Let's talk about anxiety sweat.
Well hello there. Hello to stress, hello to anxiety.
We're living in an unprecedented time. A time marked by uncertainty in the many facets of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. The unknown can spark a number of stressors, many of which show up in and on our bodies themselves.
One that you might be familiar with is our very unwelcome friend, anxiety sweat.
Anxiety sweat is different from our active, overheated daily encounter with sweat from working out or just walking in the summer sun. Why, might you ask? Well, let’s break it down to the sweat glands themselves; the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands.
Our bodies contain anywhere from 2 to 4 million sweat glands! The majority of these are called eccrine glands. These glands cover most of the body, but are found in substantial numbers on the palms of our hands, soles of our feet, our forehead and armpits. The autonomic nervous system signals the eccrine sweat glands to kick in when the body temperature rises from natural environmental factors or physical activity. This type of sweat is mostly made of water, with a small amount of salt and lipids. It’s a natural response to cool the skin and lower body temperature.
When stressed, however, the apocrine glands are the go-to for our reactionary sweat needs. These larger glands are found in areas of the body with higher numbers of hair follicles. For example, the underarms secrete approximately 30 times more sweat when under stress than when at rest. Anxiety-related sweat happens when the body perceives a threat and switches into survival mode, aka fight or flight response. The sweat glands are activated by nerves and in turn trigger a rush of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones.
Sure sure, we all sweat and we all stress, but why does it smell different?
WELL, anxiety-induced sweat smells different (one might say, funkier) than “regular” sweat because the apocrine glands produce a fatty, thick and protein-rich milky substance which, when combined with the natural bacteria on the skin, can create strong body odor.
How does one combat the unpleasant world of stress-induced and anxiety-associated B.O.? Here are a couple tips on how to move through a spike in tension or anxiety:
- Breathing and meditation
Taking a mental break from what's causing your stress and take deep breaths. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat. Deep breathing slows your heart rate which, in turn, reduces sweating.
- Stay hydrated
If you're hydrated, your body won't feel the need to sweat as much.
- Wear breathable clothing
Opt for natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo and avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester.
- Invest in calming products
We use essential oils in our products, not only to add a pleasant smell to your odor-eliminating deodorant, but to also relieve stress and tension. A small whiff of your scent of choice can elevate your mood and even bring about a moment of calm, thereby reducing the work of those unhelpful apocrine glands. And for that powerhouse combination of calm and odor protection, try our CBD line of deodorants enriched with organic hemp CBD known for its soothing and calming effects when applied topically.
These are just a few ideas that that we came up with at Humble HQ. How do you combat that pesky anxiety sweat?