It’s National Weird Question Day.
Not really, that’s on June 31st!?!
Although my researcher team (Google and Wikipedia) tell me that September 30th is sometimes Ask a Stupid Question Day in the United States.
But this question is both weird and stupid!
You are right of course. I first came to it during a ladies-only bunkhouse gathering. Which of course is exactly the type of environment in which all important society-changing questions should be debated.
My experience actually suggests that important matters are best debated outside but we hadn’t yet reached that stage of the bunkhouse weekend.
I can’t remember the result of the discussion but we were all (even the scientist amongst us) in agreement about one thing.
Hormones cause a lot of trouble.
Or so we are led to believe.
But does testosterone really make us aggressive?
Does oestrogen really make us fat?
Does progesterone really make us moody?
I’m not sure either. So perhaps locking all hormones into Room 101 without due consideration would be a tad hasty.
Perhaps we would be better off taking them outside instead.
Let’s look at the evidence.
My deep scientific experts (BBC Bitesize) tell me that hormones are important. Not because they make life difficult to manage but because life as we know it depends on them.
Hormones do plenty of good stuff.
In fact it could be argued that hormones are the super-woman or wonder-man our bodies need. Produced at a moment’s notice, taking decisive action, then disappearing into the shadows when they’ve done their job. These champions don’t even need a phone box to change in (which, let’s face it, is just as well these days).
Let’s name some hormonal heroes.
A round of applause for insulin, which controls our blood sugar levels (if you’ve ever lived with hungry teenagers, you’ll know how important this is).
Another burst of appreciation here though for nature. Research suggests that spending time in, or living close to natural green spaces reduces our risk of developing type II diabetes (caused by insulin imbalance).
A star award for melatonin, which helps us sleep. I don’t know about you but I really like sleeping.
If, by the way, you feel like you’ve heard enough about how being outdoors is good for you, don’t read this article that explains how being exposed to sunlight has a positive effect on levels of both melatonin, and its sister hormone serotonin.
And what about cortisol, our natural alarm system? Where would we be without the ability to run when danger approaches, find energy when we really need it, or even scream at spiders?
However too much cortisol without corresponding activity leaves us feeling stressed, and can have long term detrimental effects. The good news is (yep, you’ve guessed it) spending time in nature can help us deal with that too.
Hormones are like husbands.
Any woman will tell you that hormones are a bit like husbands (other life partners are available). As well as being essential and great at looking after you, they can also make you really, really grumpy. And that’s before you hit the menopause!
Which is why I suggested putting them (hormones not husbands) into Room 101 in the first place.
Perhaps taking them (hormones and husbands) outside would be a better option.
Even I, fed up to the back teeth (which, by the way, are also influenced by hormonal swings) with hormones’ contrary ways, can’t bring myself to get rid of them altogether. After all, if we did, we would lose the excuse for any number of poor behaviour choices. No more shouting, crying, indiscriminate wallpaper stripping, or even overwhelming horniness.
Which, let’s face it, would be a tad boring.