4 Tips to Help Lower Your Cortisol Levels
Cortisol, aka the 'stress hormone' — it's the hormone that your body releases when you are in a fight-or-flight situation. Your heart rate and energy levels leap up to help you if you are in danger. But in modern society, we have hundreds of small stressors placed on us, which means that cortisol is released in non-threatening situations. This can cause all sorts of short and long-term issues for our overall health.
Here, we break down four simple tips that you can introduce into your life to reduce cortisol in your body so that you can feel calmer and healthier.
1. Work on Your ‘Sleep Hygiene’
Getting enough sleep is crucial for lowering your cortisol levels. During your sleep, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones, helping your body to repair, and your cortisol levels drop too.
But given that one of the side effects of high cortisol levels is difficulty sleeping, this can sometimes be hard. Working on your 'sleep hygiene' — or your bedtime habits — is an excellent first step.
Some simple practices include waking up and going to bed at a regular time every day, even if you can't sleep at first. Take a shower before bed, moisturize with calming oils like lavender, and make sure your sheets are clean. Turn off your electrical equipment, dim your lights, and read.
Sleep hygiene is about building a healthy routine, which can begin in the daytime. Try only to drink caffeine in the morning. Get enough exercise in the day, and don't eat too late. These habits will all contribute to a better night's sleep.
2. Find Supplements That Work for You
It is now well known that what we put in our bodies directly impacts our health, which is also true with cortisol levels. While eating a healthy balanced diet is essential, supplements help support further needs. In this case, Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm, Valerian Root, Omega-3, and Magnesium are linked to lower cortisol levels.
CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, is another supplement linked to lower cortisol levels. It can be taken orally, used as a cream, or a broad spectrum CBD rollon.
3. Maintain Healthy Relationships
It might sound too good to be true, but one of the simplest ways of reducing your cortisol levels is by having fun. This is because laughing releases endorphins that suppress cortisol. In addition, spending time with people who make you happy also helps fight the stress hormone.
Being lonely has been linked to increased cortisol, while maintaining relationships has been linked to living healthier and happier lives. So make sure to prioritize healthy relationships, and remember to enjoy the fact that laughing is good for you.
4. Remember to Breathe
Deep breathing is a technique that is linked to managing stress and anxiety. When you breathe deeply, your vagus nerve signals your nervous system to lower your heartbeat, cortisol, and blood pressure. It also sends more oxygen to your brain while focusing your attention on your body, which both contribute to calmness. This becomes effective after as little as ten deep breaths.
You can develop numerous techniques to tap into the deep breathing that suits you best, and many people like to use meditation, mindfulness, or yoga to help them.
By following any combination of these four steps, you will help to lower your cortisol levels. Suppressing cortisol has so many benefits, including clearer skin, more energy, less anxiety, and better concentration.
So whether you choose to prioritize sleep, use supplements, start meditation, or maintain healthy relationships, lowering your 'stress hormone' is going to have a huge impact on your overall health.