Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It plays a significant role in many bodily functions, including how it controls our blood sugar levels. It usually starts higher in the morning and then gradually decreases as the day goes on. You need to lower cortisol levels is stress is impacting your health.
Cortisol plays a role in regulating the body’s sleep and wake cycles. This stress hormone can also manage how the body utilises nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, helps to reduce inflammation, and plays a role in controlling your blood pressure.
This stress hormone can also have an impact on our digestion. Read more in this article.
When we are overloaded with stress, our bodies may need additional help to lower cortisol. These are some practical ways to lower cortisol levels and, therefore, lower stress.
While it may be easier said than done, taking intentional steps to cut excessive stress or tension from your life will only benefit you in the long run. Learn what your stress triggers are, and work to make a plan of action to adjust these situations in your life. We can’t alleviate stress completely, but we can learn to better deal with it as it comes.
Eat a balanced diet
We should always be focused on eating a healthy and balanced diet low in sugar, but there are additional foods you can focus on that have been shown to stabilise cortisol levels. These are foods like dark chocolate, bananas, pears, black or green tea, and foods that contain probiotics, like greek yogurt. Staying well hydrated also keeps cortisol levels in check.
Get some rest
Creating a nighttime routine that focuses on quality sleep is essential for keeping cortisol levels from spiking. Lack of sleep or prolonged periods of disrupted sleep can lead to increased cortisol levels in the bloodstream. Try creating a relaxing atmosphere free of electronics.
Any type of mindfulness, meditation, or even deep breathing can help reduce stress, which reduces cortisol.
Learning which exercises to try can be important. Intense workouts can lead to a spike in cortisol. But things like walking, a leisurely swim, or yoga can help to stabilise them.
There are several supplements that have been shown to lower cortisol levels, but should always be taken in addition to a well-balanced diet. Herbal medicine in particular, is very helpful to lower cortisol levels. Consult with a practitioner, like myself, before beginning any new supplements. You may do more harm than good for your stress hormones.
Great relationships can also be a key to lowering cortisol levels, as they can induce feelings of safety and happiness. For example, adding a pet to the family is also great. Finding a hobby you enjoy can be a great way to elevate feelings of happiness and reduce stress.
It you want to understand your natural stress response a little more, check this out.
The first step to creating a balanced and healthy body is to be aware of how your body is currently operating. We must be able to observe areas we may struggle with increased stress. If we can do this, we can better pinpoint ways to improve our situation. Testing your cortisol levels can also be an accurate form of treatment. Adding in just one or two of these practices to your day can significantly reduce stress, which leads to healthier and lower cortisol levels.