How to Reduce Cortisol

Cortisol is also referred to as the "stress hormone"—the hormone released by the adrenal cortex whenever we are feeling some kind of mental, emotional, or physical stressor. Elevated levels or cortisol, however, aren't healthy for you and can cause increased blood sugar, increased weight gain, increased appetite and an increase in your risk of cardiovascular problems or stroke conditions because it can cause fat to build up in the blood vessels. So how to reduce cortisol for better health?

5 Methods to Reduce Cortisol

Before you begin to learn the tips about reducing cortisol, make sure if you are with too much cortisol that need to be balanced. If you do have too much cortisol, follow the following tips. 

1.   Adjust Your Diet

There are things you can do to your diet that will help you reduce cortisol. Here are some tips:

  • ŸEliminate caffeine. This means not drinking energy drinks, coffee or, colas with caffeine, because these can cause an increase in cortisol levels directly.
  • ŸReduce processed foods. Stop eating processed foods, especially those containing sugar and simple carbs as these will raise cortisol levels. Processed foods will also lead to anxiety. Avoid things such as plain pasta, white bread, candy, chocolate, cake, and white rice.
  • ŸDrink enough water. A recent study showed that being dehydrated by just a half liter will increase your cortisol levels. Dehydration can cause stress, which causes you to drink less water, which makes stress worse. It is a very vicious cycle. So drink plenty of water all day along in order to reduce cortisol levels. Drink until your pee is light straw-colored because this means you aren't dehydrated.
  • ŸTry rhodiola and black tea. Rhodiola is a type of herbal supplement for decreasing cortisol levels. It helps you burn fat and increases energy at the same time. Besides, black tea is also a good choice. It has also been discovered that, when you drink black tea, your cortisol levels will drop because it contains the amino acid L-theanine, which lowers cortisol levels.
  • ŸInclude more fish oil. If you can take about 2 grams of fish oil daily, you will lower your cortisol level. How to reduce cortisol? Just eat lots of sardines, sea bass, mackerel, and salmon, all of which contain omega 3 fatty acids.

2.   Get Enough Sleep

People who are 50 years old or older have levels of cortisol at night about 30 times greater than those people who are 30 years old or younger. This is because they don't get enough sleep. You may try consuming melatonin at night to help you sleep. This is a non-addictive sleep enhancer that is normally produced by the pineal gland at night. Melatonin decreases with age, so you may need a supplement when you get older. It will lengthen your sleep cycle and will help you sleep more deeply. If you become sleepy during the day, stay away from melatonin for a bit and try again later.

3.   Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise will help you increase your muscle mass and will increase the brain's output of dopamine and serotonin—both hormones lessen depression and anxiety. Try taking supplements of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which help muscles that are not in shape and help your cardiovascular system continue to exercise. DHEA also helps build muscle mass and helps you feel more energetic and strong.

4.   Use Supplements

Try taking supplements such as calcium, vitamin B, chromium, magnesium, and zinc. Try also taking in antioxidants, such as alpha lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and grapeseed extract. Herbs including astragalus, ginseng, Tulsi, eleuthero, aswhagandha, and schizandra are good choices to how to reduce cortisol, improve metabolism, and improve mood. These are supplements and herbal remedies that lower cholesterol and decrease the effects of excess stress inside your body. They will also help you increase your immune response to pathogens.

5.   Learn Relaxation Tips

Relaxation will lessen the effects of cortisol on the body and is a good way to reduce cortisol just with the power of your mind. Some good ways to do this include the following:

  • Meditation. If you practice the Buddhist practices of meditation, you will be able to lower your blood pressure and cortisol levels after just six weeks of doing this activity. Mediation can be learned from a master or can be learned by buying a CD or DVD about it.
  • Deep breathing exercises. We have become breathers of shallow and rapid breaths from the chest nowadays. However, deep breathing is much better for our health. Deep breathing from the abdomen will improve your posture and will be a way how to reduce cortisol levels in your body. This can be done just sitting at your desk or behind the wheel of the automobile during rush hour. You can follow the instruction in the video below.

  • Laugh. Try watching a funny movie or talk to someone who is funny. Laughter will lower your cortisol production and will help you feel better. Try listening to a story that is funny and see if you feel better right away or not.
  • Listen to some music you like. Experts have found that music therapy lowers cortisol levels in patients undergoing uncomfortable procedures, such as a colonoscopy. Select songs that are happy or especially calming for the best effect. 
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