Have you ever felt so stressed out, but had no idea what actually happened to cause it? Cortisol is to blame! Learning how to lower cortisol levels helps you control stress—and prevent adrenal fatigue.
There are actually a lot of myths out there about how to lower cortisol levels. But luckily, there are some strategies that actually work to lower your cortisol and reduce stress.
Reducing your stress levels is one of the best ways to alleviate or prevent adrenal fatigue!
What Is Cortisol, And How Does It Affect Stress?
- 1 What Is Cortisol, And How Does It Affect Stress?
- 2 The Best Ways To Lower Cortisol Levels and Avoid Adrenal Fatigue
If you’ve never heard of cortisol, that’s okay! It’s a hormone that your body creates naturally.
Most people only associate cortisol with stress, but it actually plays quite a few roles.
Cortisol rises to wake you up and provide energy, and naturally lowers so that you can sleep and rest at night. So normally, cortisol doesn’t really cause any problems.
When you’re stressed for long periods of time, though, things can start to go wrong!
To maintain a stress response for a long period of time, your body keeps producing high amounts of cortisol. Those high cortisol levels cause lots of problems both physically and mentally, like heart disease, inflammation, anxiety, and weight gain.
Learning to lower cortisol levels is important so that you can avoid triggering adrenal fatigue syndrome.
Why Should We Work To Lower Cortisol Levels?
Adrenal fatigue syndrome usually results from chronic stress. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol. They can quickly become overworked when you’re highly stressed for long periods of time.
As your body remains highly stressed, your adrenals work overtime to continually produce cortisol.
But that leads to symptoms of adrenal fatigue, like:
- Sudden rapid weight loss
- Body aches
- Losing body hair
- Extreme fatigue
- Body aches
- Low blood pressure and lightheadedness
A healthy lifestyle and some specific stress-reducing techniques will help you lower cortisol levels!
The Best Ways To Lower Cortisol Levels and Avoid Adrenal Fatigue
You have to be mindful of alleviating day-to-day stress in order to lower cortisol levels! Here are some specific ideas that will help.
We all know that exercise has incredible benefits for your health overall. Exercise is also one of the best ways to relieve stress and lower cortisol levels!
Lots of people have found that exercise is a great natural remedy for stress.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough (Quality) Sleep
Sleep is another area that’s really important overall, but especially for reducing stress. The less sleep you get, the more stressed you’ll be!
So if you want to lower your cortisol levels, you need to focus on getting enough sleep (and high-quality sleep).
To improve the quality of your sleep, try creating a soothing bedtime routine. Adding a white noise machine to your bedroom will help you sleep better!
When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re going to experience much higher cortisol levels. Those high levels of cortisol lead to weight gain, memory loss, and even accelerated aging over time! That’s one reason why it’s so important to focus on sleep to lower cortisol levels.
Spend Time Outside Each Day
Think about it: we spend so much time working and worrying about our to-do lists.
Taking even a few minutes to get outside each day will help you lower cortisol levels! Go for a quick walk, do some yoga, or even just sit outside to do some work or read a book.
Mindfulness makes a huge difference in alleviating stress. Yoga, tai chi, meditation, and even deep breathing exercises will help you feel better and relax.
Being mindful not only lowers cortisol levels, but also helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
You’re going to feel so much calmer, and physically, your body will experience effects that reduce adrenal fatigue.
Identify and Work To Address Sources Of Stress
If you’re experiencing high levels of stress frequently, it’s time to do some self-reflection.
Knowing exactly what’s causing stress consistently in your life helps you take strategic action to lower cortisol levels.
For example, if you’re always stressed about being late to work, try implementing a mindful morning routine and leaving earlier each day. If specific projects at work are stressing you out, consider ways to break them up or delegate.
Remember: it’s always okay to ask for support if you need it! Your health should come first.
Take Time For The Things You Love
Doing what makes you happy can sometimes feel like a low priority on our to-do lists.
But self-care and joy aren’t indulgences. They’re absolutely essential to preserving your mental (and physical) health.
Taking time for the things you love feels great, but it also helps lower cortisol levels.
Whether it’s reading a book, catching up on Netflix, or going to dinner with friends, prioritize yourself.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance
Your goals are important, but so are you!
Learning to balance your tasks, projects, and goals in an organized, stress-reducing way is important. Test different systems to see what works best for you.
Then, work to prioritize a strong work-life balance.
Especially if you’re working from home or in a remote job, set clear boundaries between work and your personal life.
It’s all too easy to let work creep into every other area of your life, but that’s a fast-track to burnout and adrenal fatigue.
Working to lower cortisol levels is key in preventing and reducing symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome. Although stress is unavoidable, we can develop healthy coping strategies to set ourselves up for success.