That title is a mouthful, I know. But don’t worry, this is very easy, and probably, if you haven’t seen the video in this article, it will make a very positive impact in your life, and in your testosterone.
In the testosterone book, I always talked about hormones and testosterone like it is a factory. Our body is a very powerful machine, but it is not almighty, so it has a limited supply of resources to create testosterone.
Through lifestyle optimization, we can increase significantly those available resources, but we must be aware of some things, like our friend today, pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is a testosterone precursor. The raw material used by our bodies in order to create testosterone. But this is the thing, pregnenolone is a raw material used to create a lot of things, androgenic hormones that, besides testosterone, include another old acquaintance of ours: cortisol.
If we remember, cortisol is the stress hormone and usually antagonistic of testosterone. If we have chronically elevated levels of cortisol, we will have depressed levels of testosterone.
The implications here are huge because our body uses the same raw material, pregnenolone, and it decides if it’s transformed in cortisol or if it will create testosterone (and many other things, but we will focus on testosterone and cortisol). So, in practical terms, in order to create more testosterone, we must induce a state where our bodies won’t decide to create cortisol.
So one of the most powerful things we can do in order to increase testosterone is managing stress in order to avoid the transformation of pregnenolone in cortisol, freeing raw material that can be used for testosterone production.
The new discoveries about stress
Stress management is something that we talked about in the testosterone book because it’s one of the cornerstones of testosterone optimization, but since then, some new, and very interesting, discoveries about stress have been made.
One of them is that stress can be positive or negative, according to our mindset. If we see our stress in a positive light because stress is a reaction of our bodies in order to be more and better prepared to confront challenges, we will reap the positive benefits of stress (alertness, preparedness and the like). But if we have a very negative view of stress, we will do the opposite and stress will work against us, in a self-perpetuating and destructive fashion.
Mindset is paramount in everything. We saw in the testosterone book how the right mindset could increase our testosterone, and it was not magic, it was proven science. Well, same thing about stress.
Kelly McGonigal is one of the leading experts in stress management through the right mindset. She did a celebrated talk in TED and, if you did not saw it or you are not familiar with the recent discoveries about stress, it’s a must.
Here is the talk and we must remember: It’s impossible to increase and optimize testosterone without stress and cortisol management. This a gem that will help us, a lot.