Handy and Effective Lifestyle Tips to Lower Your Cortisol Levels
While we are always doing our best to take care of our physical well-being, we need to take care of our mental well-being. Even more so, since it can reflect our physical health if we are mentally fit and fine. It can be the other way round too. If we are stressed and anxious, it can affect our physical health. So, how can we lower our cortisol levels? Let’s first dissect the word cortisol. It is a stress hormone that is made in the adrenal glands.
When we are anxious or stressed, we experience higher levels of cortisol levels. When the levels go up to an unnatural high, our body’s energy is directed into calming the stressor. It does so instead of using it to regulate our bodily functions such as digestion prowess of the body or the way our immune system works.
Our cortisol levels can regulate many bodily functions such as our weight, body metabolism, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and more. You may experience symptoms such as a heightened sense of anxiety, depression, memory issues, weakened immune system, even diabetes, and more. So, how can you lower your cortisol levels with easy lifestyle tips?
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Power up with plant power and add foods rich in natural fiber such as fruits and veggies. Also, eliminate processed foods from your diet since processed foods can raise your cortisol levels and pose a greater risk for diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Adding more fruits and vegetables can regulate your gut bacteria which can also regulate your hormones. Diet is your best bet to regulate your cortisol levels.
If necessary you can also take a few supplements. However, remember, supplements are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet and need proper regulation by a doctor. Magnesium is one of the most hard-working minerals to regulate cortisol levels. There are other vitamins, too, such as Vitamin B12, folic acid, and Vitamin C, that aids in the metabolism of cortisol.
There are many benefits of deep-breathing exercises. Research shows that it has the power to lower cortisol levels, ease away anxiety and depression, and improve memory. However, you need to practice it for at least five minutes, three to five times a day, to reap its numerous benefits. Many apps can help you include a few breathing sessions throughout the day.
Say No to Caffeine
Those who have perennially elevated cortisol levels suffer from adrenal fatigue, which occurs when the cortisol levels are thrown off-kilter. It can make you feel all wired and tired, and when you depend on caffeine to labor through the day, it can only get worse. Caffeine may energize you for the time being, but when the effect of the caffeine wears thin, you are back to your nervous and anxious state.
Get Some Sleep
The body needs ample rest to heal, and for that, you need at least eight hours of sleep. We often keep sleep on the back burner amid our busy lives, but we seldom think sleep is one of the most important elements to balance our hormones and aid our health.
We need those good hormones (endorphins) that exercise gives us to combat elevated cortisol levels. Get at least 50 minutes of exercise daily and push yourself to a limit where you can converse but not sing while exercising.
Go Venture Outside
Just getting out of your home and being amidst the trees, flowers, birds, and plants can calm your mind. If you can, walk around the block or sit on your front porch. As the weather gets warmer, you can take longer breaks and spend some quality time outdoors.
Last but not least, don’t let fear overpower your emotions. It can make you make impulsive decisions that you may regret later. Just follow the tips mentioned above, do the things you love, and don’t forget to take slow, long, deep breaths.
Remember, you have the power to control your cortisol levels, be consistent about it, and results will follow. Also, when you are too stressed, please write down your feeling on a piece of paper. You will be amazed at its remarkable results! Good luck on your wellness journey!
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