Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How Do You Reduce Stress Hormones

Laughing And Having Fun

Stress And Testosterone: How To Reduce Stress and Cortisol Hormone

It is hard to feel stressed when having a good time, so finding time to have fun can also lower a persons cortisol levels. One study showed cortisol levels decreasing in response to laughter.

Being happy and having a positive outlook appear to be related to lower cortisol levels, and happiness has other benefits too, such as lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system.

Risk Factors And Causes

Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders, meaning they are caused by a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment.

Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include:

  • Food allergies and gut issues: An expanding field of new research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation. If you have leaky gut syndrome or a lack of beneficial probiotic bacteria lining your intestinal wall, youre more susceptible to hormonal problems, including diabetes and obesity. Thats because inflammation usually stems from your gut and then impacts nearly every aspect of your health.
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High amounts of stress, and a lack of enough sleep and rest

Adrenal dysfunction is the largest cause of the hormonal imbalance with the sex hormones especially because of something called the cortisol steal.

This occurs when cholesterol, which usually helps to make the sex hormones, combines with too much stress and the enzyme 17/20 lyase blocks the conversion the production of cortisol ensues. Cortisol then causes the imbalance of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, which then decreases the sex drive.

Learn To Recognize Stressful Thinking

Paying attention to stressful thoughts may help you reduce them.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a strategy that involves becoming more self-aware of stress-provoking thoughts, accepting them without judgment or resistance, and allowing yourself the ability to process them .

Training yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate, and other signs of tension helps you recognize stress when it begins .

Recognizing stressful thoughts allows you to formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. For example, a study involving 43 women in a mindfulness-based program showed the ability to describe and articulate stress was linked to a lower cortisol response (


Tending to your own happiness can help keep cortisol down. If youre feeling stressed, try listening to music or making yourself laugh.

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How Can Listening To Music Reduce Stress

Stress the feeling of emotional tension, overwhelm, or feeling unable to cope affects us mentally and physically.

Stress has a biological impact that causes your body to release specific hormones and chemicals that activate your brain in certain ways. For example, when we are highly stressed, our heart rate and blood pressure can go up, and our adrenal gland begins producing cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

Short term, cortisol can help us find the focus and energy we need to deal with a difficult situation, but when the body is exposed to excess cortisol for a prolonged period of time, it causes perpetual, exhausting states of fight, flight, or freeze. Ongoing or chronic stress can lead to developing an anxiety disorder, depression, chronic pain, and more.

Across time and space, music has had tremendous success as a tool for stress relief. While some types of music such as classical and ambient have long been studied for their calming effects, listening to your personal favorite music of any genre also has benefits.

A 2020 overview of research into music and stress suggests that listening to music can:

  • lower our heart rate and cortisol levels
  • release endorphins and improve our sense of well-being
  • distract us, reducing physical and emotional stress levels
  • reduce stress-related symptoms, whether used in a clinical environment or in daily life

Some recent findings include the following:

Exercise Health And Stress

How To Support Your Hormones During Stressful Times

Few things are more stressful than illness. Many forms of exercise reduce stress directly, and by preventing bodily illness, exercise has extra benefits for the mind. Regular physical activity will lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your blood sugar. Exercise cuts the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancers, osteoporosis and fractures, obesity, depression, and even dementia . Exercise slows the aging process, increases energy, and prolongs life.

Except during illness, you should exercise nearly every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym or training for a marathon. But it does mean 30 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking or 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. More is even better, but the first steps provide the most benefit. Aim to walk at least two miles a day, or do the equivalent amount of another activity. You can do it all at once or in 10- to 15-minute chunks if that fits your schedule better. Add a little strength training and stretching two to three times a week, and you’ll have an excellent, balanced program for health and stress reduction. And if you need more help with stress, consider autoregulation exercises involving deep breathing or muscular relaxation. Remember, too, that mental exercises are the time-honored ways to cut stress .

Popular beliefs notwithstanding, exercise is relaxing.

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Understanding Cortisol The Stress Hormone

Elevated levels of cortisol compromise health and well-being. Learn solutions for improved outcomes.

Daily stress can, and does, affect our general health and well-being. We are all hard-wired at birth to react to stress in ways that protect ourselves from things that are perceived as harmful. The hypothalamus, a small region at the base of the brain sets off an alarm when we are faced with a threat. Nerves and hormones signal our adrenal glands to release hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. Our bodies react with a fight, flight or freeze response. The adrenaline that is released when we are stressed increases ones heart rate, raises blood pressure and readies the bodys energy supplies. Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, also increases blood sugars. Small increases in cortisol have positive effects on our response to stress we often gain a quick burst of energy, heightened memory and a lowered sensitivity to pain. Once your body has been alerted, it reacts with these physiological changes.

As important as cortisol is in assisting our body when we are threatened, it is just as important that we learn ways to lower cortisol when we are stressed by everyday problems and concerns. Michigan State University Extension recommends five simple tips that you can begin to practice today.

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Are You Moving Your Body

Just like were meant to spend some time outdoors, our bodies are also born to move. A healthy level of exercise can help normalize stress hormones like cortisol .

But since a lot of us are sitting, sitting, sitting , it can take a little effort to include a little more movement in our lives.

Sometimes its just a matter of tweaking our lifestyle to naturally include more activity .

Exercise of any type can be great , but dont get caught up on the more-is-better bandwagon.

Exercise should make you feel fit and invigoratednot defeated and exhausted. Find the balance that works for you.

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Stress Hormones: How Diet Affects Hormonal Balance

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

Stress is a major issue literally everyone deals with in way or another, and chronic stress is a problem like never before. Thats why its so vital to keep your stress hormones in check.

In a podcast episode with Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, I talked with the board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician, hormonal health expert, and best-selling author of books like The Hormone Fix and Keto Green 16 about some of the major stress hormones and how to eat to beat stress.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Cortisol Levels

Five Tips To Reduce The Stress Hormone, Cortisol

Regular and prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels can wreak havoc on your body. Over time this can cause Cushings syndrome. Some of the most common signs of high cortisol levels include:

  • weight gain particularly around your stomach, upper back, and face
  • fatigue
  • bruising and slow wound healing
  • weak bones
  • sleep problems
  • difficulty concentrating

Over time, high cortisol can put you at risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and poor mental health.

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Listen To Soothing Music

Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.

Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.

Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .

Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.


Eat A Nutritious Diet

Nutrition can influence cortisol for better or for worse.

While all foods can be enjoyed in moderation, being mindful of the foods you eat may alleviate symptoms of stress and help you better manage your cortisol levels.

Regular high added-sugar intake may result in elevated cortisol levels. Interestingly, a high sugar diet may also suppress cortisol release during stressful events, making it more difficult for your body to handle stressful situations (

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For better gut and mental health, opt for a nutrient-dense diet full of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and foods high in prebiotics and probiotics.

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Natural Ways To Lower Your Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a stress hormone the adrenal glands release. It helps your body deal with stressful situations, as your brain triggers its release through the sympathetic nervous system the fight or flight system in response to many different kinds of stress .

While the short-term release of cortisol can help you run quickly from danger, when cortisol levels are too high for too long, this hormone can hurt you more than it helps .

Over time, this can lead to an array of health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia or difficulty sleeping, mood irregularities, and low energy levels (

This article discusses 11 ways to help naturally lower your cortisol levels.

Spend Time With Friends And Family

What is Stress? Reasons Behind Stress

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.

Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .

Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.

Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .


Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.

Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:

  • Relieving your stress response.
  • Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.

In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (

Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.


Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.

Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.

One way to do this may be to say no more often.

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Find Humor In Your Life

Instead of complaining about life’s frustrations, try to laugh about them. If something is so frustrating or depressing it’s ridiculous, realize that you could ‘look back on it and laugh.’ Think of how it will sound like a story you could tell your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now.

With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about. Approach life in a more mirthful way and you’ll find you’re less stressed about negative events.

Tips For Controlling Cortisol

To keep cortisol levels healthy and under control, the bodys relaxation response should be activated after the fight or flight response occurs. You can learn to relax your body with various stress management techniques, and you can make lifestyle changes in order to keep your body from reacting to stress in the first place.

The following have been found by many to be very helpful in relaxing the body and mind, aiding the body in maintaining healthy cortisol levels:

Getting more information on stress and resources to help you to manage it can help you to build habits that can help you to cope with stress once your stress response is triggered.

If youre more sensitive to stress, its especially important for you to learn stress management techniques and maintain a low-stress lifestyle. This is a great way to get cortisol secretion under control and maintain a healthy lifestyle at the same time.

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Foods That Lower Cortisol

Foods that are naturally high in polyphenols lower the cortisol stress hormone. The long-term health benefits of drinking green tea, for example, are well established, and drinking just a half a cup per day keeps the risk of developing depression and dementia low.

Eating plenty of foods that reduce cortisol and restricting your sugar intake will keep your stress response under control.


TIPDark chocolate is rich in polyphenols and reduces salivary cortisol levels.

Techniques For Stress Management Meditation

The Best Tip for Reducing Stress Hormones

Everyone talks about meditation, sure, but it actually supports the endocrine system, according to a recent study. Another recent study found that mindfulness meditation can help manage hormones and boost wellbeing.

New to mindfulness and meditation? Mindfulness is a simple concept that takes time to master. Its the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement, according to meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the stress-reduction program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

To practice mindfulness meditation, you can download an app such as Calm or Breathe, or simply find some time alone to sit in silence and breath in and out, focusing on your breath. Oh, and its normal, during meditation, to be flooded with thoughts and worries. The goal is to come back to the breath. The Mayo Clinic suggests getting comfortable, lying back, and focusing your attention on each part of your body scanning it from head to toe. Youll want to be aware of your thoughts and sensations as you do this.

If youre not sheltering in place or quarantined, you may want to go on a solitary mindfulness walk remaining six feet from others. You can even do this in your own home, if you need to. The goal is to slowly walk, while remaining aware of your movement and balance. As Dr. Luiz says, getting into the body can help us escape or manage some of the thoughts that are causing us chronic stress.

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Helpful Organisations For Money Worries

It is important if you are worried about your finances and debts that you do not try to deal with them alone. There is a lot of help and support available to you through organisations such as Step Change and Citizens Advice.

You should also talk to your GP or a trusted health professional if you are worried about how debt is affecting your mental and physical health.

Show/hide Words To Know

Enzyme: a protein that changes the speed of chemical reactions.

Hormone: a chemical message released by cells into the body that affects other cells in the body.

Immune system: all the cells, tissues, and organs involved in fighting infection or disease in the body… more

Nervous system: organ system made of a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals to and from different parts of the body… more

Stress: a feeling we have when reacting to a particular event. Examples of stressful situations include studying before a big test or when a basketball player has to take a shot that could win the game.

Stressor: an event or object that leads a person to feel stressed and experience a stress response.

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The Dangers Of Excess Cortisol

Before we look at how to lower cortisol, lets take a look at why too much of it is so hazardous to your health and mental well-being.

When you face a potential threat or danger, your bodys stress response, often called the fight-or-flight response, is triggered.

First, the stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine are released in a quick burst.

They quickly dissipate after the stressful situation is over and dont hang around to do any damage.

That is followed by the release of cortisol.

” High levels of cortisol can kill brain cells by literally stimulating them to death.

When your life is one crisis after another, your body continuously pours out cortisol.

This leads to a chronically elevated cortisol level, and this has some serious health implications.

Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs also act as prebiotics.

Lastly, be sure to drink plenty of water and other liquids.

Being dehydrated is a physical stressor that increases cortisol.

Start the Day Right

If you grab coffee and a donut for breakfast, youre setting yourself up for higher cortisol levels for the rest of the day.

Sugar triggers a boost of stress hormones that can last up to five hours.

And it can take anywhere from five to ten hours to metabolize half the caffeine you consume.

Regular caffeine consumption can more than double your blood cortisol level.

Try Tea

If you get your caffeine from coffee, soda, or energy drinks, you may want to switch to tea.

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