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Lowering Stress Hormone Cortisol Naturally, Here’s How

Hard work and ambition are good. But overwork and the manic pace of modern life can lead to chronic stress and adrenal burnout.  You may not see it in the mirror, but high cortisol disrupts other important functions and stress can ravage your body from the inside. (Don’t know about cortisol? Read about the relationship between Cortisol & Stress here)
The good news is that we can do something about it. And even better, it doesn’t include taking pills. Try these 3 steps and 5 techniques below which have all been proven to reduce cortisol levels.

Step 1 – Establish Your Baseline

Just like starting a diet with a weigh-in, start by getting your cortisol levels tested. It’s definitely not essential, but that’ll give you a baseline for measuring progress. Most people assume this would require a visit to the doctor but these days you can do it yourself from home. Either way, these steps are going to help.

Step 2 – Take Action to Lower Your Stress

5 Techniques to Lower High Cortisol Levels Yourself

1. Using Meditation to Lower High Cortisol

A lot of stress comes from overthinking. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) helps us let go. It is a non-religious meditation practice shown to reduce stress and cortisol levels in otherwise healthy people. You train yourself to to relax your mind and body. MBSR can be self-taught, but classes are also available.

2. Exercise Is a Great Cure for High Cortisol

Physical exercise relaxes mind and body through physiological changes and by getting you away from stressful situations. These will lower your cortisol levels. The options are endless: aerobics, running, weightlifting, walking, tai chi, yoga, swimming, golf, and more. The most important thing is that you do it. Picking an exercise you enjoy and will stick to.

3. Reduce Caffeine to Lower Cortisol Levels

Research has shown that caffeine increases cortisol levels in stressed and non-stressed people. It does this by stimulating the adrenal gland to produce more cortisol. That’s what causes the rush of caffeine, helping you feel more alert. The flip side is that remaining alert can affect quality of sleep, which is now thought to play a crucial role in memory consolidation. At the very least try limiting your coffee to the early part of the day.

4. Share Feelings to Bring Down Cortisol

Dwelling on negative emotions can stress you out and raise your cortisol levels. But sharing your feelings is a proven way to let go and lower your cortisol. Speak with a trusted friend, family member, or colleague who is likely to understand. Or write out your feelings to let go. Professional counseling is an option if these don’t work.

5. Good Sleep Lowers Cortisol

High cortisol hurts sleep by revving your body up for action. But a nap or a good night’s sleep brings cortisol levels back down. Grab a nap when you can. Darken the room, turn off the phone, and play some soft music. Also practice good sleep hygiene to get your full eight hours – or more!

Step 3 – Evaluate Your Progress

Now that you’ve been letting go using some of the 5 de-stressing techniques, measure your cortisol again. Has your cortisol level dropped? Great, good job!

Is your cortisol level still too high? Don’t stress out but it may be worth speaking with your doctor. They may decide to refer you on to a specialist, or run further tests themselves.  Irregular cortisol output can cause deficiencies in other sex hormones as well as disrupt basic functions like sleep and diet. It shouldn’t be ignored.

Don’t let the stress hormone cortisol hurt you unseen. A little knowledge and positive action will get you on the right path. End.

More: Testing Cortisol Levels at Home

Testing your cortisol levels sounds difficult, but it’s not these days.  At TestoChecker we use Saliva due to it’s unique advantages.  Due to it being non-invasive, samples can be collected at home at all hours of the day and night making it perfect for both the cortisol test kits, and Adrenal Function Extended profile. Cortisol tests include the more comprehensive 24 hour four point saliva test and the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) three point saliva test.  (See How It Works)

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