The Power in the way we Think

Posts tagged ‘norepinephrine’

Stress Hormones

In the last several posts I’ve mentioned the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol. I did a little research yesterday and found a great site that explains their function in stress. This site also talks about a third hormone, norepinephrine. I’ve heard of this one obviously, but had little knowledge of how it works. I’ll consider myself educated!

So, I’ve explained the stress response and the link these hormones play in our survival. If we didn’t have adrenalin we wouldn’t be able to run away from danger or fight for our lives. And if we didn’t have cortisol, we wouldn’t be able to regulate some body functions while we are in the stress response. And as I’ve just found out, if we didn’t have norepinephrine we wouldn’t be able to remain alert to look for potential threats.

I’d encourage you to have a read of this article on The Huffington Post. It’s easy to read and explains things well.

HPA axis diagram

What this article doesn’t really go into are the impacts of these hormones over the long term. As I’ve mentioned previously, the fight/flight response is designed for use only during a crisis. For the minutes or hours the crisis exists. After it’s resolved, our bodies are designed to release the hormones so they aren’t being held on to. However, many of us are caught in a cycle of stress. We get hit with a new crisis before the last one dissipates. And when these hormones take days to leave our systems, it’s easy to get caught in the cycle.

So we need to understand exactly what the impact of this long term stress is. What exactly happens to our bodies when they are holding on to these hormones for long periods? I covered some of this in the previous post on the impacts of stress just the other day, but I want to draw your attention to another article written by a friend and colleague of mine. In this article Linda paints a pretty grim picture of having these hormones remain in our systems.

cortisol_stress diagram

I’d love to start some discussion on your experiences of dealing with these hormones. Do these articles resonate with you? What do you think? Can you see how they translate to your life? Comment below.

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