Cortisol+time=Paranoia =>Emotional Outburts & Violence!

Way back in 1995 on a cold winter Danish afternoon, my danish colleague, Flemming, dropped me and one of my colleague – Sivan – at the charming Aarhus airport in Denmark for us to catch our flight back and as got down out of the car and stepped out, a guy came screaming towards the car and in a high pitched voice continued to vent out. I was oblivious to the whole thing since the person was shouting in Danish and I didn’t understand a word of it. Later, Flemming told me that his anger was directed towards me since the car door through which I got out accidentally touched his car and went on to explain that people out here are very very touchy about their cars. I can totally empathise with the guy now – my cars have innumerable scratches and bumps! But that is not the point of the post. I got reminded of this incident after reading Kerry Patterson’s – author of Crucial Conversation and Crucial Confrontation – two best books on communication – newsletter today morning.

Kerry writes:

These two highly unexpected altercations came on the heels of an article I read a couple weeks ago. A former Wall Street trader turned researcher discovered that during extended periods of stress (such as a downturn in the economy) the human body produces cortisol to help deal with the tension. Unfortunately, after long exposures to cortisol, this healing steroid eventually turns sour and humans become highly suspicious of normal behavior. That’s right, cortisol plus time equals paranoia, which can lead to emotional outbursts and sometimes even violence.

So here’s how this all comes together. We’re slipping into what may be a long period of cortisol exposure due to a declining economy. Couple this hormonal onslaught with what could well be an adrenaline-driven holiday season, and your average citizen may be riding on a veritable wave of dangerous chemicals. Peace-loving folks who may have been completely placid last August when the economy wasn’t so bleak and they weren’t facing potentially hostile family gatherings will now be turning both paranoid and enraged from an extended exposure to cortisol and adrenaline. Ho! Ho! Holy smoke!

Anyway that’s my theory of why people seem to be more on edge lately than usual. Normally I can go weeks without a single death threat.

 On the face of it, someone else anger is outside our sphere of influence, but I have been begining to notice that if we are aware, calm and in the meditative space, it seems to rub off on others too. So be regular with your Meditation, Sadhana and Kriya and don’t forget one of the best ways to reduce the Stress harmone Cortisol is to be regular with your SK! Proof is out here!


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