How to reduce cortisol levels naturally: the best tips

When you feel stressed, you might blame it all on cortisol, often called the stress hormone. High cortisol actually puts your body in a state of alertness, so you may feel “jittery” or tense. Rapid heartbeat, tremors, sweating and dizziness are just some of its symptoms. According to a 2022 study published in the US National Library of Medicine, high levels of cortisol for a long time can lead to health problems such as diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease. , in addition to mood swings. To avoid this, learn how to reduce cortisol levels naturally.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone that your adrenal glands, the endocrine glands above your kidneys, produce and release, says Dr Ruchi Jain, consultant psychologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center in Mumbai. It is a hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism.
and the immune response. So, when cortisol remains elevated for a long time, it can reduce the body’s immune response.

You can naturally reduce cortisol levels. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the body. You might encounter:

• Rapid weight gain mainly in the face, abdomen and chest
• Round and red face
• High blood pressure
• Skin changes such as bruises and purple-colored stretch marks.
• Muscular weakness
• Mood swings

How to naturally reduce cortisol levels?

In most cases, the brain and adrenal glands can regulate cortisol themselves when stress subsides, the expert tells Health Shots. People suffering from chronic stress can try natural ways to reduce cortisol:

1. Reduce stress

Stress is a major trigger for cortisol production, so reducing stress can also reduce cortisol. Dr. Jain suggests practicing “Locus Of Control,” which means stopping worrying about things that are not in our control.

2. Relaxation techniques

Stressed people should practice relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, yoga and walking in open spaces. All of this will help activate the relaxation response instead of the stress response.

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Woman drinking tea
Eat healthy foods to help reduce cortisol levels. Image provided by: Shutterstock

3. Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet, paying particular attention to your sugar and caffeine intake, can help reduce cortisol levels. Drinking plenty of water also helps reduce cortisol levels. Try certain foods to reduce cortisol levels. These include garlic, foods rich in vitamin C, black or green tea, and probiotic foods.

4. Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can affect cortisol levels in the blood. Follow a good bedtime routine to get longer, better quality sleep. So, turn off your gadgets and step away from screens an hour before bed.

5. Take up a hobby

Hobbies can be both relaxing and rewarding because they relieve stress. They give you something to look forward to. You can take up stress-relieving hobbies like drawing or painting, cooking, creative writing, or playing a musical instrument.

6. Have fun

If you’re having a good time, you won’t think much about stress. So, taking time to have fun can reduce cortisol levels. Laughter also has great therapeutic benefits, explains the expert.

7. Exercise

Being physically active is good for your overall health and can also improve your mood. So, do low or moderate impact exercises to help control cortisol levels.

8. Build good relationships

Stable, loving relationships with your partner, friends, and family can be a good support system when it comes to living a happy, fulfilling life and significantly reducing stress.

You also need to prioritize yourself and focus on self-care to reduce cortisol levels and achieve overall good health.

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