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by Alex Medin December 28, 2022
If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it's important to find ways to manage your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that is released in response to stress. While a little bit of cortisol can be helpful in small doses, high levels of cortisol on an extended period of time can lead to negative health consequences, such as weight gain, weakened immune system, and difficulty sleeping. Here are some ways to reduce cortisol and promote overall well-being:
Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and lower cortisol levels although over exercising can have the opposite effect. So aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, using a rebounder or doing physical work during the day, but avoid exercising just before bed and give yourself time to recover.
Manage your stress: Identify the sources of stress in your life and take steps to manage them, such as setting boundaries or seeking professional support.
Practice relaxation techniques: Whether it's deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, finding ways to relax can help lower cortisol levels. Professionally lead Breathwork sessions can also be a very valuable tool as an emotional release technique to release trauma and stress.
Get Bodywork: Massage, Energywork and Watsu: are forms of bodywork that can help reduce cortisol by helping the body relax and stimulate the production of feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which can counteract the effects of cortisol and help reduce stress. They can also improve circulation and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and rest. This study has shown a reduction of cortisol levels in women during pregnancy. This other study showed a reduction of cortisol and blood pressure levels.
Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce cortisol levels. Avoid sugar and sugary, high carbs and high-fat foods. Instead focus on low glycemic fruits (berries), vegetables, and protein. Some studies have found that following a ketogenic diet may help reduce stress and anxiety, which can in turn help lower cortisol levels. Avoid eating right before bed (your last meal, ideally, should be around 6 pm).
Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep and increase cortisol levels. Try to limit your intake of these substances.
Practice Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting may help in reducing cortisol levels by reducing oxidative stress (by increasing the production of antioxidants) and inflammation (by regulating the immune system and reducing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules). For a detailed explanation of Intermittent fasting check this article out.
Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for managing stress and reducing cortisol levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Try Tranquinol if you feel you need supplementation and read this article which contains valuable information on how to get a restful night of sleep
Avoid EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields) and Spend more time in nature: Balance your daily use of electronics by spending more time in nature which helps in reducing stress and lowering cortisol levels. EMFs have a negative effect on the pineal gland, throwing off the sleep cycle, increasing cortisol.
By incorporating these strategies into your weekly routine, you can help reduce your cortisol levels and promote overall well-being. Remember, it's important to take care of yourself and manage stress in order to maintain good health.
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