Elevated cortisol levels can interfere with the body’s normal functions. It can lower your immunities and bone density as well as interfere with memory and learning abilities. People with high levels of cortisol may also suffer from abdominal weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Medication combined with home remedies can help bring down cortisol levels. So it is significant to know how to lower cortisol levels.
How to Lower Cortisol Levels?
Watch a Video for Diet and Supplements to Lower Cortisol Levels and Reduce Cortisol, then read on for more details:
1. Diet Changes
No Caffeine Intake. Cut out or drastically reduce caffeine consumption. One 12-oz cup of coffee can increase your cortisol levels by 30 percent in just an hour. Since cortisol can remain high within your blood for up to 18hrs, cutting caffeine is the easiest way to help increase your body’s parasympathetic nervous system response (called “rest and digest”) and so lower cortisol levels.
Nutritional Diets. Eat a healthy and balanced diet that contains lots of veggies and fruits. Aim for frequent, small meals that have a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats, like in avocados or olive oil. Complex carbohydrates help normalize cortisol levels. Avoid high-glycemic simple carbohydrates like sugar and white flour products, which also stress the body. Eating foods with folic acid and vitamin B5 will also help to lower cortisol levels. These foods include fish, sunflower seeds, whole grains, beans, peas, and fruits such as oranges and melons.
Water Consumption. Dehydration sends the body into stress mode so be sure to drink lots of water.
2. Anti-stress Supplements
B vitamins, minerals such as zinc, chromium, calcium and magnesium, and antioxidants like vitamin C, grapeseed extract and alpha lipoic acid are great anti-stress supplements.
Herbs like ginseng, rhodiola, astragalus, eleuthero, and ashwagandha rebalance metabolism and help you cope with the side effects from stress. These supplements and herbs will lower cortisol levels and boost immunities. Check with a nutritionist to get the best blend for your unique needs!
3. Regular Exercises
Engaging in exercises like kickboxing, sparring or using a punching bag simulate the “fight” response and will provide the physical release for elevated cortisol levels in your body.
Aerobic activities like walking, jogging, swimming or biking simulate the “flight” response and burn up cortisol as well.
Regular exercise helps reduce fear and stress by boosting confidence, endurance and ability. Build physical activity into your day, like riding your bike instead of driving your car to the store. Below is the video for cortisol-lowering yoga:
Take some time to practice mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation. Put yourself in a tranquil environment and get into a pose that will be most comfortable for you to stay in for 10-15 minutes. Below is a video for medication technique to lower cortisol:
5. Music and Laughter
These two are also great sources of stress management. Laughter sends signals to the brain that you are happy and at ease. In turn, cortisol levels will be lowered. Look for all the things there are to smile at and laugh about each day. Music has a way of fitting our mood no matter what mood it is. Keep your favorite playlist close by to reduce cortisol levels all day long as needed.
6. Longer and Deeper Sleep
When you do not get enough deep sleep your body can become stressed. If you find yourself waking up during the night or rising too early in the morning, try taking melatonin. This is a natural hormone that you produce at night while you sleep, but its levels can become low if you are stressed. Taking a melatonin supplement before bed will help you to produce more of your own naturally. If you find yourself tired during the day even after a good night’s rest, be sure to back off the melatonin as you may be giving yourself too much.
7. Social Connectivity
Social aggression and isolation can cause cortisol levels to rise which can lead to mental health problems in individuals, especially adolescents. Spend some quality time with your friends and family. Take the internet electronic out of the equation for a minute and get some personal face-to-face connection.