When we are stressed, we all could use a few easy ways to reduce our cortisol levels so we can feel better.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands (these are two tiny glands that sit right on top of the kidneys). Cortisol has several other functions, and it also plays a significant role in how the human body breaks down lipids proteins and carbohydrates.
If you have heard of cortisol before, it probably must have been about stress. This is because stress has a way of causing the body to produce this hormone in excess, and this leads to a wide range of side effects such as anxiety, weight gain, weak immunity, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, cognitive problems such as difficulty learning and impaired memory, and also high cholesterol level.
For the above reasons and more, it is essential that we keep our cortisol at very lowered levels, and in this article, we will be showing you some easy ways to do this.
1. One of the ways you can quickly reduce cortisol levels is by engaging in regular exercise. The importance of daily exercise activities has been emphasized for a very long time and for different reasons.
However, when it comes to reducing your cortisol levels, regular exercise is crucial because it helps to relieve stress and other emotions that are counterproductive.
2. You can also reduce your cortisol levels easily by feeding on a healthy diet especially foods rich in fiber and protein. Suggested foods include eggs, lean meat, fish, groundnuts, cashew nuts, citrus fruits, flaxseeds, leafy greens, and berries.
Moreover, it is essential that you watch how many times a day you eat because if you incorporate five small meals every day in order to prevent hunger and the craving for food, you may be able to avoid elevating cortisol levels.
3. A lot of people suffer from different sleep deficiencies; examples are sleep apnea and insomnia. Some of these sleep deficiencies have been linked to a negative response in the body, as well as stress. For you to lower your cortisol levels using sleep, it is vital that you establish a healthy sleep routine.
Most people do not get as much sleep as they need especially because they have so much to do and too little time to do those things. However, the body cannot function properly without an adequate amount of rest.
Thus, when you stay sleep deprived, you suffer from high cortisol levels, anxiety, and some times general body weakness amongst other side effects.
4. Not everyone has the time to engage in cardiovascular exercises or other forms of exercises. However, if you’re one of those people who feel exercising is not an option, maybe for health reasons or other personal reasons, meditation and mindfulness is another wonderful option that you can consider to help lower cortisol levels.
Mindfulness and meditations are a foolproof way of treating depression, stress, and even anxiety. During mindfulness and meditation practices, you would be required to engage in deep breathing, and this is a wonderful way to help you release tension and also relax your body.
5. During a research carried out at the John Hopkins University, researchers found out that there is a link between social isolation and an increased level of cortisol in mice. What this would mean for humans is that bonding is very essential for both our mental and physical health.
Spending quality time with loved ones help in a great way to reduce cortisol levels drastically, and sometimes the best way to relieve stress this through laughter. Being around people who love you and you love in return such as your children, spouse, friends, or siblings, helps you to be in a happy mood and relieves stress.
6. Music is an integral part of human life as everywhere we go we hear music in one form or another. Listening to music has been discovered to be another way to reduce cortisol levels.
Endorphins are the feel-good hormones in the human body and music has been found to increase this hormone significantly, as well as lower the stress hormones in the human brain.
When it comes to listening to music to relieve stress, it is advised that you listen to a music genre that you are interested in as some people might find other types of music disturbing or consider them as noise.
Also, listening to excessively loud music is unhealthy as it will not only increase stress but might have damaging effects on your eardrum. It is advised that you listen to music with a reasonable volume that is not too low not too high.
7. One way to tell if someone is happy is by looking out for a smile on their face. To know if the person is thrilled, an outburst of laughter is enough, and that explains why there is a saying that laughter is the best medicine.
For a very long time, laughter has been considered one of the ways to relieve stress because it has lots of physical and mental benefits for humans including improving mood and reducing cortisol levels.
The above are seven natural ways to reduce cortisol level. However, research has shown that the two supplements I would be talking about below can help to reduce cortisol levels as well.
One advantage of these two supplements is that they are nutritional and they provide other benefits to the human body apart from the reduction of the stress hormone.
Fish oil: fish oil supplements are usually recommended for people who need to consume omega 3 fatty acids. This omega 3 fatty acids are known to help reduce cortisol levels amongst the numerous health benefits that they offer.
Several studies have also shown that the consumption of fish oil supplements can significantly reduce increased cortisol levels that occur as a result of stress response.
Ashwagandha: this is an Asian herb that has been used for different traditional medicines; this herb can also be used for the treatment of anxiety and stress relief. With the Ashwagandha herb, people can quickly adapt to stress and also have their cortisol level lowered.
Have you tried any of these methods? If you have or you would like to share other suggestions and opinion with us, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.