Cortisol is a natural hormone secreted in the body to facilitate vital bodily functions, such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure regulation, insulin level regulation, immune function, and as a response to inflammation. It has been dubbed the “stress hormone” because it is secreted at higher levels when the body is under “fight or flight” situations. Higher levels of cortisol provide us with heightened awareness and strength to tackle stressful situations, but if the body does not have a relaxation response to bring cortisol levels into check, then the hormone can prove harmful. Chronic high levels of cortisol can result in slower cognitive performance, disrupted thyroid function, lower immunity and inflammatory responses, and increased abdominal fat. Abdominal fat in high levels can be extremely harmful to health and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and dangerous cholesterol levels. Our high stressed, fast-paced lifestyles mean some of us are constantly being pumped with cortisol, but here are some ways to reduce cortisol levels so that the hormone can do more good than harm.
Stop Drinking Caffeine
Caffeine has the ability to increase cortisol levels 30% in one hour. Caffeine artificially induces the body’s “fight or flight” instincts and also decreases DHEA, a leading anabolic youth hormone.
Cortisol levels are highest in the morning and should slowly decline into the evening (pending a not too stressful day), so a proper night sleep is important to maintaining this cycle. As you age, the level of cortisol produced while sleeping can increase 30 fold from age 30 to age 50. Not getting enough sleep, or deep enough sleep can exacerbate this. If you find you are not sleeping in a regular routine, try taking melatonin. Also naturally produced in the body, increased levels of melatonin can induce deeper and healthier sleep, keeping cortisol levels in check.
Regular exercise increase serotonin and dopamine levels, brain chemicals that alleviate anxiety and stress. Subsequently this will lead to less stress and lower cortisol levels. Exercise is also good for building muscle and increasing the hormone DHEA, resulting in an overall better sense of well-being.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Keeping blood sugar levels stable keeps cortisol levels stable. Avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates like white flour and bread. Eating more complex carbohydrates keep cortisol levels in check, as opposed to eating refined carbohydrates. The timing of meals also contributes to blood sugar levels. Eat several smaller meals throughout the day, balanced in protein, complex carbohydrates, and “good” fats like olive oil or avocado. Avoid eating large meals or gorging, as this will throw the blood sugar and cortisol balance off. Stay hydrated; dehydration puts tremendous stress on all of the body’s functions, and will trigger the release of more cortisol.
Practice meditation or other forms of methodized relaxation. Taking time to relax increases theta brain waves and reduce stress-causing alpha brainwaves. Avoid alarm clocks that are abrasive or jolting in the morning. Supplements like B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc help reduce cortisol and keep hormone levels in balance. Antioxidants like vitamin C, alpha lipolic acid, and grape seed extract help remove toxins from the bloodstream and reduce stress on organs.
Popular How To Guides
How To Grow The Best Roses In Your Garden
The best roses to grow in your garden are those that require the least maintenance and can resist destruction from...
How to Make Money from Online Casino Bonuses
Today, virtually every single online casino dishes out welcome packages to new customers in the form of bonus money and...
How To Build A Raised Pond In Your Garden
Designers of contemporary gardens often try to avoid natural features and create highly organised, geometrical gardens instead. Raised garden ponds...
How To Play Blackjack
Blackjack is a simple card game. Your goal in blackjack is just to achieve a combined score of twenty-one with...
How to Boost Your Odds of Winning the Lottery
Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you won the lottery? Visualize having the necessary...
How to Play Bingo Online
Bingo is a great, low-stress type of game that is a great way to relax. However, it isn’t always easy...
How To Become An Administrative Manager Of A Professional Sports Team
The role of a team manager for a professional sports team is very diverse, and the skill of spinning many...
How To Join The World of Bitcoin
For many of us, the whole idea of bitcoin is still a mysterious concept but we’re beginning to notice more and...
Business2 years ago
5 Things You Must Consider Before Starting A Construction Company
Cars & Vehicles3 years ago
How To Deal With A Driving Offence (Quick Tips)
Cars & Vehicles9 months ago
Can You Really Afford That Car? How To Know If You Are Making The Right Decision
Games / Video Games9 months ago
How To Connect a Mouse and Keyboard to Your PlayStation 4
Cleaning4 years ago
How to Make a Shower Tray Look Like New
Other2 years ago
How to Spend Your Savings Responsibly For An Easier Retirement
Sport9 months ago
How To Get Into A New Sport: 10 Inspiring Tips
Real Estate & Investment3 years ago
How To Find Spectacular Estate Agents