Any imbalance in Cortisol hormone levels can create health problems in your life. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is beneficial in small quantities as it helps control the level of stress in your life. Secreted by the adrenal glands that are perched at the top of your kidneys, Cortisol is important for the well-being and overall health of your body.
As the levels of stress increase in your life, Cortisol production increases or decreases leading to imbalances and deteriorating health. Elevated Cortisol levels can lead to many issues including but not limited to, heart diseases, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, fatigue, abdominal stress, weight gain, lack of libido and much more.
Cortisol is produced and released by your adrenal glands at specific times every day. The levels are highest during the early mornings and lowest by nighttime. Moreover, the levels keep dropping throughout the day. However, if this rhythm is interrupted due to extreme stress or anxiety, elevated levels of Cortisol can lead to insomnia or many other health-related problems as explained above.
How to Lower Cortisol Hormone Levels
Fortunately, it is not difficult to lower Cortisol hormone levels in your body. But, it does require making some significant lifestyle changes and learning and practicing stress management techniques on a regular basis. Here, you should remember that since Cortisol is responsible for regulating and mobilizing energy, its presence in higher levels does lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, lower immunity etc. By leading a relatively stress-free life, eating nutritious diet, and making other changes, you cannot just lower Cortisol levels, but also ensure better health and have a greater control on your life. Here are three excellent ways to reduce your body’s Cortisol levels:
1. Exercise: One of the best most tested ways to lower Cortisol hormone levels; exercising helps enhance production of ‘feel-good’ hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Regular exercising also helps combat elevated Cortisol levels. Your work out should be between 30 to 60 minutes, 4-5 days per week. This will not just help you balance Cortisol levels but also lose weight.
2. Reduce stress levels: Want to reduce your Cortisol levels? Reduce your stress intake. Change your environment, start thinking positive, eat healthy food, be with people who make you feel good, de-clutter your house, bring a pet home, get regular massages, take up a hobby etc. Basically, do things that make you feel happy, improve your self esteem, and help you deal with stressful situations in a positive manner.
3. Diet: There should never be a time gap of more than 2-3 hours between two meals. Eat at least 5 to 6 meals every day in small quantities. Most importantly, NEVER skip a meal as this will further elevate Cortisol levels in your body! You must also include Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet as they lead to lowering Cortisol levels. You can find Omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts, almonds, beans, olive oil, flaxseeds, and fresh water fish like tuna and salmon.
Last but not the least, lower Cortisol levels by meditating and using herbal Cortisol lowering supplements such as ‘Ashwaghanda,’ ‘Rhodiola Rosea’ etc.