Contrary to popular belief, Cortisol, famously dubbed the “stress hormone“, plays an important role in keeping us healthy. Normal levels of cortisol are released when we wake up in the morning and exercise. The hormone regulates our metabolism, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels and strengthens our heart muscle. In small doses, Cortisol can heighten memory, increase our immune system, lower sensitivity to pain and even reduce inflammation!
Having high cortisol from time to time is normal since it’s a part of your body’s fight or flight response. But having high cortisol over a longer period of time can have lasting effects on your health. Cortisol is released into the bloodstream via the adrenal glands when our body perceives stress and responds to it. But just like anything, too much of it can wreak havoc on our body and cause numerous unwanted symptoms such as weight gain, acne, severe fatigue, irritability, headaches, high blood pressure, etc.
With the assistance of Sujata Din, a certified Professional Cancer Coach, we’re here to tell you five ways you can naturally lower your cortisol levels and lead a healthier lifestyle:
1. Improve Your Sleeping Habits
Having a good rest through the night, ideally eight hours, and waking up refreshed improves your cortisol levels.
2. Introduce Meditation & Mindfulness Into Your Lifestyle
Meditation and mindfulness do more than just ground you in the now. It improves your happiness and reduces stress levels as high stress increases cortisol levels.
3. Do More Of What You Enjoy
Rather than focusing on things you don’t like doing, maybe switch things up and go on a walk, spend more time with family and loved ones or even do something as simple as watching something on TV that makes you laugh.
Breathwork, such as deep breathing techniques, helps promote deep relaxation, leaves you feeling more energized and reduces your cortisol levels.
Exercise has also been shown to improve our moods. Incorporating some form of exercise or sport every week, such as yoga, pilates or even going for a run can drastically lower your cortisol.
Disclaimer: This is general public information. Does not substitute any medical or dietary advice from your health care professionals.
Sujata Din is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Singapore. Sujata assists clients all over the world through individual face-to-face consultation, as well as consultation over Skype, telephone, and Email. She equips clients with tools, information, and strategies that lead them to better health, higher energy levels and, ultimately, a happier disposition. On top of individual consultations, Sujata conducts workshops on nutrition, cooking demonstrations and pantry overhauls.