Cortisol often gets a bad rap. Known as the “stress hormone”, it is reputed to contribute towards belly fat and brain fog. It is not all bad though.
Stress itself isn’t inherently negative. We evolved to handle stress and we need it. It presents challenges to our brain that have proven to help facilitate learning, memory, performance and more.
But if that’s true, why has stress been linked to adverse health conditions? Moderate levels (and duration) of stress prove beneficial, but when stress is severe or prolonged, it exposes the body to excess cortisol.
It also matters how we respond to stress – and everyone responds differently. Ideally your physiological response is quick and robust, returning quickly to baseline after the stressor is gone. If the response is too strong or inadequate, or the system gets “stuck” on high alert, the body can be subjected to excess cortisol.
High cortisol levels and chronic stress can affect learning, emotions, memory, executive functioning and decision-making capacity. Other effects include mild cognitive impairment and anxiety. Prolonged exposure can kill brain cells and reduce cognitive flexibility and working memory.
Neuro Organisation Technique (N.O.T.) is one way to reset the body’s stress response back to baseline. More information on N.O.T. is available on the “Modalities” Page.
For further ways to reduce and manage stress – Click on the link below to read the full article.