Cortisol is essential for our overall health but with the stressful times we live in our bodies can have a cortisol overload which can be detrimental to our well-being.
Stress is inevitable and some stress can even be beneficial enabling us to cope with life’s challenges.
Our bodies are amazing self healers from wounds to bones to fighting infections and viruses and fixing broken proteins.
However when we constantly overload our bodies with cortisol caused by the stresses we live with it can have a huge impact on this self healing.
If we have sustained high cortisol levels it can compromise our immune system, impair our cognitive performance, increase blood pressure, cause sleep disruption, affect wound healing and increase abdominal fat which, in turn, can affect your heart health.
There are many ways you can help yourself to reduce the stress in your life for instance, if your work is causing you high levels of stress you can opt to change your job. However, this may not be possible or practical for you.
So here’s a simple technique to try – laugh.
You don’t need a sense of humour or a reason – just do it and notice the difference.
Laughing changes your body chemistry and physiology. It reduces cortisol and increases the happy neurochemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. It relaxes our muscles and, for just that short time that we are laughing, it gets us out of our heads and into the moment. It’s hard to think of anything else whilst you are laughing!
Laughter Online University’s guide to less stress and better health. http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-less-stress-better-health-energy/
For more detailed information on stress and cortisol and how it affects our short and long term health please check out this link: http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2011/02/the-physiology-of-stress-cortisol-and-the-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis/#.V5sToPkrLIU