Cortisol is a significant hormone when it comes to stress, metabolism, and immune response. It is also one of the most overlooked and misunderstood; left unregulated and causing disruptions in peoples life.
Cortisol itself isn’t the bad guy, we need it; if the next time you stop by Whole Food’s and a grizzly bear appears in the same aisle as you Cortisol will be the main reasons you’re able to reach safety. It’s behind our fight or flight, metabolic processes, and immune system, it’s a busy hormone keeping us safe internally and externally.
But what if you feel like your running from a life-threatening grizzly bear every day?
What if your emotional security feels threatened 24/7?
This is the reality for people who have dysregulated cortisol levels and the percentage of people is higher than expected. 100% of the population is stressed about something; however, this stress has the tendency to cause so much cortisol production in the body that other areas of the body and mind begin to break down.
When you’re exerting a majority of energy into the external, by stressing about external things, the internal loses energy. Hence increase in burnouts, mood swings, addictions, and unhealthy thought patterns.
The body isn’t getting the energy required to regulate the internal because the messages it is receiving from the external is “FREAK THE F*CK OUT”.
Why Are We All Stressing?
Society has become a stressful theoretical scenario generator; the news gives us reasons to be hopeless and social media has reasons to feel unworthy. The temptation to push externally to have more and be more comes from feeling like our security threatened. On top of the external host of problems we also have the internal environment with its own set of stressors. That past painful experience you just can’t seem to shake or that break up that still makes it feel unsafe to trust again, these are also stressors that the mind holds on too for survival.
We subconsciously hold on to these old experiences and they repeat themselves, causing even more stress. We become a walking and talking hormonal catastrophe of security threatening scenarios playing out again and again.
Of course, we feel unwell!
Of course, dissatisfaction seems inescapable!
A majority of us are freaking the f*ck out and have no idea how to release it or that it’s affecting our health in the first place.
Regulating Cortisol — What You Need to Know
So now we know, cortisol is not the bad guy, it is the external and internal dysregulation that has caused an upset in peace. If we dig into a majority of mood disorders, life dissatisfaction, and unshakeable bodily symptoms you will find an army of unregulated cortisol behind the scenes.
Know Thy Stressors
In order to stop stressing you have to get clear on what thoughts and emotions cause stress. Becoming mindful, stop getting stuck in the mind, and bring the body back to the present. That will mean no longer focusing on past pain, fearing future negative experiences, or holding negative self-talk. Observing the self puts you back in the driver seat, now your able to see what the biggest triggers are and learn how to derail those stressors from becoming overpowering.
Detach From Stressors
For me, this started by observing my emotions, the thoughts that followed, and then redirecting the negative ones and detaching myself. I found power in knowing that I created the negative state of mind and I can release it and create a positive new one, one that was based in balance.
This is what’s referred to as rewiring the brain, those stress signals in the brain have been firing off for years causing involuntary stress in the internal body; stress and insecurity have become a natural state. In order to overcome, you must begin redirecting those thoughts of stress and turning it into something positive. Find something unique that relates to the root of the stress like:
— Adopt a mantra to use at times when negative thoughts show up.
— A physical hobby like yoga or dancing to get back into the body.
— Journaling affirmations when you feel insecure
— Dressing up when you feel your low self-esteem triggered.
Become a mastermind at soothing your own stressors. When you’ve stopped entertaining these natural neurochemical responses they will begin to die off and the new state of mind, being happy, will become natural.
Meditate in The Morning
It took me a long time to be convinced that pulling myself out of bed in the AM and meditating was really going to change my life. I simply didn’t want to quit sleeping in but then I understood something about the human brain:
Until you become the regulator, you will be at the mercy of being regulated by your surroundings, you will eventually become controlled by external stimulus. No fun.
Meditating in the morning and visualizing your day builds neural networks different to the stress-induced ones. Meditating has placed me back into the seat of observing and deciding what kind of day I want to have each day, in the beginning, it’s hard to create so much change but as each day unfolds more and more peaceful it becomes second nature. Meditation speeds that process up by giving your brain concept to live by and follow.