For years I 'medicated' myself with caffeine and tobacco, in order to 'handle' my stress levels. I've eliminated both - tobacco 7 months ago, caffeine just a few days ago. Every day I now wake up early in the morning, completely awake -- something that hasn't happened in 20+ years. But I still lay in bed, and I've noticed my symptoms emerge and flicker from one to the other. Except today -- today I think I got a "cortisol surge"; at least I think that is what it is. I've had them before, many times. Was wondering if anyone else experiences these. I was laying in bed after wakening, with only one symptom triggering -- the new mild tinnitus sensations that may or may not be involved/aggravated by compacted ear-wax and infection (jury is still out on this). This only lasted a short while; then suddenly I felt a 'blooming' of something in my body, from vaguely around the middle (the adrenal glands, I guess) that seeped out into the rest of my body. It felt tense, acidic, uncomfortable. I started to get pulsing sensations in my hands and the urge to move, release the energy. I just sort of dwelled in it awhile, practicing some of the techniques around here. I continued to breath deeply throughout, but it felt more difficult after awhile. I suspect my body was tensing up throughout the spread of this and this included my respiratory. The hormone wave ebbed and surged until I got up. From what I've read, this is the stress response, the fight/flight kicking in. I've encountered it many times (heck, daily? hourly?), but rarely so immediate or clarifying as today, for my other stressors weren't triggering/distracting me, I wasn't groggy for lack of caffeine and seeking that first cup, etc. I was curious if others encounter this surge, and what techniques are best to ride with it. I know I can just get up and move around to dissipate it some, but it feels like this might be an opportunity to 'lean in' and utilize positive mantras etc. to establish new neural pathways. I've also thought about getting up and doing yoga just as a technique to carry mental mantras (relaxation) into the sub/unconcious while experiencing this state (I used to do yoga a lot and it is a pleasurable activity). Edit: I should mention my current techniques -- mostly derived from Alan's program and 'Key to Healing' - habituating/deconditioning to symptoms, breathing, using visualizations and self-talk, offering forgiveness/acceptance when objects of anger emerge or self-hatred arises... I never knew how much these last two stir around until I started practicing this!