Stress Hormones: 3 Ways to Naturally Manage High Cortisol Levels

stressed man with laptop holding his head

Our bodies’ most prominent stress hormone, known as cortisol, impacts…

  • Our ability to learn
  • Memory
  • Immune function
  • Bone density
  • Weight gain
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Heart disease

…and so much more!

For that reason, it’s no surprise that we begin to stress out when this hormone isn’t at the level it’s supposed to be.

That being said, controlling this hormone is often easier said than done.

Between caring for a family, working a full-time job, getting an education, or whatever else it is you do, it can be very difficult to keep this hormone in check.

The good news…there are natural ways you can keep yourself balanced so you can keep stress from taking over your life.

Here’s what I recommend…

Switch to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

bok choy

Low blood sugar levels and high levels of inflammation can easily trigger the production of high cortisol levels which can lead to hormonal imbalances.

The solution: Switch to a low-inflammatory diet to prevent your cortisol levels from going crazy.

Here’s what you should be avoiding…

  • High-sugar diets that include processed foods, refined grains, and sugar-filled snacks and beverages
  • Foods with high amounts of refined and trans fats (cake, donuts, popcorn)
  • Consuming too much caffeine and alcohol
  • Red meats

Here’s what you should include in your diet…

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits like pineapple and blueberries
  • Beets
  • Fish
  • Bone broth
  • Walnuts

If you’re looking for a specific recipe, we suggest you try out this inflammation tonic we highly recommend.

See the recipe here!

Exercise Regularly

jogger in red runners

It’s no shock that I’d recommend that everyone incorporates exercise into his or her daily routine.

After all, daily exercise is the best way to keep your body healthy. Even a simple 15-minute walk can positively impact the quality of your health.

But, exercising every day isn’t just about keeping your muscles toned or burning calories to help manage your weight. Exercise actually plays a big role in your body’s hormone chemical production.

When you exercise, your body’s adrenaline and cortisol production levels are temporarily elevated. Then, as you cool down, your cortisol levels naturally decrease to normal levels.

This natural cycle conditions your body to better handle stress and gives your autonomic nervous system–which controls your stress and relaxation responses–its own workout.

Practice Self-Care

woman doing yoga

This may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to prevent your stress levels from staying elevated is making time in your day to de-stress.

In fact, practicing self-care and allowing yourself time each day to relax and unwind can naturally help lower your cortisol levels.

The reason: Our bodies are responsive. If stress situations occur, your body is conditioned to produce stress hormones to help you cope.

However, if you take away the need for your body to produce such chemicals, even for only an hour a day, your body finally gets a break.

The best part is that self-care is easy to do and doesn’t have to be anything extravagant.

Make time to do one of the following things you enjoy each day of the week…

  • Meditate
  • Take a hot bath
  • Practice yoga
  • Read a book
  • Get a massage
  • Try acupuncture
  • Take a nap
  • Visit with a friend
  • Enjoy your favorite meal
  • Ask for help with household chores
  • Take a 30-minute walk

Stress impacts your entire body. To discover other reasons it’s important to naturally lower your stress hormones, check out this post on the impact of stress on your digestive system.

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