Cortisol is the the body's hormone that produces stress. Elevated cortisol levels can have permanent effects on one's health, not to mention the feeling of stress can unbearable sometimes. There are ways to reduce the amount of cortisol that is produced in the body. This will not only decrease one's everyday stress level but it will also improve one's overall health. Here are six tips to keep stress from conquering the day.
The fastest and biggest way to decrease the cortisol levels in the body is to remove caffeine from the body. Caffeine is the one of the biggest culprits, responsible for elevating cortisol levels. One cup of coffee elevates the blood cortisol levels by thirty per cent in a single hour. After the first hour, cortisol levels stay at this high level for up to 18 hours. Cutting out caffeine completely from one's diet is the main way to decrease stress, whether coffee, soda, caffeinated tea, and any other unexpected items that contain caffeine.
The older one gets, the higher their cortisol levels are during sleep. Not getting a proper amount of sleep each night will drive the stress hormone up. Taking a natural sleep supplement such as Melatonin can regulate one's sleep cycle and improve their cortisol levels.
Exercising not only builds muscle mass but it also increases output of serotonin and dopamine from the brain. These chemicals that stem from the brain decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. Exercising allows people to be strong healthy while keeping their stress levels low.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates should be avoided whenever possible. This will prevent the body's insulin production from driving up. Meals should consist of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats. They should also be relatively small and more frequent throughout the day. Hydration is must to keep the stress hormones low. Water should be drunk throughout the entire day and especially immediately after waking up and immediately before going to sleep.
Certain vitamins or supplements aid with keeping cortisol down or at least coping with the stress levels. They will also balance out the body's metabolism and strengthen the immune system. This is great when it comes to stress because if the body's immune system is strong, it will be able to better fight off stress. Such supplements include but are not limited to, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, grapeseed extract, and Co Q 10. Herbs are also helpful and include ginseng, astragalus, eleuthero, schizandra, Tulsi, rhodiola, and ashwagandh
Meditating or listening to relaxing music/tapes can be very helpful in lowering stress levels. This enhances the production of alpha and theta brain waves. Alpha is the brain wave that is in charge of alertness. With increased levels of this, one will be more focused and alert. Theta brain waves are in charge of relaxation. Stress can always be reduced with relaxation. One should not have a loud annoying alarm clock that is unnecessary to wake up in the morning. This takes anyone, whether prone to stress or not, from delta brain waves to beta brain waves in the matter of seconds. Delta brain waves are the ones flowing when someone is in deep sleep. Beta brain waves create anxiety and agitation. When one goes from delta waves to beta waves that quickly, they are bound to feel stressed in the morning. Caffeine, as mentioned above, enhances beta brain waves while at the same time, overpowering alpha and theta brain waves.