This is part of an article in 5 parts, taking you through the physics of stress, and how to prevent it. You can start reading here – or go to one of the below sections to dig deeper into each element.
The most important hormones when it comes to stress are – as you perhaps already know – Adrenaline and Cortisol.
But what do they do to us and how do they actually work? Are they dangerous and why?
To put it short; while adrenaline is useful and mostly harmless, cortisol is not meant to play with. Under normal, healthy conditions, we have a daily rhythm of cortisol levels in our blood. Highest level in the morning and lowest around midnight. It starts to rise again at 3-4 am. This is why you wake up at the middle of the night if you are under pressure*.
Cortisol formation and release into the blood, is triggered by events that is perceived dangerous. It is the ultimate survival hormone, as it mobilizes everything the body has for the single purpose of surviving from an immediate threat. Cortisol makes us instant superheroes.
Cortisol makes us instant superheroes
But it also means that everything not critically needed for immediate survival is shut down.
Let’s look into what cortisol actually does to the body: (mere…)