CAN YOU MEDITATE YOUR WAY TO GOOD SKIN?

Two years ago if you asked me to sit still in silence for 10 minutes to meditate, I would've squirmed and huffed 30 seconds into the practice. My brain can't do anything but run at 100 miles per hour on thoughts about work, what's next for lunch or yet another 'did I really just say that?' replay.

Introduced to me by chance during a holiday retreat, meditation is now a daily practice that's helped me with focus and an overall sense of calm.

Adding a regular meditation practice as part of your lifestyle would help to manage chronic inflammation and stress. Stress suppresses the immune system, increasing the likelihood of catching a cold or other illness.

Knowing that stress and inflammation can wreak havoc externally on the skin, we couldn't help but wonder - can you meditate your way to good skin?

Studies have shown that mindfulness-based meditation has both physical and mental benefits against conditions like psoriasis, depression, and anxiety. 

How does meditation help the body?

Regular shallow chest breathing limits the diaphragm full range of motion so the lower parts of the lung don't get their full share of oxygenated air. This causes a feeling of shortness of breath and anxiety.

Meditation involves taking long deep breaths causing the belly to rise and fall. This type of abdominal-focused breathing encourages full-oxygen exchange. That helps to regulate your breathing pattern, stabilize blood pressure, and reduce overall feelings of stress or anxiety.

How can meditation help with good skin?

Contrary to popular belief, 'emptying the mind' is not the goal of meditation. During meditation, your mind will wander, so it helps to have a point of focus. And this is where you could add guided imagery or words to visualize your picture of good health, and therefore, good skin.

Encouragingly, meditation coach Kassy Gilkie says, "Yes, I do believe we can meditate our way to good skin!". She adds "Just like the scientific studies that have proven that talking to our plants actually helps them grow, we are no different. On a cellular level - everything on this earth is simply made up of energy; even the human body. Therefore, we have the ability to positively (or negatively) affect every cell of our being, simply by adjusting our energy and changing the way we talk to ourselves."

Source: Kassy Gilkie

How can we change our outlook by incorporating self-affirming mantras into our beauty routine?

During meditation, you're encouraged to be present and aware of your surroundings, your body, and how you feel. You'll probably be more self-aware of the non-stop chatter in your thoughts. With an inward focus, uneasy feelings and memories might surface. 

Observe your thoughts with kindness and without judgment. How we talk to ourselves has a big impact on our outlook. A negative thought can bring about emotions like anxiety guilt and shame. ​​​​​​​

Kassy advises "Using self-affirming mantras is the number one way to affect our overall energy on a cellular level. An easy way to incorporate this into your beauty routine is to be present through each step, and state specific intentions as you go (this cleanser is gentle and nourishing to my skin). Another way to include self-affirming mantras is to state, out loud, that you already have clear and beautiful skin.

Immediately after your skincare routine, stare into the mirror for a moment and repeat things like, ‘my skin is clear and supple’ or ‘I love and worship my beautiful complexion’. This takes a little practice, but using this technique helps to manifest our desires into reality."

Source: Kassy Gilkie

What are tips for beginners to start meditation?

"Absolutely anyone can start meditating right now, today - all it takes is one minute!" says Kassy. "My favorite way to get someone started with meditation is to practice mindfulness. This technique can be thought of as the first stepping stone in meditation - to step down from a busy mind, into single-pointed awareness." she continues.

Her three easy ways to practice this are:

1. Become mindful of an activity by using the five senses. For example, while drinking your morning coffee take a moment to think: what do I smell, taste, see, hear, and feel.

2. Practice a body scan. Close your eyes, and focus your attention on each body part (starting from your toes and working your way up). Focus on things like sensation, temperature, or discomfort.

3. Use the breath as a single point of awareness. Place your hands on your chest and stomach, and observe how the breath causes each space to rise and fall. Focus your attention by repeating, inhale, and exhale.

We invite you to think of meditation and mindful practice as a supportive friend in your healthy skin journey. 

Kassy is a meditation coach and a registered nurse. She offers in-person and online guided meditations and workshops. Learn more about her on her website or socialize with her on Instagram.

She also has a ‘Master Your Confidence’ course to improve your self-confidence and rediscover your self-love. Learn more about it here. Use code SPEAK15 to get 15% off this course (while available).

- By Sarah R.  
April 28, 2020