If you’re like most people, you probably spend a good amount of your day stressed out. Stress can be beneficial when channeled correctly, but prolonged stress can lead to a number of mental and physical issues.
Cortisol and Stress
Cortisol and stress go hand-in-hand. When cortisol levels get too high, our bodies fall into a stressed, sympathetic state where they produce a “fight or flight” response. When cortisol levels are normal, our bodies fall into a parasympathetic state where they produce a “rest and digest” response. Keeping the body in a sympathetic state for extended periods of time can cause many negative side effects. Emily Schromm states that we should be in the parasympathetic state about 80% of the time. However, with all the stress in today’s world we are in the sympathetic state 80% of the time. It’s important to learn ways to deal with stress and teach our bodies how to calm down.
5 Ways to Lower Cortisol Levels
Health and fitness expert Emily Schromm shares her top 5 ways to lower cortisol levels.
1. Learn How to “Check Out”
One of the best ways to lower levels of cortisol and calm your system is to just “check out”. Try doing an activity that gets your mind off the stressor. For example, you can try turning off your phone, going to a yoga class, surfing in the ocean, or doing a workout.
2.Essential Oils & Flower Essences
Emily Schromm has found that these remedies are key at calming the body. For centuries, essential oils have been effectively used for anxiety and stress. One of the most popular essential oils for stress is lavender.
3. Improve your Diet
How much sugar do you consume? Eating high amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your energy systems. Sugar causes cortisol to be excreted in larger amounts inflicting more stress on the body.
4. Recover from Workouts
If you aren’t recovering well enough from workouts, you’re going to make things worse. When you’re under recovered, cortisol levels in your system will be higher and you will be left more prone to injury. Emily Schromm uses Marc Pro to ensure she’s recovered after every workout.
5. Adaptogen Herbs
These supplements can help bring down cortisol levels, helping you to become more adapted to the stress in your day-to-day life. Adaptogens can help you better respond to stress by balancing and restoring normal body physiological functions. Some examples of adaptogen herbs include ginseng, holy basil, ashwagandha, as well as rhodiola.
It’s important to learn how to balance cortisol levels. Having cortisol levels that are too low isn’t good for your body either. Understanding your own cortisol patterns can really be key in making sure you live a healthy and happy life.