Today, it’s not hard to get stressed. Actually, it’s very hard not to! Even though we talk about stress all the time, not many of us know what exactly happens in our bodies when we’re under stress.
When you experience stress, the adrenal glands produce a steroid hormone called cortisol. This hormone plays a role in various bodily functions like blood sugar control, sleep-wake cycle, carb, fats and protein utilizing, inflammation reduction, blood pressure control, etc.
The levels of cortisol usually reach their peak in the morning, and gradually decrease throughout the day. But if they won’t go down, you can have a problem on your hands. Here are a few practical ways you can lower cortisol and ensure your body and mind are healthy and ready to fight stress.
The first and most logical way to lower cortisol is to reduce stress in your life. This is easier said than done, but it’s possible. For instance, you can learn when to pull back from stressful situations and how to deal with stress healthily.
One of the best things you can do for your health is to recognize what triggers stress in your life so you can be proactive in managing all negative feelings. People who have the skills to cope with stressful situations and thoughts can manage their cortisol levels more easily.
What we eat affects almost every part of our body, cortisol secretion included. If you’re trying to reduce cortisol levels, you should improve your diet and eat balanced meals.
Unfortunately, limiting sugar intake is the key to cortisol reduction. Other foods that can help you in your path are dark chocolate, pears, bananas, black and green tea, foods rich in probiotics like yogurt and food rich in soluble fiber. And of course, you have to stay hydrated.
Hit the gym
Getting some physical exercise is very good for your overall health, but it can also improve your mood. If you choose an appropriate amount of exercise for your fitness level, you will have an enjoyable exercise that will manage your cortisol levels.
However, make sure to be moderate. Intense exercise can boost the production of cortisol as a response of your body for dealing with additional stress this heavy exercise produced.
According to people struggling with stress, natural supplements like fish oil and ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels, so you can try adding them to your diet.
But if you’re looking for a proven way to reduce cortisol levels with supplements, it’s best to grab a quality cortisol blocker that will tackle imminent and ongoing pressures and improve your overall bliss and serenity.
When choosing supplements, make sure all the ingredients are 100% backed by peer-reviewed scientific research articles and contain the appropriate doses, otherwise, you’re getting ripped off.
Create a healthy sleep schedule
A healthy amount of sleep also affects your cortisol levels. A bad night’s sleep, especially prolonged sleep deprivation, can cause a boost in cortisol production in the bloodstream.
Therefore, it’s very important not to take your sleep for granted. Pay attention to both the amount and quality of sleep and try your best to remove disruptions. Come up with a sleep schedule and a good bedtime routine, and do your best to stick to it.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol
You might love your morning coffee, but according to research, caffeine boosts the production of cortisol even in people at rest. Even though it might make you feel relaxed, alcohol is a depressant and can increase cortisol levels quickly. So stay away from these substances the best you can.
Try various relaxation techniques
There are various relaxation techniques that can help you in managing stress. For instance, meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises can give you tools to battle stress more effectively. If you’re not exactly a spiritual person, you can turn to hobbies.
These can be very satisfying and rewarding, fill your life with purpose and health, boost your overall sense of wellbeing and thus reduce cortisol. Hobbies like gardening are especially beneficial for stress relief. Handling and caring for plants even improves the life quality more than various types of therapy.
If you make these simple lifestyle changes, you can successfully reduce stress and lower your cortisol levels, ensuring a healthier, longer and happier life and preventing any health issues caused by this unwanted stress hormone.