Are You Stressed Out? 7 Ways To Lower Your Cortisol Levels

In fact, we live in a world where stress has become a common companion. And this can lead to high cortisol levels. Cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, plays a significant role in several bodily functions. However, when you’re constantly under stress, your cortisol levels may rise and stay elevated. So, what’s the answer?

This article will offer seven effective ways to lower your cortisol levels. Now let’s get started.

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is our body’s primary stress hormone. It’s being produced by your adrenal glands and has been shown to play a crucial role in many bodily functions, such as metabolism regulation and immune response. However, constant stress can lead to high cortisol levels, which is not right for your health.

Symptoms of High Cortisol Levels

Before starting any stress management plan, you should first be able to recognize if you have high cortisol levels. Some symptoms may include weight gain, especially around the abdomen and face, fatigue, increased blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, and frequent illnesses. If you see these symptoms, it might be worth getting your cortisol levels checked by a healthcare professional.

How to Lower Your Cortisol Levels

Even if you’re stressed out, you can take measures to reduce your cortisol levels. Here are six simple ways to do it:

1. Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can easily lower your cortisol levels. At every exercise session, your body reacts to the physical stress by initially increasing cortisol production. However, after exercising, your cortisol levels decrease. So make sure you’re doing it right – stick to moderate exercises such as walking, swimming, and yoga.

2. Good Sleep

Good sleep isn’t just about quantity. It’s about quality too. A lack of quality sleep has been shown to raise cortisol levels. Therefore, be sure that you’re getting enough restful sleep each night.

3. Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time in nature, such as being around trees, flowers, plants, and birds, is also one of the key ways to lower your cortisol levels. Research shows that being outdoors, especially in green spaces, can significantly reduce stress levels. The calming effect of nature not only lowers cortisol but also improves mood and energy levels.

From simple walks in the park to adventurous hikes in the mountains, outdoor activities can contribute to a reduction in cortisol levels. Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend hours on end outside to reap these benefits. Even a few minutes of fresh air and sunshine can make a world of difference.

So, as often as you can, take breaks from your busy schedule to connect with nature. This is not only good for lowering your cortisol levels but is also beneficial for your overall mental well-being.

3. Healthy Diet

Diet plays a powerful role in controlling your cortisol levels. Include foods in your diet that are generally known to reduce cortisol. For example, fruits such as bananas and pears, lean proteins like fish, and dark chocolate (in moderation!) are known to help.

Also, avoid high-sugar foods and caffeine, which may increase your cortisol levels. Instead of reaching for a candy bar when you’re stressed, try eating a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. You’ll be shocked at how much better you feel.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are proven ways to reduce cortisol. They can help you relax, lower your stress levels, and in turn, lower your cortisol levels. Even if you only do a few minutes a day, you’ll be shocked at the difference it can make.

5. Laughter and Social Connections

Laughter truly can be the best medicine. It’s been shown to decrease cortisol levels and increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Similarly, social connections can alleviate stress and reduce cortisol. So, spend time with people who make you laugh and feel good.

6. Hydration

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help lower cortisol levels. While the link isn’t entirely clear, dehydration has been shown to cause stress, and stress, in turn, can cause an increase in cortisol. So, drink plenty of water during your day.

7. Try Supplements

As another option to naturally lower cortisol levels, you may consider trying certain dietary supplements. These include:

  • Ashwagandha: This is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that has been shown to lower cortisol levels.
  • Fish Oil: Fish oil supplements are absolutely rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to reduce cortisol levels.
  • Phosphatidylserine: This supplement has been shown to lower cortisol levels after exercise and in response to stress.
  • Vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C also lessen cortisol levels.

Before starting any supplement regimen, be sure to consult your healthcare professional, as they can provide the best advice based on your individual health needs.


In the long run, it should go without saying that chronic stress and high cortisol levels are detrimental to your health. And yet, by incorporating these seven tactics into your lifestyle, you’ll be able to manage stress, lower cortisol levels, and improve your overall well-being.

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