POST #6.1 - CORTISOL and STRESS
Cortisol is the “stress hormone.” In the past, Cortisol’s hormonal response kept us alive when we were being chased by wild animals or in physical altercations. We call this the fight or flight reflex. You may have felt this response when you have slipped and almost fallen or when a loud sound wakes you in the night. Your heart pounds, blood rushes to your extremities, and your body is ready to stimulate the reaction it needs to keep you alive and safe. The problem now is that our world is overflowing with stress, which, in turn, causes the release of cortisol almost continually throughout the day. We are constantly living in fight or flight, instead of using it when we need it. This is causing major issues for our overall health.
Over the last couple days, we have learned how many of the functions and systems in the body are connected to each other. Stress and cortisol are no different. When our body experiences the fight or flight reflex, it starts to shut down “non-essential functions,” things the body thinks it doesn’t need for fighting or running away. These systems and functions include hormone production, digestion, immune response, and more. It’s vital to try to manage stress levels and practice some sort of mind clearing or grounding activities for the overall well-being of our bodies.
You can pair these practices with Balance or your other favorite calming oil to help bring a sense of peace and tranquility to your day. Meditation, journaling, exercise, or hiking can all be great ways to ground and release stress. Walking on the earth with bare feet has also been shown to be very calming to the body. If all this seems like too much, just try to start with simple measures, like going outside for your lunch break or closing your eyes for 5 min per hour at your desk while taking deep breaths with your hand on your chest. Start simple, be aware of your body, and take control of your stress. Use your oils to support you in these practices!