Welcome to Part 2! In Part 1 of Six Success Chemicals Teens Produce Naturally, we discussed that you as a teen naturally produce serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These are the first four success chemicals teens produce that you are your own power for – you produce them yourself and you have control over that! We also discussed some of the things that can happen if your body produces too much of them, and some healthy ways to get a boost from these chemicals when needed.
Now we are going to cover cortisol and testosterone. Ready? Let’s get to it.
Cortisol is a hormone and this chemical acts like your natural, built-in alarm system. You have heard of flight-or-flight instinct when you are facing a crisis? Cortisol fuels that instinctive response and is important when you face real danger. It helps regulate your blood pressure, blood sugar, and even boots your energy so you can handle stress and whatever danger you are facing, and then restores you to a natural balance afterward the danger has passed. Those are the good parts of cortisol.
But what about when you face constant stress and worry, and you stay on high alert? Well, that can lead to headaches, memory problems, trouble sleeping, weight gain and a lot of other negative things. If you don’t have enough cortisol, you are apt to feel tired all the time, have muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and digestive problems. The key here is to have the right amount of cortisol.
Getting More: What we are really talking about here is trying to keep your cortisol levels normal and functioning in the best way for you. Generally, for most of us, that means cutting out stress. You can also eat a healthy diet, exercise, get lots of sleep, get outside, visit with your friends, and laugh well and often! Are you seeing a pattern here? I sure hope so! You can also try mediation and even learn a new, relaxing hobby.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women. In men it is plays a key role in growth and development of masculine characteristics. Women have testosterone in much smaller amounts. For both men and women, testosterone plays a role in muscle mass (and correspondingly, less body fat!), bone mineral density, improved mood and quality of life, and better verbal memory and mathematical reasoning. Get ready, Algebra!
Getting More: Again, with this chemical, we are really talking about having the optimal level of testosterone. If you feel you have a testosterone deficiency, seek the advice of a doctor. If you are advised you have a low testosterone level, there are natural ways to increase testosterone, such as through herbs like Malaysian ginseng, pine bark extract and saw palmetto; vitamins like Vitamin D, L-arginine and zinc; and foods like garlic, tuna, egg yolks, and oysters. However, some of these may interact with medications you may be taking and cause unintended side effects. Again, if this is an area of concern, consult your doctor.
All six success chemicals teens produce work together within your body, and you create them all. You are your own powerhouse of success! Continue to be mindful of these success chemicals teens produce, learn more about how they affect you daily, and take charge of your own powerhouse! If you have any questions about any of these chemicals, you should consult your doctor.
Your Success Is Your Choice
For you to achieve all you want to in life, you must be healthy. However, being healthy does not just happen. You must choose to do activities that support your own health and well being, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, having a hobby, and letting go of stress. You must schedule these into your day just like you plan time for friends, work, learning and helping others.
By taking care of your body, you are taking care of your success. It’s a foundational move. It’s your choice.