Although we all know that stress is one the worst enemies to health, some people seem to be addicted to this condition. Time and time again we meet people saying that they want inner peace and yet, once they manage to achieve this piece, they set out seeking the effects of two powerful hormonal drugs – cortisol and epinephrine. As if we cannot live without stress.
Why Avoid Stress?
Our bodies have inherent ability for self-healing. The recently published book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, shares a lots of data regarding the placebo effect, providing sound evidence that our body has inherent self-repair mechanisms controlled by our minds. They have the ability improve the work of protein, destroy cancer cells, prolong aging, and ward off infections. It’s ability goes even beyond this and into the realm of healing ulcer, skin lesions, and broken bones.
However, there is a catch – These mechanisms don’t function under stress.
So what are the signs of being a stress addict? Here are the 10 signs that you are getting high on cortisol.
1. Loss of sleep
Normally, cortisol levels experience a drop at night time, which allows our bodies to relax and recover from the day. However, if you have high cortisol levels you’ll notice that although tired, your body can’t shut down at night. You go to bed only to toss and turn all night, waking up tired the following morning.
2. You Feel Tired Despite Sleeping Well
When you have high cortisol levels for a longer period, it depletes the adrenal glands making you predisposed to chronic fatigue. So, if you’re lacking energy when waking up, there are high chances that you are chronically stressed.
3. Gaining Weight Despite Eating Healthy and Exercising
High cortisol has a tendency to pile up fats around your waist even though you do all that it takes to melt it down.
4. Inclination to Cold and Infections
Cortisol can deactivate your mechanisms for self-repair. Your immune system, which is otherwise perfectly capable to keep you healthy becomes exposed under the influence of high cortisol leaving you open to viruses.
5. Cravings for Unhealthy Foods
Cortisol increases your blood sugar levels and puts you at risk of diabetes. Because of the high glucose, your insulin levels drop, reducing in turn your blood sugar levels. As a result, you feel hungry for sugar, getting all sorts of chocolate cravings.
6. Backaches and Headaches
Having high cortisol levels for a prolonged period deplets your adrenal glands. As a result, your prolactin levels rise, making you sensitive to pain, hence the backaches and muscle aches. High cortisol also makes your brain hypersensitive to pain, and even the slightest spasm can feel like a ton of bricks falling on your head.
7. Diminished Sexual Drive
Cortisol has an effect opposite to Viagra. When the stress hormones start to reign, your sex hormones abdicate, and your libido becomes limp.
8. Gut Problems
High cortisol levels is bad for your gastrointestinal system. They cause feelings of nausea, heartburn, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and constipation.
9. You’re Constantly Nervous
High cortisol and epinephrine levels can result in nervous stomach, feelings of panic, even paranoia.
10. Feeling Blue
Under the influence of high cortisol, the production of serotonin drops down rapidly. As result you feel constantly down.
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High cortisol also leads to adrenal fatigue. When you produce cortisol day in and day out, your adrenal glands, which produce this hormone, become exhausted. The precursor hormones responsible for cortisol production stop acting. The result is total adrenal collapse. All things considered, cortisol can have devastating effects on your body. The best cure in reducing the production of this hormone is found within you. It’s up to you to learn how to reduce your stress and start to relax.