Cortisol – We need you but enough already

Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by our adrenal glands and is a necessary part of our waking and sleep cycles.  We need it to wake us up in the morning but if we have too much cortisol, it can be a problem.

Earlier in the week I spoke about adrenaline, why we need it and what can happen if we have to much. Similarly too much cortisol can have serious health consequences for us. Research shows that people who live in high stress work/home environments with a lot of negativity have excess amounts of cortisol. It is almost like, every time we are confronted with the negativity we need to wake up and be more alert because the stress is arousing us into action. Research also shows that excessive amounts of cortisol can be responsible for increased aches and pains, poor blood sugar regulation, weight gain, poor immune response and other chronic conditions. These facts make it important for us to find healthier ways to combat our stress.

Did you know that we can shift from a negative internal state of high cortisol by shifting what we are focusing on in any given moment? Our body does NOT know if the stories we are experiencing are real or imagined.  When we think of the negative things that happen in our lives and relive the experience of the events, we are sending cortisol into our system just by imaging and reliving the story.

The opposite of this is also true.  When we can relive positive times in our lives and get into how it felt we can shift our cortisol to DHEA (the feel good, anti-aging, vitality hormone).  What this means is, we can make our physiology healthier by focusing on something positive.

In this moment

Think of something that makes you smile and let yourself smile.

Smiling stimulates positive, feel good hormones in your body.

Practice kindness in thoughts and actions

Performing an act of kindness increases our serotonin levels

Observing kindness increases our serotonin levels

Appreciate

Celebrate what is good in your life

We can shift our physiology moment by moment throughout our day.  Remember to breathe and smile.  These simple “in the moment” tools can have amazing results.

Blog with you soon.

Gerrianne

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Explore posts in the same categories: Connection, In This Moment, Moment-Is Challenge, Stress and your performance

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2 Comments on “Cortisol – We need you but enough already”

  1. Bill Says:

    Hi Gerrianne, so you are saying one can physiologically change Cortisol (the bad hormone) into another (good hormone) DHEA by focusing on a positive thought(s)? Can you please comment on any self treatment hints one can use to help make this a reality if they are struggling with the concept.

    On another note, I understand(and appreciate why) you will be shortening your posts, but please leave a little room for mini “In this Moment” prescriptions you leave on the end of some of your posts, they are a very nice touch. B


    • Hi Bill,
      What I suggest to people is to think about a time when they felt positive and energized and reconnect with how that felt. . The research shows that it is the feeling that helps create the shift, not just the thought. Sometimes it is simply something that makes them smile. When they reconnect with how that feels and make themselves smile, they are starting to shift from the negative to the positive hormones. The key is to practice this at specific times of the day so that when you are stressed, you remember to disengage from the negative and reconnect with the positive.

      I will keep it in mind about the “in the moment” prescriptions as I have had several comments from folks asking me to make sure I keep those coming. Take care and thanks for the question


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