5 ways to reduce stress hormones naturally

Cortisol is a popular stress hormone, and elevated levels lead to stress, fatigue and even difficulty losing weight. The only problem is we tend to write off stress because it’s so common. But that’s never a good idea. Elevated cortisol levels can wreak havoc on your body and mind. So, if you have stress – and there’s a good chance you do – here are five ways to reduce cortisol levels naturally.

Make exercise the rule, not the exception

According to Harvard Medical School, “Regular physical activity keeps you healthy as it reduces stress.” So, find a form of exercise you enjoy and try to do it for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week.

Sleep

Sleep and stress can create a vicious cycle. When you’re stressed, it’s hard to sleep. And when you don’t sleep well, your stress levels can go up. So, even if you have so much to do, unplug and take gentle steps to relax so you can sleep and recharge your body and mind.

Eat more whole foods

If your diet consists of high-sugar and high-trans fat foods, this can increase inflammation and cortisol levels. Instead, opt for whole foods, natural sources of sugar, more antioxidant-rich foods and healthy fats.

Start a meditation practice

According to Mayo Clinic, “Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.” That’s because it helps provide a more mindful perspective on the stressful situation and helps place your body into a parasympathetic nervous system state. 

Try medicinal mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms are definitely trendy right now, but they’ve been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. And while research is still forthcoming when it comes to medicinal mushrooms, varieties like reishi are classified as adaptogens, and have the ability to help the body cope with stress better.  

Self-care is a trendy topic these days, but it shouldn’t be a trend you buy into. Instead, self-care should have a bonafide place is your life. Nonetheless, we all get very good at procrastinating and making excuses for why we can’t take better care of ourselves. We say we’re too busy, it’s too expensive, or that we don’t have time.

But self-care doesn’t have to be costly or Instagram-worthy. In fact, most of it can be either completely free or budget-friendly.

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