It is important for assisting your body deal with stressful situations, as your mind triggers its release in response to many different kinds of anxiety.
Over time, high levels can lead to weight gain and higher blood pressure, interrupt sleep, negatively impact mood, reduce your energy levels and contribute to diabetes.
Over the past 15 years, studies have increasingly revealed that moderately Large cortisol levels could cause difficulties
Persistent complications: Adding hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis
Weight gain: Cortisol increases appetite and signals the body to shift metabolism to store fat
Tiredness: It interferes with daily cycles of other hormones, disrupting sleep patterns and inducing fatigue
Impaired brain functioning: Cortisol interferes with memory, contributing to mental cloudiness or”brain fog”
Diseases: It accelerates the immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections.
In rare cases, very high cortisol levels can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, a rare but serious disease
Luckily, there are many things that you can do to reduce your levels. Here are 11 lifestyle, diet and comfort recommendations to reduce cortisol levels.
1 : Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Timing, length and quality of sleep all affect cortisol. As an example, a review of 28 studies of shift employees found that cortisol raises in people who sleep through the day rather than at night. Rotating changes also disrupt normal daily hormonal patterns, leading to fatigue and other problems associated with high cortisol
Insomnia causes high cortisol for as much as 24 hours. Interruptions to sleep, even though short, can also increase your levels and interrupt daily hormone patterns. If you are a night shift or rotating shift employee, you do not have full control over your sleeping schedule, but there are some things you can do to
Limit exposure to bright light at night: Turn off the displays and end down for several minutes before bedtime.
Restrict distractions before bed: Limit interruptions by using white noise, ear plugs, silencing your phone and preventing fluids directly before bed.
Take naps: If change work cuts your sleep hours short, napping can reduce sleepiness and stop a sleep deficit.
2. Exercise, but Not Too Much
Depending upon the intensity of exercise, it may increase or decrease cortisol.
Intense exercise increases cortisol soon after exercise. Although it increases in the brief term, nighttime levels later decrease.
This short-term increase helps organize growth of their human body to meet the challenge. Additionally, the size of the cortisol response lessens with habitual training.
While even moderate exercise increases cortisol in unfit individuals, physically fit people undergo a smaller bulge with extreme activity.
In contrast to”maximum effort” exercise, mild or moderate exercise at 40–60 percent of maximum effort doesn’t raise cortisol in the short term, and still leads to lower levels during the night.
3. Learn to Recognize Stressful Thinking
Stressful thoughts are an important sign for cortisol release.
A study of 122 adults found that writing about previous stressful encounters increased cortisol within a month compared to writing about positive life experiences or strategies for the day
Mindfulness-based pressure reduction is a technique that involves getting more self-aware of stress-provoking thoughts and replacing worrying or anxiety with a focus on acknowledging and understanding stressful thoughts and emotions.
Training yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate and other signs of tension helps you recognize stress the moment it begins.
By focusing on comprehension of your physical and mental state, you can become an objective observer of your stressful thoughts, instead of a victim of them.
Recognizing stressful thoughts allows you to formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. A study of 43 women in a mindfulness-based program showed the ability to explain and articulate anxiety was linked to a decrease cortisol response.
Another analysis of 128 women with breast cancer demonstrated anxiety mindfulness training decreased cortisol compared to no stress management strategy.
The Positive Psychology Program offers an overview of several mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.
4. Learn to Relax
Various relaxation exercises have been proven to reduce cortisol levels.
Deep breathing is a very simple method for stress reduction which can be used everywhere. A study of 28 middle-aged women discovered a nearly 50% reduction in cortisol using habitual deep breathing coaching.
A review of many studies also showed massage therapy can decrease cortisol levels by 30%.
Multiple studies confirm that yoga can decrease cortisol and handle stress. Normal involvement in tai chi has also been proven to work.
Studies have also shown relaxing music may reduce cortisol.
For instance, listening to songs for 30 minutes reduced cortisol levels in 88 male and female college students compared to 30 minutes of silence or viewing a documentary.
Helpguide.org has a short guide to several relaxation techniques such as those used in those studies.
5. Have Fun
Another way to keep cortisol down would be simply to be joyful.
A positive mood is associated with lower cortisol, in addition to lower blood pressure, a healthy heart rate and a strong immune system.
Activities that increase life satisfaction also enhance health and a few of the ways they perform this might be via controlling cortisol.
For example, a study of 18 healthy adults revealed cortisol decreased in response to laughter.
Developing hobbies can also encourage feelings of well-being, which translate to reduce cortisol. A study of 49 middle-aged experts showed that consuming gardening diminished levels more than traditional occupational therapy.
Another study of 30 people found that participants who gardened experienced higher cortisol decreases compared to those who read inside.
Part of this benefit may have been due to spending additional time outside. Two studies found decreased cortisol following outdoor activity, instead of indoor activity. Nevertheless, other studies found no benefit.