Lower Your Cortisol Levels Naturally!
By Sara Butler
Cortisol is also called the “stress hormone.” It is released by your adrenal glands in response to stressful situations, helping your body to deal with sudden spikes in stress. But many people experience elevated cortisol levels consistently, which has been found to be unhealthy in the long run, causing weight gain, disrupted sleep, high blood pressure, reduced energy levels, and increased chance of developing diabetes. Here are some ideas to help you reduce your cortisol levels the old-fashioned and natural way!
Natural Tip No. 1: Get Enough Sleep
How long you sleep and the quality of it has an influence on your cortisol levels. Sleep deprivation over time can increase your levels of cortisol, and sleep interruptions – no matter how brief – increased your daily hormone patterns too. To optimize sleep you should:
- Cut out caffeine at night – In the evening, avoid caffeine.
- Exercise – Get as much activity as you can during the day and try to go to bed at around the same time every night.
- Keep the lights low – At night, you should have minimal light in your room. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed.
Natural Tip No. 2: Exercise – But Not Too Much
The intensity of exercise can either reduce cortisol or increase it. Intense exercise can cause cortisol levels to increase afterward, even if the levels do return to normal over time. The good news is, the more you train the less of a cortisol response your body has. Basically, the more physically fit you are, the less cortisol your body will release to help deal with the stress it’s placed under. Try to exercise at a level that’s right for you and slowly increase the intensity in order to keep your cortisol levels under control.
Natural Tip No. 3: Try To Relax
Getting yourself to relax may be easier said than done, but you should try to incorporate a few relaxation techniques into your day to help you deal with everyday stress. Deep breathing exercises have shown to reduce cortisol levels by as much as 50 percent!
Yoga is another great way to deal with stress and reduce cortisol levels. You can also try tai chi, massage therapy, or listen to relaxing music. No matter how you do it, relaxing is important to help you manage stress in a healthy way.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.