The Constant Battle between the Love Hormones and the Stress Hormones

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Elevate the one which benefits you!

Humans, have two opposing hormonal responses to stimuli. Threatening stimuli can cause an increase of stress hormones called Adrenaline and Cortisol. Comforting or reassuring stimuli can cause an increase in oxytocin or the love hormone. The fight or flight response triggered by a sudden threat or a stressful situation is associated with the hormone, Adrenaline. Adrenaline causes increase in heart rate, speeds up respiration, activates muscles, and creates hyper-alert energy. This hormone empowers you to immediately act your way out of danger. The activation of Adrenaline is deemed healthy for the body, at times. However, when the stress stays for long, it increases the level of another hormone, Cortisol. To cope with stress, cortisol begins to break down non-essential organs and tissues to maintain blood sugar levels and to feed vital organs. When Cortisol stays at high levels, it automatically weakens bones, muscles, and joints resulting to elevated blood fats, high sugar levels, and many disorders.

The most common stressors nowadays are more likely emotional and mental than physical. Pressure from job, family problems, fear-producing media materials, and relationship issues are among the top ten causes of stress. Eventhough they are non-physical threats, your body has only one response to this scenario, and that is to produce more Cortisol. These emotional and mental stressors are directly linked to the body's physical condition.

The good news is that your body has built-in mechanism for countering stress. This is where the battle begins! Oxytocin counters the effects of rise in cortisol levels. The anti-stress effect of Oxytocin helps your body restore your health naturally. It also induces emotional bonding, labor, and lactation.

All the negative effects of continued stress on the body and mind are related to elevated levels of cortisol, which include chronic anxiety and depression, emotional over-reaction, negativity, weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immunity. Oxytocin, by countering cortisol, can amend all of these conditions. Activities that can elevate your Oxytocin levels include meditation, yoga, exercise, massage, caring for a pet, joining a support group, and worshiping. Yet, the most important avenues for decreasing stress and increasing levels of Oxytocin lies in your intimate relationships.

Fear - Cortisol Love - Oxytocin
Aggression Anti-stress hormone
Arousal, Anxiety, Feeling stressed-out Feeling calm and connected, Increased curiosity
Activates addictions Lessens cravings & addictions
Suppresses libido Increases sexual receptivity
Associated with depression Positive feelings
Toxic to brain cells Facilitates learning
Breaks down muscles, bones, and joints Repairs, heals, and restores
Weakens immune system Encourages healing
Increases pain Diminishes pain
Clogd arteries, promotes heart disease, and high blood pressure Lowers blood pressure, protects against heart disease

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