- Cortisol is a steroid hormone that controls numerous vital processes in the body.
- Balance your cortisol levels by getting quality sleep and regular exercise.
- If your cortisol (stress hormone) levels are high, you’ll likely feel headaches, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression, and you may notice physical changes like trouble sleeping and weight gain.
- Low cortisol levels may contribute to extreme weakness, mild depression, irritability, fatigue, weight loss, and low blood pressure.
Are you aware of the importance of a healthy diet and exercise? Well, you must be. But what about stress management. Have you often overlooked this vital component of your life? Are you oblivious about how to react in times of stress?
What does cortisol do in the body? When a person is stressed, a steroid hormone called cortisol releases. It maintains the optimal functioning of body organs and controls the blood sugar level. Simultaneously, the moderately high cortisol level can cause serious problems like weight gain, impaired brain functions, and tiredness. Usually, at the start of the day, the cortisol level is high, but it gradually decreases at night.
If you are looking for methods to control cortisol levels, keep reading this blog post. Here we will share some of the practical ways to balance your cortisol level.
Here is how to balance your cortisol levels (stress hormone)
1. Get quality sleep
Sleep is the major factor that influences the cortisol level. Sleep deprivation or insomnia causes a high cortisol level, contributing to fatigue and other health issues. Interruptions during sleep also raise the cortisol level and upset the daily hormone pattern. If you are a night time worker, you should do some simple things to optimize your sleep, like
- Limit your distractions before bed,
- Avoid caffeine at night,
- Take short naps during work.
2. Stay hydrated
The limited intake of water is not the only cause of dehydration. Instead, stress is also a contributing factor. Anxiety or depression increases the heart rate and leads to heavier breathing, which causes fluid loss. You can get dehydrated, even if you are ensuring the maximum intake of water. It is believed that a person frequently urinates due to stress, and the water doesn’t enter into the cells.
Do you urinate immediately after drinking? You might not be getting enough hydration. In such a situation, add the trace of amino acids or minerals in your water and stay hydrated.
3. Start the regular workout
Exercise is the best way to promote overall wellbeing and relieve stress. Researches suggest that acute aerobic exercises maintain the cortisol level. It also helps you to lower your stress. Start a habit of exercising in a way you like – jogging, cycling, yoga, dance, or lifting. But never overdo any of the exercises because the strenuous exercises without sufficient nutrition can elevate the cortisol level.
4. Add supplements to your diet
Adding the supplements to the diet doesn’t mean that you don’t take a balanced diet. A diet containing minerals, especially magnesium, is highly recommended. It regulates the cortisol level and lowers the stress level. Also, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B12 promote the metabolism of cortisol.
5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol intake at night
Anything containing caffeine, either a great cup of coffee, chai, or chocolate, keep you awake the whole night. If you are highly sensitive, go through a caffeine detox of 3 weeks to adjust your adrenals. However, if caffeine doesn’t produce a significant influence on you, you can take a small amount of coffee but not in the evening. Likewise, if you cut down the habit of alcohol drinking, especially at night, you will enjoy sound sleep and feel refreshed in the morning.
When it comes to relieving stress, cortisol control is one of the many factors. No unhealthy food can bring bliss to your life, but mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and other healthy choices in your lifestyle can give you the success to become stress-free.
If you are still concerned about your stress and worried about its destructive impacts on your health, seek the doctor’s recommendations. He will provide you the treatment depending upon your signs and symptoms.