tend to abuse their nails when stressed, resorting to nail biting or repetitive rubbing that can cause mechanical damage to the nail bed.
The Vicious Cycle of Stress
Stress can aggravate brittle nails as well as other conditions that appear in the nails. Because nails are visible to the outside world, disfigured nails look ugly and embarrassing; this becomes stressful in and of itself. This further increases self-consciousness, hence, creating a vicious cycle.
12 Tips to Help Manage Stress
We know that stress cannot be alleviated completely. We can however use some tactics to help us mange or reduce stress up to a certain extent. Some good stress management tips are listed below:
- Learn to recognize the underlying problem or situations that are triggering your symptoms and develop skills to help minimize the stress. This can include:
- Changing the situation
- Changing your response to the situation
- Removing yourself from the situation
- Exercise helps release endorphins in the body that make you feel happier and can reduce stress
- Take time out for you
- Avoid biting your nails
- Sleep 8 or more hours a night to allow the nail tissues to heal and grow
- Take supplementary vitamins & minerals for strengthening nails
- Chew slowly and eat in a relaxed environment to allow maximum uptake of nutrients
- Eat sufficient protein for growth and repair of nail tissues
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate skin and flush waste products
The benefits of managing your stress response and providing targeted nutrition for your cells will be reflected in healthier, stronger and more attractive nails.
Do you have any good tips to deal with stress? Please share them below.
(Image courtesy Pedro Ribeiro Simoes)