How To Naturally Lower Cortisol, Our Body’s Stress Hormone

Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress. It is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it is released during times of higher stress. The stress can be physical, mental, emotional, chemical, or a combination of all of these. While cortisol is important for our survival, chronically elevated levels of cortisol can have negative effects on our health, including increased anxiety, depression, and weight gain (especially around the midsection). Here are some natural ways to lower cortisol levels:
Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to reduce cortisol levels. It helps to lower stress and anxiety, which in turn reduces cortisol production. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be high-intensity to be effective. Movement is a great way to lower stress.

Get enough sleep:

Lack of sleep can cause cortisol levels to rise. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to help reduce cortisol levels and promote overall health. Sleep should be done in a dark, cool room without any technology or blue light. Aim to stop technology use 1 hour prior to going to bed.

Practice relaxation techniques:

Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help to lower cortisol levels by reducing stress and anxiety. This will help the body get into a more parasympathetic state.

Eat a balanced diet:

Eating a balanced diet that is rich in whole foods can help to reduce cortisol levels. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet.

Limit caffeine and alcohol:

Caffeine and alcohol can both increase cortisol levels. Limit your consumption of these substances to help lower cortisol levels. Caffeine should never be consumed on an empty stomach and should also not be consumed past 12 noon.

Connect with others:

Social support can help to reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. Spend time with friends and family or consider joining a support group.
Consider supplementation: Sometimes, our body needs a little extra help to lower cortisol levels. This is where practitioner-grade supplements can come in handy to help balance out our adrenal system. If you’re struggling with symptoms of high cortisol (weight gain, trouble sleeping, fatigue, a mid day crash, or puffy eyes/inflammation), reach out and we can discuss a plan to help you balance this naturally.
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