Your body releases hormones depending on how you are triggered. There are good chemicals (endorphins)and bad chemicals (cortisol). What is the purpose of our body or brain triggering the discharge of a chemical that makes us feel bad or overly good. When I was a young man I went to Catholic school and in those schools they taught us about free will and conscience. Why were some people bad and others good? Free will and conscience. Simple right? But the only one that is factual is free will. I think conscience is a function of the body and can therefore be overridden. Do something enough and your conscience won’t bother you any longer. In other words we train our bodies not to emit the bad chemicals (cortisol) but to let us feel good for doing bad. In effect we are training our mind to accept a negative event as a positive one. This effect takes time but eventually the body either don’t release cortisol or we fire off the endorphins that make us feel better, even when we are doing something harmful to ourselves. This is often called a habit. Things like eating unhealthy foods, we all know it’s bad for us but our body loves the feeling it gets from eating it. We have blocked our cortisol from warning us. Firefighters are a great example of this. Their first fire is often a swirl of emotion, they want to run or freeze in place. The fight or flight triggered by cortisol being emitted into our body at the sight of that wall of fire. But right there with you are other people who have done it before and they are exhorting you to get in there and put the fire out. So you reluctantly move forward and you win the day. Your body fires off endorphins and you feel great. It just gets easier after that. You know fire is very dangerous but you also know you can figure out a way to beat it. That doesn’t always happen though and firefighting is still one of the most dangerous jobs. But people do it anyway. They learn to ignore the bursts of cortisol and rather than flight or freeze they use that burst of energy to fight. Eventually that burst of energy subsides and it becomes commonplace to fight the fire. Imagine this in your day to day life. We learn daily and we face things that scare us daily. Some won’t kill us (immediately) but on first encountering them we want to flee or freeze. Maybe it’s time to start using the fight part of the cortisol response to overcome these triggers. Believe it or not your body will respond as your subconscious mind tells it to until something else intervenes either a person or a new thought. Becoming conscious of your thoughts and fears brings them into new perspective and opens you up to new growth and adventures. One important note here. Science is proving that the more cortisol and adrenaline our body emits the more likely we are to suffer serious health effects such as:
- Digestive problems
- Muscle tension and pain
- Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration impairment
You can’t eliminate all your triggers but you can reduce the effects by being aware of your responses and looking at how you respond to perceived threats. The world is throwing stress at you all the time. Either lean to tune it out, remove it from your life or deal with the problem if you have to. Your health depends on it.