Stress Stinks: Stressing Out Gives You Body Odor & More
Stress is unavoidable for young men, especially those who are ambitiously building their career. Whether we are chasing tough deadlines or giving a presentation in front of the company's top brass, nerve-wracking challenges are everywhere these days. It's hard enough to deal with already, but stress also has one annoying side effect that most people don't usually acknowledge.
Even in the comfort of an air-conditioned office, feeling too anxious can make you sweat uncontrollably. Few things can destroy your confidence faster; have you ever tried getting work done with sweaty palms, a wet shirt sticking to your back, and the ever-dreaded pit stains? It makes for an extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.
What makes this problem really bad, though, is that "stress sweat" smells much worse than regular sweat produced by exercise or heat. This is because it mostly comes from the eccrine glands, which are situated primarily around your armpits. Sweat produced by these glands contains many nutrients that bacteria feed off, and this feeding is what actually produces the foul odor.
The last thing we guys want is to be a smelly, sweaty mess while at work. Here are a few guidelines that will help get those glands back under control, while doing our work-life balance a favor too.
1. Follow the basics - As we've talked about in previous articles, simply putting on anti-perspirant deodorant twice a day can work wonders. Make sure to wear a wool undershirt to wick away the sweat, and consider bringing a change of clothes on important days. Choose colors that don't show sweat stains easily, so that you can worry less about how you look.
2. Stay cool under fire - Whenever you feel that the stress is starting to get to you, drop what you're doing and take some time to calm down, if possible. Take some very deep breaths, and try to consciously relax. Practice this every day for at least ten minutes, and you should be able to stay relatively calm in stressful situations.
3. Ditch the coffee - This might sound like an odd tip, but caffeine isn't doing us any favors. It boosts blood pressure and heart rate, amplifying feelings of stress, thereby making the sweat problem worse. Do you need something to wake you up in the morning? Switch to decaf, take a short walk outside, or just get more sleep.
4. Dial back the pressure - Finally, a little stress is expected, but us guys also tend to take on more than we can handle. If feeling overwhelmed has become the norm, then it's time to turn things down a notch and get some rest. Start delegating more, learn to refuse requests, and communicate with your boss - it won't hurt your career to set the right expectations, and it will keep you sane and effective.
Don't be 'that guy" at the office who constantly reeks of sweat. By following these tips and dealing with stress, we can stay fresh and confident all day. Of course, it's probably not going to change overnight. By keeping our workload under control and being diligent with hygiene, though, this problem will eventually be a thing of the past.