Together with Adrenaline, Cortisol is released when we are under physical or mental stress. It slows down a number of body processes that aren’t urgently needed at times of stress and helps to enhance those which are.
For instance, if you are about to do an exam, or have just hurt your back, or are being chased by a tiger, you probably have little interest in reproduction and digestion. It’s rare to feel hunger when we’re anxious. It’s also true that the healing of tissues can be put on hold – the process of inflammation takes too much energy. Whether the threat involves a phycials or mental challenge, the em,ergency increases cortisol production. And this is ok…it helps us to escape the stress. However problems occur when stress is persistant. When stressful situations in our personal or work lives aren’t dealt with, the chronic elvation of cortisol in our system creates a few problems.
Increased cortisol has been linked to slow healing, loss of memory, depression, despair, and a decline in overall physical wellbeing and performance.
So the message here is that it is important to deal with stress. It will help you heal, you will less likely suffer illness, and life will be better.