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Cortisol surges - best technique when stress hormones kick in?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by cain aven, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. cain aven

    cain aven New Member

    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!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Adrenaline surge, panic/anxiety attack, fight/flight response...

    Call it what you will, these are all subtle variations of our nervous system responding to our brain going into fear mode for reasons that are sometimes incomprehensible.

    My response is to breathe and talk to my brain, and if my sense of unease continues, get out the pen and paper. And vow, once again, to meditate regularly :bored:
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    PS, you're spending way too much time describing minute variations in physical sensations. I would like to see you limit your entire description to a short phrase using generic terms.

    Overthinking may be your most significant TMS symptom right now. Perhaps print some reminders and post them where you'll see them all day: Don't Overthink It!
  4. cain aven

    cain aven New Member

    Always been an overthinker. Or letting the mind wander wherever it will.

    Now I have to control the train, because if I don't, it tumbles all over and off the tracks. It's an interesting experience to modulate your thoughts when symptoms appear, acknowledge and relax, etc. I was just re-reading Keys to Healing and it mentioned just that - don't focus on the moment to moment, focus on the big picture.

    I'm also going through the withdrawal of a drug I've used for 25 yrs (caffeine) to 'mask' the symptoms, while visiting my childhood home. System overload! :)
  5. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Yes on adrenaline rushes. Rapid heartbeat and urge to get up and fear that something bad is happening.

    Often people say "it's your thinking" but keep in mind that once your system goes on high alert (from the thinking previously) the whole thing can get away from you and then it turns from your conscious thinking causing the adrenaline surge to your unconscious thinking. With the latter, you find yourself waking up with it before you've had a chance to consciously think or worry. You'll be about to fall asleep and then BOOM it hits out of the blue, etc.

    For me the TMS work has done wonders for stopping this. It's kind of like adding an OFF switch to a system that seems to be missing one.
    cain aven likes this.
  6. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Caffeine is gone from the body in 10 days. Any other “withdrawl symptoms” you feel are probably anxiety.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. cain aven

    cain aven New Member

    Withdrawal as in, withdrawal from the crutch. It hyped my mind up and distracted me somewhat from the issues. Now I'm in the raw :)
    Booble likes this.
  8. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    That make sense. Like the high from a nice glass of Mexican coca-cola from a glass bottle over ice.

    :) :)
  9. cain aven

    cain aven New Member

    I had this happen last night. I was reciting mantras to keep calm as I drifted off, when I felt it suddenly squirm in under the mental chant. Wasn't able to sleep and had at least 20-30 of them across the night. Feels like the mind is clawing back at my attempts to supplant the dialogue.
  10. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Yep. Sucks, doesn't it?

    The Sarno thing of immediately stop thinking about the symptoms, and instead think about your emotions works really well.
    For me it's working better than the affirmations because it's like the mantras are still keeping you focused on trying to stop the symptoms. Your brain knows that.
    I know it sounds odd but try instead thinking about RAGE. What you're mad about. And letting yourself RAGE, RAGE, RAGE. Seems to be an effective release. If you haven't tried writing about it I highly recommend.
    Aria and JanAtheCPA like this.
  11. cain aven

    cain aven New Member

    I used the technique last night when it came in and started pulsing into the nerves of my hands -- 'where is this coming from?' -- and the sensations reduced by half.

    I think a mixed approach helps. Mantras to keep my thoughts from going into negative avenues. Examining emotions as they arise.

    I've been staying at my old house (parent's house) this week, and the old memories/wounds are surging hard.
    Booble likes this.
  12. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Agree. I like your idea of the mixed approach.

    Oh yes, old homes bombard with memories. Hope you can find some joy in there as well.

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