Cortisol is an important hormone in our body that deals with stress. If you are experiencing higher stress levels and you are more tired than normal, even though there are no significant changes in your life, then your cortisol may be too high. Sometimes weight gain despite a consistent diet and exercise regimen can also be an indicator that your cortisol is out of whack.
Our “stress hormone” is released into the body when we are under pressure. Our brains react in the classic “fight or flight” impulse. Cortisol is a necessary hormone in our body because it is part of what keeps us awake and responsive. However, living with high cortisol levels can lead to anxiety, weight gain, and even eventually long-term health problems. There are ways to help bring down your cortisol level.
- Watch Your Diet
High blood sugar levels and inflammation due to your diet can cause a rise in cortisol levels. This can be managed by eating whole foods and foods that are high in antioxidants and fiber. Some of the best foods to reduce cortisol levels are fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Manage Your Stress
There are many strategies to reduce stress. Meditation and prayer are commonly used. Acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, and spending time outdoors in nature are also highly recommended tactics. Find a way to slow down your life and have a time of quiet to relax and regain emotional stability.
- Decrease Screen Time Before Bed
Blue light comes from the use of your computer, laptop, phone, T.V. or tablet. Studies have shown that the type of light they emit affect the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is crucial to the body. Disrupting the use of melatonin can create poor quality sleep. Cortisol levels are affected by the quantity and quality of sleep. There are blue light-blocking products available, or you can simply turn them off and read before going to sleep.
- Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can help regulate hormone levels, including cortisol. Depending on the intensity of your exercise, 30 to 60 minutes a day most days of the week is recommended. Not only does regular exercise help regulate cortisol so it is in a median range, but exercise also helps your body respond more quickly when under pressure. Instead of your cortisol shooting up and staying there, exercise can help stabilize the level more quickly.
- Essential Oils
Essential oils are helpful in controlling cortisol levels. There are active ingredients in essential oils that help reduce cortisol, anxiety, and inflammation. They also help to improve immunity, digestive functions, and sleep quality. Some of the essential oils that are commonly used for aiding the control of cortisol are lavender, clary sage, bergamot, and frankincense. Essential oils are available from many online vendors, but make sure when you buy them you’re getting pure essential oils.
High cortisol levels should be addressed. The five tips can help you control your cortisol today.
About the Author: Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, attorney, interior decorator, strategic leader and owner of Pure Path Essential Oils. She has an eye for business, innovation and perfection – and a desire to help her family, her friends and herself live a healthy and happy life.