High Cortisol Levels? Here’s How To Manage Your Stress

You may experience symptoms like fatigue, stress, and anxiety when you have high cortisol levels. Here’s How To Manage Your Stress!

Table of Contents

You may experience symptoms like fatigue, stress, and anxiety when you have high cortisol levels. Find out if you’re dealing with high cortisol levels right now!

High cortisol levels are typical among people who suffer from chronic stress. But many other factors can cause high cortisol levels as well.

How to spot the signs of high cortisol levels?

Here’s how to spot the signs of high cortisol, how to check your levels, and what you can do to lower it. You will learn why your body can produce too much cortisol, as it leads to insomnia and vice versa. To explain the link between excess cortisol and insomnia, let’s take a look at how your stress response system works. 

Symptoms of high cortisol levels

While excess cortisol causes sleep problems, the associated sleep loss also increases cortisol concentration in the body. After months or years, elevated cortisol levels can cause serious issues in many-body systems. Prolonged activation of the stress response system and the resulting overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost every process in your body.

Cortisol is an essential and beneficial part of the body’s response to stress. However, it is necessary to activate the body’s relaxation response so that body functions can return to normal after a stressful event. In addition, cortisol is released in response to stress, helping the body respond appropriately. Don’t forget that cortisol is a type of stress hormone. It is released by the body to help it deal with complex and negative situations. It is high when experiencing increased anxiety or stress and low when we are in a relaxed state.

What is cortisol?

What is Cortisol ?

Although often referred to as the “stress hormone” due to its most prominent role, it also contributes to many processes in the body. Stress isn’t the only reason cortisol is released into the bloodstream. Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” because it’s also perspired in large amounts. It is the body’s response to stress and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in the body. It plays a role in many bodily functions, including blood sugar control. But cortisol also helps control blood pressure, speed up the body’s glucose metabolism, and reduce inflammation. 

How Can CBD Help You Sleep Better?
See also

However, for a long time, elevated cortisol levels constantly produce glucose, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. High cortisol levels cause blood sugar levels to rise, exacerbated by a high-sugar diet and processed foods.

High levels of corticotropin are found in the adrenal glands and stimulate cortisol secretion. This results in elevated cortisol levels in the blood. When blood cortisol levels are low, a group of cells in the brain called the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary gland to release another hormone, corticotropin, into the bloodstream.

Stress isn’t the only reason the adrenal glands have to release cortisol

The pituitary and hypothalamus are constantly monitoring blood levels of cortisol to make sure it’s not too much or too little. When we are under chronic stress, our body maintains excessive cortisol levels throughout the day. High levels of cortisol help fight inflammation. However, chronic stress leads to a steady increase in cortisol levels in the body over time. When your body is stressed, cortisol is released to keep your body toned. It can even provide the energy it needs, an essential factor in the fight-or-flight response.

When you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system fires up, and your body releases cortisol as part of the fight-or-flight response. So usually, cortisol helps regulate weight, appetite, body metabolism, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Still, under chronic stress, you may experience increased anxiety or depression, headaches, memory problems, brain problems, digestive problems, weakened immune system. Weight gain, insomnia, prediabetes, and more. Elevated cortisol levels over weeks or months can lead to inflammation and a host of mental and physical health issues, from anxiety to weight gain and heart disease. Over time, high cortisol levels can put you at risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and poor mental health.

Try Training Your Brain Instead of Your Body
See also

Chronic inflammation keeps cortisol levels high

There are many ways to help lower your cortisol levels. These include exercise and listening to soothing music, according to recent research. However, it does not have to be these things. Anything at all that helps a person cope with stress will help reduce cortisol levels. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, for example, is a great way of reducing cortisol, as well as feelings of stress. Meditation is also another way to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body.

Intense exercise, however, can trigger an increase in cortisol levels, as this is the body’s way of coping with the extra stress that activities place on it. However, sometimes cortisol levels can remain elevated even after the stressful situation has been resolved.

There are many ways to combat stress and some of them have been linked to lower cortisol levels. Studies have shown that relaxing exercise, yoga, the use of aromatic essential oils, and listening to soothing music can all have an immediate positive impact on your hormone balance. Anything that alexkalpoes your body by helping you cope with stress is helpful. Research has also found that there are various relaxation treatments including mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy which can reduce cortisol levels and bring a sense of calm which ultimately leads to reduced feelings of anxiety and stress over time.

This is because your body gradually resists cortisol in such a way that the stress hormone no longer fights inflammation but instead causes it. Suppose we can naturally reduce inflammation in the body and minimize stress. In that case, this should be followed by a reduction in cortisol levels, leading to a lower risk of chronic disease and improved well-being.

How to relieve stress in order to lower cortisol levels?

Stress causes high cortisol levels

There are many ways to relieve stress, and some of them have been linked to lowering cortisol levels in studies. One such way is with exercise, particularly a type called “relaxing”. Studies have shown that for those who exercise regularly, their average cortisol level is lower. It has also been found that listening to soothing music also goes hand-in-hand with lowering stress hormones. But anything that helps you cope with stress will be helpful! A study has found that things like yoga can reduce cortisol levels not just during the practice session but over time as well. Researchers have discovered a link between the types of meditation practiced and decreased stress in participants. Particularly those dealing with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Best Ways to Benefit from CBD Oil
See also

However, it’s important to remember that cortisol is only part of how our bodies respond to stress. Most research on this topic only shows a potential link between stress reduction strategies and lower cortisol levels, not a conclusive link. Here, we’ll look at some practical ways to lower cortisol levels so your body can handle stress properly. But before we get to those, let’s quickly discuss cortisol and how chronically high cortisol levels can negatively impact the brain and mental health.

Regular exercise reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels

Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and improve overall health, which can help lower cortisol levels over time. Numerous studies confirm that these practices can help lower cortisol levels and manage stress. Interestingly, regular exercise is also associated with increased resilience to acute stress and may reduce stress-related adverse health outcomes, such as high cortisol levels.

Cited Sources