Let’s be honest: It’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing.
The same is true when it comes to cortisol – a stress hormone that needs to be in the “just right” range for you to feel your best.
Cortisol is designed to give you a quick boost of energy when you need to flee a dangerous situation (there’s a tiger chasing you, an earthquake hits, etc.). But our modern lives, rife with chaos and deadlines, have us running around thinking that everything is a threat. The result? We pump out cortisol and stay on high alert, even when there isn’t imminent danger around the corner. Over time, this taxes your adrenals and creates serious hormonal imbalance, not to mention raising your blood pressure and insulin levels.
The 3 “Fs”
How does too much cortisol make you crazy?
You start suffering from what I call the three Fs: feeling fat, frazzled, and frumpy. These are all warning signs that your cortisol levels are too high and your life could use some serious de-stressing. And I would know – I was the poster child for the three F’s back in my 30s, when I was an overtaxed new mom working in “McMedicine.”
But the three Fs are like a blessing in disguise: they’re a clear indicator that it’s time to get your cortisol back in that sweet spot where it’s not too high and not too low.
So how do you go about doing that? Especially when you feel like there’s no escaping the things that make you stressed to begin with?
Time to Hit the Reset Button
Training your brain to work on your behalf (instead of against you!) is one of the first steps in managing your cortisol levels. Make a conscious choice not to see the things in your life as stressors, but as opportunities to learn how to slow down, stay balanced, and manage things gracefully. It is possible!
An easy way to get into that “zone” is to start practicing regular deep breathing, meditation, or yoga on a daily basis. The good news? You don’t have to devote hours to this in order for it to work. Even just 10-15 minutes of quiet contemplation or movement (try a few hip opener yoga poses, as we tend to store stress in our hips), will help you create the space to hit the reset button. It can assist you in clearing your mind, making that mental shift, and approaching the next thing on your to-do list with clarity, focus, and calm.
For those of you that think you “don’t have time” for even a few minutes of quiet, consider it my prescription to you. After all, is it ever a waste of time to do something that helps you stay sane and balanced? Of course not.
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