It’s important to recognize the emotional layer in our SFT categories of health. During our Environmental series, we discussed the sensitized emotional barrier that can be a factor when dealing with the elements of an environmentally affected person. And today we would like to discuss the emotional tendencies with those hormonally affected. Meaning, any and all of us. We all have hormones running through us and with this new age of a go go go mentality it can be hard to keep them balanced. So regardless of our best intentions of wanting to lead a harmonious life, our hormones imbalances could lead to a lot of emotional turmoil that can truly make us feel crazy. To better understand the emotional component of a hormonally affected individual we need to start by understanding cortisol hormone levels. Whether you know it or not, we all have experienced a fluctuation in our cortisol levels at several different stages in our lives. Regardless of the daily lifestyle choices we make, how we deal with emotions can spike and deplete these cortisol levels and create symptoms of overall imbalance.
So what is the cortisol hormone? Cortisol is the stress hormone released from the adrenal glands (located on top of the kidneys) in response to daily happenings in our lives. In short, it’s our fight or flight response. When we experience stressful happenings, whether it's trauma or emotional build up inside of us that can start as early as childhood, more cortisol is released and this can throw off the balance of other hormones. Once these levels have continually spiked, it's very hard for the levels to come back down and balance out. If this is a chronic occurrence this is when we typically experience adrenal fatigue and burnout. Adrenal fatigue is far too common in our society and the symptoms include anything from the inability to manage stress and/or an increase in anxiety or depression.
So what do we do? It’s important to understand the root cause of cortisol imbalance to hopefully inspire us all for a major lifestyle change. We want you to understand that “self-care” is not just another wellness buzz term but an important role in the balance and overall well being. The good news is that by dealing with your emotions, daily stressors, and major traumas you can drastically reduce your odds of burnout. Here are a few ways to balance out the burnout for harmonious hormones:
Take time to observe
Wherever you are in life right now it's important to take a moment in your day to observe what is going on with you. Often times a hormonally affected individual busies themselves with work, family and friend obligations, and everything else in between that the idea of self-care just feels like yet another thing added to the never-ending to-do list. Taking a moment to observe the feelings in your body, the emotions coming up for you and your daily actions can feel like a lot to ask. But it's actually much simpler than you think. To do this, start by finding a comfortable seat for 5 mins and do a full scan of yourself. Start with a scan of your body, noticing any tension, maybe an itch, or other sensations. Once you relax the physical signals you can then turn your attention to what thoughts and things are coming up for you in that moment. just observe those thoughts without judgment. When you are ready to stop take a moment to write down or just take note and continue to do this at least once a day.
Identify patterns and behavioral responses
A daily check in with yourself will help you observe patterns that may or may not be serving your overall harmonious balance. After you have started to take the time to observe, start to use your observations to become aware of any patterns (repeated situations, conversations, etc.) and behavioral responses you have with others. You can then ask yourself the following question; Where do these patterns come from? Are your behaviors similar to how your family has reacted in the past? Are you using a coping mechanism to protect yourself? Why do you continue to react or not react to situations in your life?
It might not be clear right away but just the act of looking inward can start to shed some light on what's really going on. This is a time to just become aware of your patterns and behavioral responses. Don't beat yourself up about them either, because we all have them.
Break your boundaries and move through the emotions
Once you have taken time to start observing and are becoming aware, this is usually the time for a breakthrough! Recognizing your emotional responses and their root can help discover more on how to cope and handle your emotions productively, therefore, relieving your body of that cortisol overkill. If you tend to be more reactive in stressful situations you can now pause before your typical reaction, embrace the emotion you're feeling and create a new healthy behavior to support your needs and not hurt others and yourself.
Hormone imbalance on an emotional level is not something to take lightly or ignore. Recognizing that our patterns can be related to a hormonal imbalance or cortisol spike can prevent the issue from becoming bigger. The more time you can take to observe, become aware and work on self-loving behaviors the better you will be at managing day to day stress and life. It starts with taking that first moment for yourself to simply listen in. Embracing that simple opportunity for self-care can become the biggest catalyst for your overall hormone health as well as emotional health. So just remember that stress is an inevitable part of life and this is just one way to help you manage the flow of it.