How to lower Cortisol Levels
By: Chloe Lisowski
Are you feeling stressed lately? Stress and cortisol levels can play hand and hand. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that can regulate different body processes like metabolism and immune response, but it is also involved in the body’s response to stress (You and Your Hormones, 2019). Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, can act as an anti-inflammatory, can influence memory, and influence blood pressure (You and Your Hormones, 2019). Too much cortisol for a long period of time can lead to Cushing’s Syndrome with symptoms like rapid weight gain in face, chest, and abdomen, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, mood swings, and increased thirst and urination (You and Your Hormones, 2019). Too low of cortisol can include symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, weight loss, muscle weakness, and mood changes due to Addison’s disease (You and Your Hormones, 2019).
Usually when cortisol levels are increased and high, we experience stress and anxiety, which can affect our mental health, but also physically impact our body and body processes (Swenor, 2020). Chronic stress can also lead to headaches, brain fog, digestive problems, weak immune system, insomnia, and pre-diabetes (Swenor, 2020). Some recommendations to help improve cortisol levels are eating a whole food, plant based diet, adding supplements, taking deep breaths, or even doing mindful meditation exercises, reducing your caffeine intake, getting good sleep, which is at least 7 to 8 hours, exercising daily or more regularly with 150 minutes a week, writing in a journal, distract with hobbies, and even going outside and spending time in the fresh air and nature (Swenor, 2020). It is important with managing stress and cortisol levels to take extra good care of yourself and practice healthy behaviors to improve overall wellbeing for your physical and mental health. That being said, cortisol levels are not always bad or the enemy, they can help us from danger, but it is when the cortisol levels are too high for a long period of time is when it becomes bad for us (Davidson, 2021).
Davidson, K. (2021). 11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels. Healthline.
Swenor, E. (2020). Stressed? 10 Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels. Henry Ford Health.
You and Your Hormones. (2019). Cortisol. Society for Endocrinology.