Sitting on top of your kidneys are your adrenal glands that release cortisol, which is a hormone that our body needs when we are under some form of crisis – it increases the blood pressure, boosts energy levels and enhance the immune system, among so many other things.
As you can see, cortisol is actually a good thing. However, there is a stigma that’s attached to it. That’s really unfortunate as cortisol per se is not the enemy, but high levels of it. Yes, chronically increased amounts of cortisol in the blood can cause so many different health problems, many of which can be very serious.
These days, everyone seems to be leading very busy lives in toxic environments, and such can easily cause chronic stress. It’s important to have your stress levels put under control because, otherwise, it can cause a persistent increase in the amount of cortisol circulating in your body.
And why is that a bad thing? Well, doctors say that it’s something that can cause all sorts of issues that range from poor mental functioning, fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease to a weakened immune system.
Indeed, it’s very important to keep one’s cortisol levels within the normal and healthy range in order to stay healthy. Here are some of the things you may do to keep chronically high cortisol at bay:
Get 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Nightly
Definitely, you should refrain from partying all night long or spending hours online in bed if you don’t want to end up with the many different unfavorable health effects of having high cortisol levels. It’s a vicious cycle – the more cortisol you have in your body, the less sleep you get, and the less sleep you get, the more cortisol is produced.
Luckily, there are so many different ways to naturally conquer insomnia and enjoy 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and you can check out articles on this website that talk about those.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
We all know that exercising regularly offers so many health perks, and one of those is keeping high cortisol at bay. It is said by the experts that you should get at least 20 minutes of exercise not less than 5 times a week.
Hate going to the gym to do repetitive cardio and weight lifting? Don’t be discouraged as there are plenty of forms of exercise around that are fun and interesting. You may invite your friends to a game of badminton or volleyball. You may dance to the latest upbeat tunes. Or you may also grow a lush garden in your backyard. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate up and your muscles contracting is a great form of cortisol-lowering exercise.
Lower Your Stress or Anxiety Levels
One of the reasons why some people have lots and lots of cortisol in their blood is due to chronic stress. Similarly, those who have anxious thoughts all the time may also end up with increased cortisol levels. So what you need to do if you are always stressed or anxious is relax.
Fortunately, the things you may do to deal with both stress and anxiety are pretty much the same. Some of them include deep breathing, writing in your journal, having a massage, doing yoga or watching a funny movie.
Opt for a Healthy Diet Everyday
Last but not least, it’s also very important to watch what goes into your mouth if you want to keep at bay high cortisol levels and the many health dangers associated with it.
Basically, it’s a good idea for you to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet. Steer clear of anything that is loaded with sugar and fat as they can cause inflammation within. You should also limit your intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages to keep your cortisol levels from going through the roof.
Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media accounts to let your very busy family members and friends know about the dangers of having high levels of cortisol all the time, as well as allow them to learn some tips on how they can keep their cortisol within the normal and healthy range!