“The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health ‘enemy number one.’ Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease…The list goes on and on.” – Psychology Today
Human bodies are designed to secrete cortisol when stressed. Cortisol is a byproduct of innate, and the whole process represents an evolutionary programming that triggers action and eludes danger. Cortisol and epinephrine is a stress hormone with multiple functions.
It maintains your body’s homeostasis, and keeps you alive. Cortisol has a role in regulating blood pressure levels, metabolic activity, immune system response, inflammation, heart, blood vessels and the activity of your central nervous system.
Unfortunately, when stressed, the body tends to boost the production of cortisol, and it’s prone to numerous health issues, including hypertension, weight gain, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, anxiety, depression, damage of immune system, and cognitive issues such as difficulty learning and poor memory.
It’s really important that you know how to put your cortisol level under control.
7 ways to lower cortisol levels
Being physically active is really important. Every single study points to the fact that workouts keep you healthy. Exercising also lowers cortisol levels as it helps you release stress and negative emotions.
One particular theory suggests that fear elevates cortisol levels. That’s why you should exercise and boost your strength, resilience and self-confidence. Exercising helps you beat up fear and reduce cortisol levels. But, even if you ignore all these theories, exercising still remains to be one of the best ways to lower cortisol levels.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation
Each of these can do wonders for your body. A few deep breaths have a greater power than you’ll ever imagine. Is your day too hectic? Just take a deep breath, and your anxiety and stress will go away. This is also beneficial for your stress hormone levels.
Here’s a simple practice. When you feel like stress poisons in your body, take 10-15 deep breaths and relax your body. Mindfulness is when you pay single-minded attention to your body and mind. This practice is really beneficial in relieving health conditions, in both mental and physical aspect. This practice will also lower your cortisol levels.
- Connect with people
A group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University confirmed the link between social isolation and high cortisol levels in lab mice. They believe that social isolated adolescents with a predisposition towards a mental illness have a higher risk of developing abnormal behavior at some point in their life.
According to this study, connecting with others is important for your development at any age. It works well for your body and mind. Your family, friends and lover are important for you. These people can make you happy and healthy. Spend more time with them, and your cortisol level will drop within a minute.
Laughter can heal every disease. Yes, we’re used to seeing moody people around us, but a tiny laughter won’t hurt you. People keep saying that laughing is important, but not all of you laugh. If you ask Dr. William Fry, a behavioral psychiatrist, he will say that laughing provides numerous benefits for all of us.
He’s been studying the effect of laughter for over than three decades.
Laughing has a positive effect on stress hormone level. Having a good sense of humor and laughing most of the time will help you drop your cortisol and other stress hormones.
- Music is your cure
Music has the power to heal you. There’s something special about listening to your favorite song. You start feeling better at the very first beat.
Chemistry has an explanation for this phenomenon. Music boosts the number of endorphins, and lowers the level of stress hormones in your brain. Endorphins are the chemicals that make you happy, remember?
- Stick to a healthy diet regimen
What’s your favorite dish? Eating healthy makes you feel better. Eat more eggs, fish, lean meat, flax seeds, citrus fruits, berries, and green leafy veggies. These can cause a significant drop in your cortisol levels. Have five small meals in your day in order to fight stress and lower your cortisol levels.
This practice is really beneficial, and you won’t feel hungry that often. You will also be able to put up with cravings caused by high cortisol levels.
Try a high-fiber and high-protein diet to fight your stress. Avoid complex carbs (sugar and starches), and your cortisol level won’t jump as high as it usually does.
- Sleep well
You saw this coming, right? Insomnia has a negative effect on your body. Experts keep saying that an adult person should sleep for 7-9 hours a day. not getting a decent sleep makes you prone to cognitive impairment and you’re more reactive to your surrounding. These are the most common stress triggers.
Establish a healthy sleep routine. Try to to bed and wake up at the same time. Yes, on weekends, too. Don’t work in your bedroom. This part of your home is reserved for sleep-related activities. You don’t need any tablets, cell phones or laptops in your bed.
Source: Power Of Positivity