Stress is an inevitable part of life, and it’s especially prevalent during hectic times like the holiday season. Most people intuitively grasp that stress affects their health, but the specifics of why and how are often less clear. One way to reclaim control over your life and build resilience against the impact of stress involves gaining a deeper understanding of stress hormones. So, let’s delve into that subject.
There are two key hormones you need to know about when it comes to stress: cortisol and adrenaline (which is also known as epinephrine). These hormones have distinct roles and behaviors in the human body, and knowing the differences will help you understand your body’s response to stress.
1️⃣ Adrenaline: This hormone is your body’s immediate response to stress. It’s released rapidly, preparing your body to take action when danger looms. This is the hormone that underpins your “fight or flight” response. It increases your heart rate and can result in feelings of anxiety during intense moments.
2️⃣ Cortisol: Compared to adrenaline, cortisol follows a slower and more regulated release pattern. It’s released in a daily rhythm that’s controlled by your brain and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. While the effects of cortisol aren’t as immediately noticeable as those of adrenaline, this hormone has profound long-term health impacts. These effects are linked to metabolism, sleep, brain function, and mood.
Understanding your body’s stress response is the first step towards managing stress and becoming more resilient. Stay tuned to learn more about cortisol and how you can balance it to better handle stress in your life. Remember, knowledge is power, and when it comes to stress, understanding is the first step towards bringing it into balance.