Cortisol is the stress hormone released when your brain recognizes a ‘stressor.’ Designed for short-term emergencies cortisol is made in your adrenal glands and increases blood pressure, impacts immune function, and raises blood sugar to give you fast energy. That’s the good news. Cortisol levels that stay high for too long are linked with increased risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, memory issues, insomnia, and increased belly fat, to name a few. Belly fat cells reportedly have four times as many receptors for cortisol compared to fat cells at other locations in your body. Researchers at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, studied the effects of a mindfulness program for stress eating on Cortisol Awakening Response or CAR and abdominal fat. Study results showed that Improvements in mindfulness, chronic stress, and CAR were associated with reductions in abdominal fat.