A toxic relationship is not good for any aspect of your life. It is bad for your mental health, physical health, and the less talked about – your appearance.
A good relationship will make you feel secure, happy, cared for, and respected. On the other hand, a toxic relationship will make you feel drained, depleted, and sometimes even distraught. Toxic relationships cause monumental breakage to people, families, and workplaces, but they aren’t always the territory of the weak, downtrodden or insecure. Strong, healthy, independent people can also find themselves in the grip of a toxic relationship.
While you might think you can handle the emotional turmoil, your body can find it hard to keep up with all the stress that it is going through. Many studies have shown that our stress levels impact health in a negative way. Stress can increase just about every health issue there is; brain, thyroid, immune, and weight problems.
There are a few signs you can watch out for, many of which include the ways your body is visibly responding to emotional stress. You might not notice these things immediately, but the stress your toxic relationship is putting you under can alter your physical appearance in so many ways.
Early graying of the hair
Your hair is made out of keratin, a colorless protein that is produced by keratinocytes. The color comes from melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment, melanin is responsible for the coloring of your hair. As we grow older, melanocytes reduce in number causing your hair to become gray. However, stress can accelerate the death of melanocytes, causing your hair to become visibly gray faster.
This one is a bit more obvious! We have all probably had an acne breakout due to stress. Why? Stressful situations cause the adrenal glands to become overactive. This leads to an increase in the body’s cortisol levels, which triggers the sebaceous glands in your skin to increase the production of oil.
There are three different types of hair loss that are triggered by the stress of a difficult relationship. Trichotillomania, which involves you tugging at your body hair, impulsively, causing you to lose hair. Alopecia areata, which is the loss caused by an overactive immune system attacking the body’s hair follicles. And lastly, Telogen effluvium, involves the hair falling out after a period of extreme stress.
Cortisol can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum, making the skin appear dry and dehydrated. In some people, it can also affect the elasticity of the skin, making it taut and less capable of retaining water. This causes your skin to dry out and even become inflamed. It is so important to moisturize and to find a way to help alleviate stress.
A relationship that brings more unhappiness than joy starts to take a toll on your appearance after a long period of time. The Burden of your toxic relationship can cause you to spend less time taking care of yourself. Your appetite will disappear or come in excess, your sleep cycle will become out of whack and your willingness to engage in self-care will become less. You might start to notice dark circles under your eyes, worry lines on your forehead, and lines around your eyes.
If you know your partner is toxic please take this as a wake-up call to get out while you can. Take this final step and leave them once and for all, and do it for your own personal well-being. You are worth so much more than you think, and you do deserve happiness.