Stress & Cortisol

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in your body. It triggers a fight-or-flight response, suppressing the immune and digestive systems and increasing glucose in the bloodstream. This response is very helpful from an evolutionary vantage point. When acute threats arise, it aids survival by increasing alertness and priming the body to react quickly and defensively to the threat at hand, simultaneously diverting energy away from other ‘low-priority’ processes.

However, the same stress response that evolved to keep you alive becomes maladaptive when chronically activated. Overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones disrupts your body’s natural processes and puts you at increased risk for a slew of health concerns, including obesity, chronic inflammation, disrupted glucose homeostasis, and sleep disorders, to name a few.

Check out the below content to take a deeper dive into stress and its profound impact on our bodies, as well as ways to help manage stress. 

Stress & Cortisol

Stress, Cortisol, and Sleep Deprivation: An Awful Feedback Loop

This audio clip is from our “Ask Me Anything” with sleep expert, Matthew Walker (Part I of III), originally released…

nature effects on brain

Understanding nature’s effects on stress requires more than intuition

A recent study investigated how nature walks impact brain regions involved in stress responses but trips on its own assumptions

The transformative moment that led Peter to mindfulness meditation

This audio clip is from episode #34 with Sam Harris, Ph.D., originally released on December 20, 2018.  

Alcohol, sleep, and stress: A self-fulfilling prophecy

This audio clip is from our sleep series with Matthew Walker, Ph.D., episode #126 — Matthew Walker, Ph.D.: Sleep and…

Peter on how stress can show up as physical pain

This clip is from “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode #16, originally released on October 12, 2020. If you’re a member, you…

Peter Attia on the connection between stress and insulin resistance

This clip is from “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode #17, originally released on November 9, 2020. If you’re a member, you…

#146 – Guy Winch, Ph.D.: Emotional first aid and how to treat psychological injuries

“We have a choice in the stories we tell ourselves. We don’t have choice about the facts, we have choice about our organization, our perspective, and the narrative we create around them.” —Guy Winch

#139 – Kristin Neff, Ph.D.: The Power of Self-Compassion

“It’s not that self-esteem is bad. We want to feel worthy. It’s really why we feel worthy, how we feel worthy, that’s important.” —Kristin Neff

#105 – Paul Conti, M.D.: The psychological toll of a pandemic, and the societal problems it has highlighted

“The virus isn’t plotting against us. It doesn’t have intelligence. It’s invisible. In order to unite, we have to recognize our shared humanity.” — Paul Conti

Qualy #89 – Cortisol and healthy aging

Today’s episode of The Qualys is from podcast #31 – Navdeep Chandel, Ph.D.: metabolism, mitochondria, and metformin in health and…

#69 – Ronesh Sinha, M.D.: Insights into the manifestation of metabolic disease in a patient population predisposed to metabolic syndrome, and what it teaches us more broadly

“The way we raise our kids early on might actually set a pattern for how much of an accelerated life, or how much of a stressed out nervous system they might have later on. . . a lot of the behavioral patterns that we’re instilling in our kids are kind of setting the foundation for insulin resistance and inflammation early on.” —Ronesh Sinha

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