Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress.
It has many functions, including helping to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
In addition to that, cortisol also plays a role in the immune system and can help to reduce inflammation.
However, cortisol can also have a negative impact on the body, such as:
- Increasing appetite
- Creating feelings of anxiety and irritability
- Affecting sleep patterns
In general, people who are under a lot of stress tend to have higher levels of cortisol in their bodies.
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to reduce cortisol levels in your body.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways to reduce cortisol levels.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital for overall health, and it’s especially important if you want to reduce cortisol levels.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will release more cortisol in an attempt to wake you up.
This can lead to a number of problems, such as fatigue, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.
To get more sleep, make sure to go to bed at the same time each night and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
You should also avoid using electronic devices in the bedroom, as the blue light they emit can disrupt your sleep patterns. (5)
Learn more: How to get enough sleep every night
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is another great way to reduce cortisol levels.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which have been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. (6)
In addition, exercise can help to improve sleep quality, which can also help to reduce cortisol levels. (7)
To get the most benefit, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is another important factor in reducing cortisol levels.
Certain foods, such as refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks, can cause blood sugar levels to spike and then crash.
This can lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability, which can increase cortisol levels. (9)
On the other hand, eating foods that are high in protein and healthy fats can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cortisol levels.
According to Cleveland Clinic, some of the best foods to eat to reduce cortisol levels include: (10)
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These can be found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
- Protein: Good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, eggs, quinoa, and beans.
- Magnesium: This mineral can be found in dark chocolate, leafy green vegetables, bananas, and avocados.
- Probiotics: These can be found-rich foods include yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
- Vitamin B5: This vitamin is found in sweet potatoes, eggs, broccoli, and mushrooms.
4. Avoid alcohol and nicotine
Alcohol and nicotine are two substances that can have a negative impact on cortisol levels.
If you’re looking to reduce cortisol levels, it’s best to avoid alcohol and nicotine.
5. Take supplements
There are a number of supplements that have been shown to reduce cortisol levels.
But, it’s always best to speak with a doctor before starting any supplement regimen, as some supplements can interact with medications.
6. Reduce your caffeine intake
It is safe to say that most people love the feeling of caffeine running through their veins.
Millions of people consume coffee, tea, and energy drinks on a daily basis.
While caffeine can provide a temporary energy boost, it can also increase cortisol levels. (14)
If you’re looking to reduce cortisol levels, it’s best to limit your caffeine intake.
7. Practice stress-relieving techniques
There are a number of stress-relieving techniques that can help to reduce cortisol levels.
These techniques can help to promote relaxation and ease stress, which can lead to lower cortisol levels.
8. Connect with loved ones
Connecting with loved ones is another great way to reduce cortisol levels.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce cortisol levels, make sure to schedule some time with your loved ones.
9. Get a massage
Getting a massage is another excellent way to decrease cortisol levels in your body.
Even if you can’t get a professional massage, simply taking some time to rub your own muscles can help to reduce cortisol levels.
10. Go outside
Last but not least, spending time in nature can also help to reduce cortisol levels.
Research shows that being in nature can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of happiness and relaxation. (18)
Some people may experience high cortisol levels due to stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce cortisol levels.
Some of the best ways to reduce cortisol levels include exercising, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and practicing stress-relieving techniques.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce cortisol levels, make sure to try some of the tips and tricks listed above.