How To Lower Cortisol Levels With Relaxation
Cortisol is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pituitary gland. Our ancestors used this hormone in response to danger and extreme physical stress. It triggered adrenaline and increased ability to perform and maintain life in difficult times. In a historical context cortisol is a great thing. It indirectly allowed us to survive over the millennia. Now, however, we do not typically face the same stressors and instead we stress ourselves out over the littlest things. As we do this on a constant basis our heightened levels of cortisol slowly do damage to our body, which is why learning how to lower cortisol levels is so important in our day and age.
Naturally you can see that cortisol is a reaction the body makes to moments of stress and excitement. Physical athletes experience heightened cortisol levels as do pregnant women. Anything that causes stress can trigger a release of too much cortisol. It is our jobs to manage these triggers so that they do not become so significant in our lives.
Obviously the opposite of stress is relaxation and it is no surprise that this is one of the most effective ways of keeping cortisol from ballooning out of control. It is another reason why stressed out people find relief in finally taking time off to relax. Relaxing a little by going on daily exercise routines help, as do other relaxation rituals such as yoga, napping, massage, and meditation. There are many ways to relax but probably the most common way is to sleep.
In fact sleep is one of the main ways that we all can help manage our levels of cortisol. Sleep is the bodies natural and mandatory way of relaxing and recharging. People who don’t sleep very much are usually tired and stressed. Just by getting a full eight hours of sleep a night rather that six or seven can do wonders for your levels of stress and cortisol.
Relaxing needn’t even be an activity in and of itself. Simply taking time away from your work may be all that’s needed to lower stress and cortisol levels in your body. Remember, you don’t want to rid yourself of cortisol. It is natural and helpful in healthy quantities. If you can simply lower your levels of stress with relaxation you should lower your cortisol levels to a safe and healthy range.