Coritisol is biochemical that is associated with stress.

And, as such, has been given a bad press.

But why would our beautiful bodies when faced with what we see as increasingly difficult and demanding situations apparently aggravate this by producing a chemical that feels like it is ‘burning’?

The answer, in my view is very simple.


The cortisol is not designed or intended to burn us, but rather to encourage us to stop doing what we are doing and approach it differently.

What is meant to burn is the mentality that keeps ‘taking on’ a way of looking at the world, which is against our very essence.

Cortisol is mobilised against all the pseudo-selves that take on more than we can manage, that pretend to be helpful, to be ‘grown up’, that accept every and any interpersonal or social introjection that manipulates us away from our primary nature.

When we interfere in its helpful action, we work against our essential selves and deplete our resources further, stockpiling emergency biochemicals and struggling to survive a we hold on to a secondary mindset.

If we do feel the cortisol burn – greet it as our long lost dearest friend, our closest ally.

Let it commit internal arson.

While we put everything external to one side.

Cortisol will burn through to our selves which are never scarred by our biochemical friends, when understood and welcomed. After the fire, our true architecture and nature can come into view – cool and refreshed.

We now have a new opportunity to approach whatever we need to deal with from our cores, uncluttered by outside influence.

This simple understanding of our biochemical protection can begin to allow some empathy for the misunderstandings and even understandings around everything we term toxic.

At a psychological level when we describe something or even someone as toxic we can mean they activate our cortisol or our immune response. This can also mean that people who are misunderstanding their own natural responses are behaving in secondary ways.

We now live in a world of industrial chemical production, use, consumption, burning, waste and dumping leading to pollutants at every level of our experience.

The paradox is that it is THESE chemicals we are tolerating, while demonising our own and others’ biochemicals.

If we can stand by the original health in each individual’s stress response: our relationships, families, organisations and society can move away from harmful processes, and we can look for the primacy of life and its natural order and capacity for support, to solve, resolve and burn off what is not needed.

Image © muthuramen M |