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10 Ways to Naturally Reduce Cortisol and Promote Stress Relief

by Alex Medin December 28, 2022

10 Ways to Naturally Reduce Cortisol and Promote Stress Relief

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep and increase cortisol levels. Try to limit your intake of these substances.

  7. 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.

  8. Supplement your diet:
    1. Tranquinol: A complete Formula for Advanced Mood, Relaxation and Sleep Support*. Also a good source of Magnesium.
    2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Some studies have found that vitamin B1 deficiency may be associated with changes in the body's stress response and increased cortisol levels.  Nutritional Yeast is a type of yeast that is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried. It is a good source of several nutrients, including vitamin B1. Some studies have found that nutritional yeast may have a role in reducing stress and anxiety.
    3. Magnesium (included in Tranquinol) and Potassium: also found in Vegetables.
    4. Vitamin D3: which can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and herring, as well as in cod liver oil. Egg yolks and beef liver also contain high levels of vitamin D3.
    5. Adaptogens:  Adaptogens are herbs or other natural substances that are thought to help the body adapt to stress by regulating the body's stress response. Some studies have found that adaptogens may have a role in regulating cortisol levels and reducing stress. 
    6. Zinc: Several studies have found that zinc deficiency may be associated with an increase in cortisol levels and changes in the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal ) axis. For example, one study found that zinc deficiency was associated with an increase in cortisol production in response to stress in rats. Another study found that supplementing with zinc improved the HPA axis response to stress in women with low zinc levels.
    7. L-theanine: (also included in Tranquinol) is an amino acid found primarily in green tea leaves that has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain. It works by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, which help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation. L-theanine has also been found to help reduce cortisol levels. Studies have shown that supplementation with L-theanine can decrease cortisol levels in response to stress, which can help to improve the overall stress response and reduce the negative effects of chronic stress on the body. Additionally, L-theanine has been found to increase the production of alpha brain waves, which are associated with a relaxed yet alert state of mind. This can help to improve focus and concentration, and promote a more relaxed and calm overall state.
    8. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) (also included in Tranquinol) is a herb that has traditionally been used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Some studies suggest that lemon balm may have a positive impact on cortisol levels. It is believed that the compounds in lemon balm may interact with the GABA receptors in the brain, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system and may help to reduce cortisol levels.
  9. 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

  10. 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.

Alex Medin
Alex Medin


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