One dramatic realisation I had after being diagnosed with breast cancer, was to understand that our thoughts control our emotions and emotions affect our hormones, and our hormones affect our overall health, and looking after our brain health is absolutely vital to our health.
I see many people suffering with high cortisol for many years. They are very often taking on medication to treat the symptoms that both cortisol, and adrenaline fluctuations bring on, but unfortunately this is not getting to the root cause of the problem.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone and one of the primary stress hormones. This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands. Known as the master “stress” hormone it regulates the way your body uses various fuel sources, and is essential for recouping energy following a stressful situation.
Normal cortisol levels follow a 24-hour circadian rhythm; levels are low at night while sleeping and tend to rise as you need to wake up and get moving.
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”
Learning to retrain your mind and allowing yourself to dampen down the constant monkey-mind chatter allows you take stock of the present moment. The thoughts you allow yourself to choose will create the experiences you have.
Let go of your stresses
Each evening, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them with you all evening and into the night. Deep relaxation and meditation have also been proven to counteract the effects of stress and insomnia.
One of the best things you can do for your brain is to stimulate brain -derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is the brains growth hormone, which stimulates growth of new brain cells and enhances the performance of existing ones. The easiest way to boost BDNF is through intermittent fasting. Exercise has also shown to be effective. Chronic stress surpasses BDNF though, so it’s important to let go of your stresses.
Practice being grateful for what you have in your life, for we truly have a gift that is life. Focusing on the negative aspects of your life only brings more negativity to you. Practicing gratitude with genuine enthusiasm cannot be underestimated to deliver great results.
Focus on the Present
The biggest mistake you can make is to focus on the past and the future, when yesterday is gone, and we can’t predict the future. The important time in your life is NOW. If you concentrate on the now, it creates the likelihood you will have a better tomorrow.
We must be willing to make this choice. We may not want to forgive or know how to forgive, but saying we are willing to forgive begins the healing process. Feeling hurt, guilt, blame, resentment, or fear only holds us back. And when we get stuck, it usually means we have more work to do in this area. Forgiveness dissolves resentment.
If you are constantly switched on because you are worrying about work, finances, sitting in traffic or relationships, and you also combine this with poor nutrition and lifestyle habits, then your stress hormones will do what they are meant to do and break down and begin to store fat. This then becomes difficult to shift. Reducing stress in your life will improve every aspect of your overall well-being.
Bottom line: Take care of your Brain Health!