Top
READY TO START YOUR ROUTE TO HEALTHY LIVING?

Join the Newsletter

5 Ways to Lower Cortisol Levels

I don’t know about you, but typically when I hear the word “cortisol” it’s often being used in a negative way than not. You are most likely wondering why this may be the case. For starters, understand that cortisol is THE stress hormone.

Let’s talk cortisol, shall we?

First off, what is cortisol?

Besides cortisol being THE stress hormone. Cortisol is made in the adrenal cortex of the adrenal gland.

Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, memory formulation, and help reduce inflammation. Cortisol belongs to a group of hormones called glucocorticoids. As a group, these hormones are involved in the regulation of metabolism in the cells, and they also help us regulate various stressors on the body. Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone, cortisone and corticosterone are all glucocorticoids. Cortisol is a steroid-based hormone and is synthesized from cholesterol.

On the other side of things; too much of anything is never a good thing. When your body is in fight or flight mode, there is a physical reaction. This physical reaction is cortisol being released. When too much cortisol is released, then it will begin to build up in the blood stream which is when negative side effects occur. These negative side effects occur from the prolonged levels and higher levels of cortisol. Typically, higher levels of cortisol are associated with chronic stress. This type of stress can be cognitively; including mental and emotion stress and/or physical stress that is reflected by the body’s actions.

 

Now let’s discuss ways to lower cortisol levels:

  1. Eat Whole Foods

Focus on decreasing inflammation—> anti- inflammatory diet

Aim for low processed foods, high in antioxidants, fiber, & essential nutrients is the key to balancing hormones. By doing this not only decreases cortisol but also can help in adrenal support, which is another hormone allowing you to reach a desired weight, boosting energy throughout the day, and getting enough adequate sleep at night. Poorly managed blood sugar levels can produce elevated cortisol levels because this leads to producing more glucose in the body.

 

  1. Exercise Regularly

This doesn’t mean 7 days out of the week, 2x per day. This means getting on a consistent routine AT LEAST 3-4x per week & if you can get to do more, great!! Just remember, more isn’t always better. The key is to avoid overtraining & overexerting yourself, which in time increases cortisol levels! Been there, done that and it only becomes a setback. As I’ve said above just because you’re doing MORE doesn’t mean it’s benefiting you. I personally have a passion for exercise and my training so this one is tough for me to keep reminding myself, I need to take some rest days. Some rest days become active rest days; low intensity cardio, yoga/ stretching, or even an outdoor hike. Trust me, I know how good it feels as those endorphins are being released during a cardio sesh!

*Temporarily during exercise cortisol levels are being increased along with adrenaline production, but afterward it generally helps lower it back down. This cycle helps your body handle stress & gives your autonomic nervous system it’s “own workout” getting it use to the stress & relaxation responses.

 

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Besides water, sleep may be the most important if you ask me. This one can be hard for a variety of reasons. If you are currently battling with high levels of cortisol levels, “getting plenty of sleep” is easier said than done. High cortisol levels can make it hard TO rest, TO sleep. So first we must find ways to be able to calm the mind before bed. BUT on the other hand, if you don’t have a hard time sleeping, but you have a hard time getting enough sleep—then making sleep a priority is going to be your action.

Cortisol levels naturally rise during early morning hours and then drop as the day goes on, at its lowest right before bed. (People who have high cortisol production usually will experiment the opposite: high levels at night, fatigued right when they wake up!) This then explains over activity of adrenal glands!!! Which then is tied to adrenal fatigued coming from hormonal imbalances & stress…. A wholeee other topic. AIM for 9 hours of time IN BED. You know how it goes, scrolling on the phone, getting caught up in a tv show, etc. I suggest all electronics are away in bed, make it a rule and follow it (I bet you’ll get at least 30 minutes of sleep or maybe even an extra REM cycle 😉  Nine then turns to eight hours, eight turns to seven because of tossing and turning, and seven turns to 6 because of unexpected interrupts. Accordingly, to my Fitbit watch I use every night to track my sleep cycles state that it is typical to see 10-30 awake times each night! “Some of these moments are so short, you may not even remember them.”

Back to that “aim for 9 hours of sleep,” basically because that’s not even the REAL, true number of “adequate sleep we are getting” perhaps only about 4-5 of those hours are quality sleep. Remember quality over quantity here.

  1. Reduce & Manage Stress

Chronic stress is linked to every health problem out there. It affects most, if not all of us. Stress impacts health by sending chemical signals all throughout the body. Stress is never going to go away fully so we must find ways to reduce it and to cope with it. The known natural stress relievers are mindfulness mediation, deep breathing exercises, massage/acupuncture, or even enjoying outdoors/ nature. I realize reducing stress may be harder than nutrition or anything else. But think of ways that are best to start accommodating in your everyday life that will help you cope with your daily stressors. For example, maybe leave a book by your bed that you can grab rather than your cell phone, get a journal and start seeking gratitude daily, how about finding something that you enjoy; puzzles, coloring, reading etc..

 

  1. Using natural herbs/ supplements

Herbs/ supps can help naturally lower cortisol levels by helping balance hormones, reducing inflammation due to their strong antioxidants within, reduce antibacterial effects, naturally help antidepressant effects

Natural herbs:

*I personally don’t take herbs on a daily; but the two most popular ones recently are Ashwaganda and Licorice root.

Supplements:

*I personally take CBD on a daily, along with the Health Stack of both Opti-Greens & Opti-Reds.

I have found that using CBD has helped my able to focus more throughout the day (mind of an ADHD) which assists in decreasing anxiety levels as well. Read my Blog Post—“EVERYTHING you need to know about CBD!” for more information.

As far as the Opti greens and Opti Reds has helped me; digestion & gut health along with massive improvements with my inflammation and recovery.

 

Here is a list of some causes of elevated cortisol levels:

  • High sugar, high- glycemic diet with lots of processed foods
  • Too much intake of caffeine & alcohol
  • Not consuming enough micronutrients of carbs/fats/ protein leading to high blood pressure, hunger & weight gain
  • Not consuming enough fiber, making it harder to balance blood sugar
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Blood sugar imbalances; hyperglycemia
  • Suppressed thyroid function

 

As you’ve just read above there are some causes of cortisol we can control and some that are out of our control. This blog post is to discuss ways in which we can aim to lower our cortisol levels if we are in full control of doing so without any major contradictions.

This post may contain affiliate links. I only share with you what I truly use and believe in as a product. Please read discloser for more info.

Client Love

I've been going to Marisa for awhile when I'm either in some type of pain or just in need of...

Tiffani Paulus

Ms Fit Riss
2020-01-31T12:53:43+00:00

Tiffani Paulus

I've been going to Marisa for awhile when I'm either in some type of pain or just in need of a massage. She's extremely knowledgeable in what she does; gives me a lot of advice if a body part hurts and what I can do at home to help. I've also joined her New Years challenge; definitely has helped me stay in the right path. My last massage experience I actually fell asleep on the table because it was so relaxing!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Marisa is a multi-talented and experienced professional. I am a massage client of Marisa’s and consistently benefit from her overall...

Karen Maier

Ms Fit Riss
2020-01-31T12:54:10+00:00

Karen Maier

Marisa is a multi-talented and experienced professional. I am a massage client of Marisa’s and consistently benefit from her overall wellness knowledge, massage technique, and positive spirit. Each session, she is committed to creating a spectacular massage experience from the moment you arrive until you are walking out the door. I admire her professionalism, talent, and commitment to the customer experience. She lives her values in all that she does and as a result she has earned my trust and endorsement! To Marisa’s continued success!!

I participated in Marisa’s Challenge from March to May this year, participating in this challenge was more of a learning...
Christina Rampulla
Ms Fit Riss
2019-09-06T20:37:23+00:00
Christina Rampulla
I participated in Marisa’s Challenge from March to May this year, participating in this challenge was more of a learning experience for me. I wasn’t a big eater as I was always busy and just would have another cup of coffee versus having a nice meal because it was quicker. Marisa taught me how to balance life while eating well and maintaining balance. My big Challenge was I wanted to make sure I could still enjoy life by eating fun food, having a nice relaxing cocktail while still balancing portion and healthy eating while getting in a workout 5 days a week. And She taught me just that! I learned to do that, While loosing 10 pounds! I am not ending this life style today I am Continuing it and shooting to loose another 20 pounds but will be over the moon to at least get another 10! I am very happy with how far I come, and I have Marisa to thank for that. Work with her whether it’s to loose weight, learn how to balance a healthy lifestyle, or even gain muscle and become stronger, don’t look further Marisa is your girl!

I trained with Marisa for 3 years. She is amazing. Highly professional and very quick to return any nutritional or...

Bridgett Baker

Ms Fit Riss
2020-01-31T12:54:29+00:00

Bridgett Baker

I trained with Marisa for 3 years. She is amazing. Highly professional and very quick to return any nutritional or other questions I had. I still will only go to her for my monthly massages because they are simply the best I have ever had. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to every day life and fitness goals!

I've been going to Marisa for massage therapy since the beginning of 2018 and she's my go to massage therapist...

Dex Ren

Ms Fit Riss
2019-09-06T20:38:01+00:00

Dex Ren

I've been going to Marisa for massage therapy since the beginning of 2018 and she's my go to massage therapist when I know its time for my muscles to decompress. Marisa's background and experience in fitness and personal training really stand out from the rest of massage therapy that I've had in the past. And as a fitness enthusiast that lifts 6x/week, that's the best combination for me personally. From my very first massage therapy session with her, I felt like she was communicating with my muscles without me even saying much. It's like she was sensing and adjusting based on the feedback on how my muscles were reacting. I bring that up every session because I think that's an incredible skill. If you want to talk during your session, she will talk. If you just want to relax and shut eye, that's fine with her too. Very professional. Sometimes she runs promotions and specials during the holiday, I would definitely take advance of that. Schedule a session with Marisa and you'll know what I'm talking about!
0
0
Ms Fit Riss