While most of us wouldn’t hesitate to reassure a friend or loved one who was struggling with an acne problem, when it comes to caring for ourselves when we’re in the same situation, the same simply cannot be said.
Most of us beat ourselves up about our blemish prone skin, however this doesn’t help matters and could even be making the situation worse.
Dealing with acne isn’t just frustrating, it can also be embarrassing and distressing. The more negative you feel about your body image, the less self-confidence you’re likely to have and this can impact on every area of your life.
In the worst cases, a lack of self-confidence can lead to increasing isolation, with fewer social activities and a narrow friendship group. It’s clear, then, that acne is an incredibly stressful condition but all that stress could actually be making your acne worse.
How Is Acne Linked To Stress?
Stress has a known connection with acne, and it’s well recognized that when you’re going through an extremely stressful period the chance of experiencing breakouts is much higher. The reason for this lies in a hormone known as cortisol. This impacts on your health in several ways, and one of those is the aggravation of skin problems like acne. Therefore, if you’re stressing out over your acne, you’re only going to experience more breakouts, and this causes the cycle to become even more embedded.
However, there is a way to break the cycle. All you need to do is change the way you feel about your blemish prone skin and learn how to cope with the stress that the condition causes in a more effective way. As a result, your skin will improve and you’ll feel more confident – a self-fulfilling positive loop which is much better than the negative cycle you are currently experiencing.
How Do You Show Yourself Some Compassion?
It might sound easy to say you should show yourself some compassion, but what does this actually look like. It means that you show the same level of care and empathy for yourself as you would show to another person in the same situation.
To be self-compassionate, you need to stop putting demands on yourself that you would never put on other people. Striving to achieve the unattainable goal of flawless skin is something which you must accept is impossible – after all, nobody has perfect skin. When you see photos of celebrities who appear to have beautifully smooth skin, in fact they’re wearing makeup that hides their flaws or the image has been photoshopped to make them look more attractive.
Showing yourself some self-compassion also means that you need to stop thinking that your acne is your own fault. Some people believe that if only they could do more to improve their skin everything would be better. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, trying increasingly extreme avenues to improve your skin could actually do more harm than good. For example, elimination diets may seem like the ideal solution to eliminating your acne, however they could result in malnutrition or even an eating disorder together with feelings of depression if your cure fails to achieve a result.
If you’re being compassionate to yourself, you will stop hiding away and refusing to socialize until you’ve attained your perfect ideal. Go out, enjoy yourself and have fun. When you feel happier in your life, you’ll feel more positive about yourself and this could help your skin to improve.
Top Tips For Loving Yourself
If you’re still struggling to get started with loving yourself when dealing with acne, here are some top tips:
- Practice mindfulness. Be aware of all your emotions when you’re experiencing them and look at them objectively. This will help you become self-aware – the first step towards self-compassion.
- Shift focus. Instead of focusing on self-improvement, shift the focus instead to self-growth. Don’t think about how you can fix yourself. Instead, think about how you can grow as an individual.
- Remember you’re human. All humans are flawed. You need to embrace this and accept it.
- Try meditating. This will help you to become more self-compassionate and less stressed. As a result, your skin breakouts may be reduced and your life, overall will be happier.
- Don’t catastrophize. Acne may be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it isn’t the end of the world. Having breakouts won’t prevent you from achieving any goal you set yourself and it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life to the max.
- What would you say to a friend? Think about how you’d talk to a friend or loved one who was upset about an acne breakout. Now talk in the same way to yourself.
- Don’t allow acne to control your life. If you have clear skin but are still afraid of acne returning, you’ll never be free. This is why having self-compassion is really the only way to achieve true freedom.
Self Love Can Improve Your Breakouts
It’s only natural to have some concerns if you suffer from acne prone skin. However, it’s important not to allow that concern to overtake every element of your life. If worry about acne breakouts is foremost on your mind and is stopping you from socializing, having fun and enjoying yourself, it’s time to change your mindset. Instead of focusing on your flaws, focus on embracing yourself.
Practicing self-compassion may not be something that comes to you naturally but with practice it’s a skill that you’ll learn. You’ll then realize something truly special – that when you love yourself and accept yourself as you are, your acne problem won’t be the be-all and end-all in your life. When the stress of trying to deal with it is gone, you may even discover that your skin improves thanks to the reduced cortisol response which occurs once your stressors go away. In short, self-love could be the answer you’ve been seeking to your acne breakouts – so surely it’s worth a try?