Stress Symptoms - Cortisol and How To Relax
As you go about your wellness program, one thing that you must take note of is your stress levels. Suffering from high levels of stress is only going to hinder your health in a major way, especially when cortisol is also involved.
Let’s take a quick look at what cortisol is and what the symptoms of stress are that you should know about – then provide you with a few tips to combat it.
What Is Cortisol?
Cortisol is the hormone that is released in times of stress and is going to serve as the ‘fight or flight’ response signifier. It’s going to help to increase blood sugar levels so that if you do need to fight, you’re ready for it.
The only problem is that in today’s world where very few of us ever have to fight physical battles, this increase to our blood sugar only leads to fat gain, especially in the abdominal region.
The Symptoms of Stress and Elevated Cortisol Levels
Some of the main symptoms of stress that you should know about include:
- Increased sweating
- Faster than normal heart rate
- Feeling of been run-down or burnt out
- Irritability, as well as a feeling of been generally unwell
5 Tips To Reduce Your Stress And Cortisol Levels
So what can you do to reduce your stress and cortisol levels? Here are a few quick tips.
1: Practice Deep Breathing
Practicing some deep breathing is perhaps the best way to reduce your stress level and put you in a calmer state of mind. Find somewhere quiet to sit and breathe in and out deeply for ten to twenty breaths.
2: Consider Yoga
Yoga is another great way to reduce stress and cortisol levels. It focuses on bringing you a better overall mind-body connection so can help you feel more relaxed and energized as you go about your day.
Yoga is available in many different varieties, so check out a few class offerings.
3: Start a Journal
Writing on a journal is the next way to combat stress and reduce your cortisol levels. Getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can help you place them out of mind so you aren’t as likely to ruminate over them again and again.
Journaling is a technique that far too many people overlook as being effective but can really enhance the way that you feel.
4: Get Support
Having a high level of interpersonal support is the next way to combat stress and reduce cortisol. Whether you turn to a close friend for support or your husband or wife or possibly even a therapist – find someone who you can talk to during the hard times. They can be your best ally for busting through stress.
5: Sleep Well
Finally, last but not least, make sure that you are sleeping well. Dedicating at least eight hours of sleep each evening will go a long way towards improving your mental outlook and making you feel like you can handle problems that come your way.
Those who aren’t sleeping enough are more likely to have higher cortisol levels as well, so this is something that you do really have to watch.
So there you have the most important things to keep in mind regarding stress and how you can beat it, bringing cortisol levels down to normal.