Cortisol, the most well-known stress hormone has become a popular topic of conversation among health professionals. Everyone is trying to find ways to lower cortisol and reduce the effects high cortisol levels have on the body long term. In the modern day world we live in, many people live with chronic stress. However, chronic stress doesn’t come without consequence. Imbalance cortisol levels often occur after long periods of stress, and high cortisol levels can go on to directly impact your adrenal glands. In this article, we are going to talk about 5 natural ways to reduce cortisol levels so you can live a long, healthy, and happier life.
Let’s start by talking about what cortisol is.
What is cortisol?
Often referred to as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is directly related to the stress response in the body and is made in the adrenal glands. Cortisol is needed to control blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, regulate metabolism, while also controlling blood pressure. One of the common misconceptions about cortisol is that this hormone is bad. However, we do need a certain amount of cortisol for maintaining overall health.
Why is high cortisol a bad thing?
While we need a certain amount of cortisol, too much is never a good thing. When your body is under a chronic state of stress, you may be stuck in a state of fight-or-flight where your body is releasing way too much cortisol. When this happens, your adrenal glands can become depleted and many unwanted symptoms can occur.
Having too much cortisol can cause:
- Back pain
- Poor sleep
- Weight gain
- Lower immune function making you more susceptible to illness
- Sugar cravings
- Digestive issues
5 natural ways to reduce cortisol
While high cortisol levels can lead to many unwanted symptoms, there are also lots of things you can do to help balance this stress hormone.
#1 Supplement with Adaptogenic Herbs: Supplementing with adaptogens with holy basil or ashwagandha can help reduce stress and help even out cortisol levels. There are some very important adaptogens in our Vigor and Yinergy products such as ginseng and ashwagandha which can help you feel less stress out and thus help lower cortisol levels naturally.
#2 Yoga & Meditation: Yoga and meditation are both excellent for reducing stress and balancing hormones. Try getting into the habit of including just 5-10 minutes or yoga and meditation into your day. You may be surprised at how much better you feel.
#3 Get to Bed Earlier: Many people who suffer from high cortisol levels find it very difficult to sleep. That’s because having high cortisol levels can make you feel wired. There also happens to be an evening cortisol spike that tends to happen after 10 PM, so try to get to bed before 10 to prevent it from keeping you awake!
#4 Exercise: Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and thus help balance cortisol levels, but you want to be careful not to do too much. Exercising too much can actually spike cortisol levels. Instead of doing anything too intense, try some moderate exercise and gentle cardio to keep your body healthy and your stress levels low.
#5 Make Time For You: This is the one many of us struggle with the most. It is so easy to forget to take care of ourselves and to focus on taking care of others. However, it is so important to make time for you as a way to practice self-care and reduce your overall stress. This will be tremendously helpful in balancing your hormones.
Cortisol levels can spike when we are under too much stress. It’s easy to let stress spiral out of control when there are a million things go on in life. However, taking care of ourselves and taking the proper steps to reduce stress will help balance hormone levels and safeguard our health for the future.