Quite a few of you have mentioned how you have been feeling stressed and are trying to stay as positive as possible during this crazy time. How do we manage these negative thoughts that come flooding in when we feel stressed? And how is this related to the chemicals like cortisol and dopamine in our body? 🤔
Two main hormones affect your stress level, cortisol, and dopamine. Both of these chemicals can influence your mood.
Cortisol is part of our body's built-in alarm system. It's our body's main stress hormone that controls our mood, motivation, and fear. I'm sure many of you have heard of the flight or fight response, this is our body's natural instinct during high-stress situations. When stress levels are high this can lead to several health problems including; anxiety, depression, headaches, heart disease, problems with digestion, trouble sleeping, weight loss, and even negative thoughts!
On the other hand, we have dopamine which is our body's chemical messenger sending signals from our brain to our body. So, as you can imagine dopamine is a super important part of the central nervous system controlling functions such as movement, pleasure, attention, mood, and motivation. A lot of people know this as the happy hormone that helps create positive thoughts.
With that said, I truly believe there is a connection between our thoughts, how we feel, and what we create. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be controlled through stress management.
I have a fun little exercise for those interested in managing their stress levels. It's called the bounce principle. After an argument or stressful situation you may notice a negative thought pop into your head, be mindful, each time your brain switches to a negative thought bounce it into a positive thought or reaction instead.