When our stress levels peak, our adrenal glands release cortisol into the bloodstream to aid our fight or flight response. You’ll recognise the symptoms instantly: racing heart, unbounded energy. In small doses stress can be good for us, but getting the balance right is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Rising cortisol levels can cause skin problems to flare up, immune systems to take a nose dive and the kilos to pile on. And when our stress levels are perpetually sky-high, we become susceptible to more serious conditions, like heart problems and depression, too.
On the flip side, Addison’s Disease is the medical term for being unable to produce sufficient levels of cortisol, with symptoms including low blood pressure, extreme weakness and nausea.
How to manage it: Traditional relaxation techniques, like mindfulness, not alleviating feelings of stress? Engaging with feelings of stress could help to keep your cortisol levels under control.