Cortisol is one of the leading hormones that adrenal glands produce. Because it is released in times of emotional and physical stress, it is known as the “stress hormone”. It can increase your heart rate, blood sugar, breathing rate, and blood pressure to provide a natural energy boost that will help you take on any stressors.
While this is a positive thing for the short-term, chronic stress can cause high cortisol levels, which can have serious consequences for your health.
Cortisol serves other functions than stress management.
- Inhibiting inflammation
- Controlling the sleep-wake cycle
- Blood pressure management
- As needed, increase blood sugar
- Energy boosting during stressful times
- Controlling the body’s intake of protein, fat, or carbohydrates
Cortisol, a multitasking hormone, is essential to your overall health. Your body must have the appropriate amount of cortisol for each situation in order to thrive.
What does cortisol do to the body?
Cortisol is secreted into the body according to an individual’s daily activity patterns. In most cases, Cortisol levels in the blood are highest in the morning(the next sleep), decreasing throughout the day. However, blood levels can vary depending on how a person lives and their sleeping habits.
If a person works during the night, the pattern will change. Night Shift workers will have higher cortisol levels at night (i.e. His/her levels will be reversed. In response to stress, additional cortisol is secreted to help the body respond in the right way.
Natural methods to lower cortisol
To keep cortisol levels healthy by natural method, your body should be relaxed and calm so stress can be managed easily. You have other techniques which can help to control stress which can help to relax your body, also this can help you to change your lifestyle towards stress.
Many people have found the following to be extremely helpful in relaxing the mind and body, as well as helping the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol. Here we will discuss how to reduce cortisol levels naturally for a healthy lifestyle.
Improve Your Diet
Research shows that stress can have a negative impact on your eating habits. You may be more inclined to eat foods high in sugar, fat, and carbs. It is natural to be anti-inflammatory by switching to a plant-based diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You also have the option to follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
Stress reduction is a key component of lowering cortisol levels.
This can be done by getting out of stressful situations where possible or learning how to deal with stress better.
People can learn to recognize the triggers for their stress and try to manage these proactively to reduce instances of worry or Source can contribute to improved stress tolerance and lower cortisol levels.
Another way to lower cortisol is to rethink your coffee habits. At the rest time or stress time, at both times caffeine increases cortisol level in the body. This can happen instantly and last for up to six hours. Limiting caffeine intake is not limited to coffee. You can also get caffeine from tea, energy drinks, or certain soft drinks.
You can still enjoy your morning cup of coffee if you drink it at least six hours before bed. This will allow cortisol levels to drop before you go to sleep. You can also substitute your coffee with a lower-caffeine alternative or a caffeine-free herbal tea.
Build healthy relationships
Stress can be caused by relationships, whether they are with our children, friends, parents, coworkers, or family members. Healthy relationships can help lower stress and cortisol. Here are some simple tips but effective if anyone will follow regularly.
- Manage your time and expectations
- You have to know your limit and follow them strictly
- If you are worried about anything, just talk to your friends or family
- Ask for forgiveness and be forgiven
- Learn when you should compromise and when you shouldn’t
- Counseling or therapy might be a good option.
Get regular sleep & rest
Establish a bedtime and a time for getting up in the morning. Your body will be more likely to adapt to these times and you’ll feel better. You have to know that a body that has to get rest, can regulate cortisol levels more.
Essential oils such as lavender, ginger, and bergamot can be used to promote relaxation. The body will begin to relax and reduce inflammation. These essential oils can be diffused in a diffuser to allow you to smell them all around your home or office.
Have fun and laugh
Stress can be hard to handle when you are having fun. Having fun can help lower cortisol levels. Some research shows that laughing helps to decrease cortisol level in the body.
Lower cortisol levels are associated with happiness and a positive outlook. Happiness also has other benefits, like lower blood pressure and a stronger immune response.
Consume foods that lower cortisol levels
We recommend eating a healthy diet but there are foods that can reduce cortisol levels.
These foods have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, according to research.
- Bananas and pears
- Dark chocolate
- There are more Prebiotics, like fruits (apples, bananas), oats, leeks, and garlic.
High levels of cortisol can have a wide range of negative effects on your health. But the good news is that you can make simple, easy-to-implement changes that will improve your overall health and reduce cortisol production.