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Stress and cortisol

Photo by ramzi hashisho from FreeImages
Photo by ramzi hashisho from FreeImages

Since in the previous post we talked about taking care of body health, now let’s talk about taking care of mental health. We all know how to be happy, and since childhood we have been told that in life we must be happy, but the truth is that depending on what our life is like, we are not often happy for one reason or another. It is clear that it also depends on where we were born, how we have been educated inside and outside home, on the opportunities that life has given us, etc.

Life is simple, but we complicate it. We need little; feel useful with a job, relate to others, and have enough money to meet our basic needs (food, water, some clothes, and a place to live).

I recently watched a comedy film about happiness, and it was enough for me to remember how little we need to be happy (it’s titled “Hector and the Search for Happiness” from 2014). It’s good from time to time to be reminded of it.

It’s funny, but I think we take more care of body health than mental health. I’ve at least done it that way out of ignorance. In fact, it’s not even rightly seen that we take care of our mental health. I remember being asked in a job interview if I received psychological support, such as whether it was a bad or an indicator of a functional disability or skills. The truth is, I’ve never been there, but I’m sure we all need one.

Let us not forget how our health affects the way we deal with challenges and difficulties in life, and let us not forget that we must develop healthy mental habits. Again, I only share my experiences, just in case someone else didn’t know why stress is bad.

On the one hand, one day I was struck by a doctor saying in a talk, that it is better to study healthy workers, to be able to determine the aspects that influence it, but I was more struck by the fact that he said that we caused stress on others, and in work as well, so we should realize and improve the method with which we communicate and relate with our colleagues. It’s obvious, but it opened my eyes, because I didn’t have it internalized. I still have a hard time thinking about it before I act or talk.

On the other hand, a colleague shared a radio interview with psychiatrist Marian Rojas Estapé (interviewed by a madness called Cristina – she doesn’t say the surname). And after listening to it several times, I learned what I should and shouldn’t do, and decided to summarize and share it with friends. I share the summary of the interview below.


  • The way we decide to respond to problems influences the outcome
  • Attitude before any circumstance determines how I respond to it
  • Happiness is how you interpret what happens to you, it depends on your view of reality, your mood
  • All emotions are preceded by a thought
  • Emotions activate and deactivate our cells, our bloodstream and even genes
  • Emotions activate neuro discharges, small substances that go to cells, and activate or deactivate membranes
  • The result may be that we have “happy” cells or “sad” cells, “resentful” cells or “rabid” cells, and that influences diseases
  • There is a substance of the body called cortisol, a cyclic hormone fundamental to survival, because without it we would not be here
  • In the face of threat, alertness, or fear, we activate cortisol
  • The level of cortisol at night is low, and throughout the night it rises, and has the highest peak in the morning when it makes you wake up and be active
  • A person who is constantly facing a threat (and if that, and if that…), then the body secretes cortisol, and segregates it equally when it happens to you like when you imagine it
  • My mind and body do not distinguish what is real from what is imaginary, and it has the same impact on the body
  • Cortisol is also positive as cortisone, because it is a very potent anti-inflammatory
  • When I live constantly on alert (and also counts to be alert all the time by notifications on mobile), with a threat or with fear, then the level of cortisol does not drop, and becomes an inflammator, removing all the defenses of the body, affecting the memory, affecting concentration and sleep
  • If the cortisol level is not low at night we do not get a good sleep, and the whole organism is intoxicated
  • Many depressions come from permanent warning states, and many psychiatrists believe they are inflammatory brain diseases (for this DO NOT use Ibuprofen)

WHAT SHOULD WE DO? (almost every day)

  • Exercise, because exercise eliminates cortisol
  • Educate thoughts: educate the inner voice so that it doesn’t make us self-boycott
  • Disconnecting more often from electronic devices, and looking for other stimuli that are rewarding (it will take us about 3 days, but “getting into airplane mode” gives us self-mastery)
  • To be assertive: to be able to respond to what happens to me without being aggressive. I must express it, because “if I swallow it” the cells get sick (but this does not mean expressing for example; “how horrific your jacket is”)
  • You have to let the brain disconnect, relax, and connect with its inner world, because it transforms the brain and heals (e.g. reading a book and listening to classical music, walking in the countryside, an interesting conversation, a little wine with friends, etc).). And all this without thinking about work, without looking at the time to get home, and without phones or devices.
  • Don’t obsess about taking advantage of time (if we have chronopathy or illness of time), because it’s a risk factor for being inflamed, and could lead to a panic attack or a heart attack. You have to learn to slow down.
  • If you are taking anti-depressants or anxiolytics, then include omega3 in your diet, because it has been shown to be a powerful brain anti-inflammatory that improves mood

By the way, omega3; “They can be found in foods such as fish, fish oils, milk and seaweedgrown.”, and depends on what it is taken, the CDR intake can be between 250 milligrams and 4 grams (Source Ministry of Health .- http://www.aecosan.msssi.gob.es/AECOSAN/web/seguridad_alimentaria/noticias_efsa/2012/efsa_omega3.htm)

But the best tips to take care of our mental health will be given to us by a collegiate specialist, in the following link;


Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!

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