We’re gonna get real with you today. We’re throwing a cortisol break down at you!
What Is Cortisol?
It’s essential for energy and health. It’s often referred to as the “stress hormone”, and it’s responsible for our “fight or flight” response. When it’s balanced, life is good. When it’s out of whack, you are too. The hormone isn’t only produced in response to stress; however, chronic stress results in an overproduction. So, when you’re overworked, overtired, and stressed to the max, your body goes into hyperdrive and creates an abundance of cortisol.
What Does It Do?
Cortisol is produced, in part, by the adrenal glands when we’re under pressure and perceive a threat. The pituitary gland determines how much hormone the adrenals should release to help us fight or flee. But that’s not all - cortisol orchestrates the performance of other key hormones, like estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid. Remember how we said that when your cortisol is out of whack, you are too? That’s why. Cortisol isn’t a lone wolf, only reacting to stress. When it’s in overdrive, it’s messing up all sorts of other hormones in your system too. It results in insomnia, excess belly fat, anxiety, extreme fatigue, etc.
How Can I Regulate It?
In an ideal world, your cortisol levels will be high in the morning - providing you with sustainable energy throughout the day, before tapering off and lulling you into a peaceful sleep in the evening. When you are stressed, your body is producing cortisol all.damn.day and you don’t have the tapering off. So, what can you do to maintain the cortisol high in the morning?
STOP STRESSING OUT.
HA! Easier said than done, we know. But seriously, regulating the stressors in your life is hugely important. You gotta work out your stress - obviously we recommend checking out a REBEL class to sweat out some stress ;). You can even get outside through the day, soak up some Vit D, and just move.
Also, wind down at the end of the day. Take a bath. Read a book. Meditate. Whatever helps you to slow down your mind and body. And get a good night’s sleep! Sleeping gives your body the ok to restart the process all over again, so you can wake up with a cortisol high to get you through the day.