Don’t Tear Your Hair Out

Did you know that your hair and scalp can be a barometer of the stress levels in your life?  People who are happy and handle stress in their lives with ease usually have healthy, shiny hair.  And dry, lifeless and damaged hair could be a sign that you are ill or suffering from too much stress.  And male pattern baldness apart, stress is probably the biggest causes of hair loss, which can itself be very stressful, especially for women, leading to a self fulfilling downward spiral of hair loss.

Some people handle stress better than others, but there can be a time in anyone’s life where stress becomes seriously significant – such as during an illness or traumatic situation.  During these times even people who handle most stress with ease may experience physical abnormalities, including hair loss.  

When stress related hair loss occurs, our bodies are telling us that we need to look slow down, relax and actively tackle the underlying causes of our stress.

Serious emotional stress such as a death in the family, divorce, moving away from family and friends etc can make hair follicles dormant.  When this happens, hair stops growing and combing or washing the hair will cause it to fall out.  It is not uncommon for it to take many months for the hair growth to return to normal – after the emotional stress has been resolved.

Physical stress such as an operation or treatment for a disease may also cause hair loss.  It is common for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy to experience at least partial hair loss.  Fortunately, as the patient recovers, the hair follicles usually recover too and hair growth usually re-starts.

However, when hair loss is prevalent for no apparent reason, you should seek professional help to rule out, or get treatment for any serious underlying medical problem. 

If your hair loss is simply caused by an abundance of stress, however, take heart.  Stress related hair loss usually ends when the stress has been resolved.  So stop tearing your hair out about your hair loss.  Worrying will only make the situation worse.  Much better you take active steps to combat the destructive signs of stress – such as eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, taking up Tai Chi or yoga.

How to Deal With Emotional Stress

These kinds of emotional stress issues can add up fast. Like a snowball, you pack on the stresses of your daily life and the next thing you know, you just can’t cope!

Emotional stress is all around us.  As long as we interact with other people on a daily basis, we will find ourselves suffering emotional stress as we react to human made situations. 

Stress comes in many different forms, all of which can lead to anxiety and even depression.  No matter how hard you try, you sometimes can’t get away from it.  And in the case of eustress, you don’t even need to! 

Say for instance you’re experiencing the emotional stress of your daughter’s marriage or your son getting his diploma.  This is eustress, a positive stress.  Nonetheless, it still takes a toll on your mind and body because you want everything to go smoothly.

But what if your phone bill is overdue or you just got word that you may get laid off or made redundant from your job?  These kinds of emotional stress issues can add up fast.  Like a snowball, you pack on the stresses of your daily life and the next thing you know, you just can’t cope!

How can you possibly deal with all of this and avoid the explosive burn out?  Well, half the battle is recognizing stress for what it is, eliminating the things that cause it as far as we can, while dealing with the things we can’t get rid of. 

Some kinds of stress force you to learn to accept – like the fact that a loved one just died and there’s nothing you can do but grieve and go on with your own life. 

Once you define what triggers your stress, you can learn to not make mountains out of molehills and take each day – each challenge – as it comes.  This will go a long way toward lightening your burden of emotional stress.