How to Reduce Cortisol & Turn Down the Dial on Stress
According to Forbes’ article, “Nearly 190 million people have experienced significantly higher stress in 2020 than in years past. Four in every 10 adults said they had experienced worry (40%) or stress (40%)” – the global pandemic being one of the major contributors. It’s a sign of the times and how stress plays an unwelcome part in most of our lives. While it’s too easy to say to someone to avoid stressful situations, it isn’t always as simple as that. The key to turning down the dial on stress is to reduce cortisol.
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It has a close link to the areas of the brain that impact mood, enthusiasm levels, and even the fight or flight response. Cortisol is created by the adrenal glands and has a direct impact on stress levels. In other words, it’s the body’s own alarm system that alerts us when something is wrong.
But not only can cortisol control blood pressure, blood sugar, and energy levels, it also has a direct influence on the sleeping cycle. If someone is struggling to sleep or waking up at irregular patterns, it could be a result of fluctuating cortisol levels that are running amok. Of course, momentary bouts of stress are entirely natural; however, chronic stress keeps cortisol at a dangerously high level and this could lead to numerous health issues, such as high blood pressure, down the road.
How to reduce cortisol
The short answer is, reduce stress. But that’s easier said than done, right? However, there are some practical lifestyle changes that people can apply to living a healthier, less stressed life.
A good night’s rest
While many people might think that burning the midnight oil will help them catch up on their responsibilities and tasks, sleep deprivation is often linked with higher levels of irritability and anxiety. In other words, someone might be adding to their stress by not taking some well-deserved shuteye. At the same time, getting a good night’s rest is not only important for managing stress but also a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Do not underestimate the power of quality sleep.
Move the body
According to Harvard Health Publishing, “regular exercise has shown to reduce the body’s stress hormones over time, such as adrenaline and cortisol.” Movement helps to create endorphins that elevate moods and reduce the likelihood of anxiety and stress. It’s the reason that runners often feel a positive mood known as “runner’s high” after a vigorous session.
The great outdoors
Breathing in the fresh air and spending time in nature has proven to bring calmness and lower levels of cortisol. More importantly, it helps someone to unwind and get out of the hustle and bustle of city living, which can be stressful. A walk through the great outdoors with friends and family is still one of the best relaxation techniques around.
Heard of the phrase “what you put in is what you get out”? It applies to food as well. Eating healthier is essential for nutrition and better all-round health, impacting both the body and mind.
Using supplements to control cortisol levels
There are many natural supplements available to assist in controlling cortisol levels. While many of them contain safe herbs and ingredients, it’s best to talk to an expert before taking them.
SOLAL has a wide range of health and wellness supplements to help reduce cortisol and manage stress and anxiety levels.