Laughing And Having Fun
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.
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
Can Stress Be Positive
Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.
Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4
Also Check: How To Fix Hair Loss Due To Stress
Procrastination As A Mental Health Symptom
The source of procrastination sometimes runs a little deeper than a difficulty regulating emotions.
If you live with anxiety, for example, you might spend a lot of time worrying about what specific tasks involve or feeling nervous about what could go wrong. These kinds of fears can absolutely lead to delay.
The link between anxiety conditions and perfectionism can also play a part in procrastination. When you dont believe you can do something perfectly, you might feel anxious about doing it at all and continually put it off instead.
Depression, which often wears away at energy and self-worth, can also involve procrastination. You might neglect certain responsibilities because you cant muster up the motivation to complete them, or because you doubt yourself and your skills.
Procrastination can also result from
Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
Recommended Reading: How To Manage Anger And Stress
Causes Of High Cortisol Levels
Wondering what underlying conditions could be contributing to your high cortisol levels? Cortisol tends to go up as perceived stress goes up, so anything that triggers a negative mind states things like anxiety, worry, anger or frustration contributes to high cortisol levels. Medication use, inflammation, poor sleep and a poor diet can also trigger high cortisol levels by altering hormonal balances and negatively affecting the immune system.
Corticosteroid medications like hydrocortisone, prednisone pills or other medications used to treat inflammatory-related diseases or symptoms are common causes of high cortisol levels. Aside from corticosteroids, other major factors contributing to higher than usual cortisol production include:
- recent surgery, illness, injury or whole-body infections
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
Read Also: How To Reduce Stress And Headache
Ways To Control Anxiety Naturally
Ayurvedic Methods to Control Anxiety
Ayurveda helps in curing anxiety through natural treatment herbal medicine. Various ayurvedic herbs are available to reduce the level of anxiety with ease.
- Put some Basil leaves juice in the nostrils. It is the best ayurvedic treatment for anxiety.
- There are various ayurvedic herb juices like Shankhpushpi or Brahmi that can help reduce stress.
- Ashwagandha also seems to be very beneficial for stress effectively.
- Drink orange juice with honey for anxiety as well as to control the heart beat.
- Take almonds and grind them then mix with Milk, Saffron, and Ginger juice. This is very calming and can be chilled or heated.
- Massage to the body which reduces anxiety.
- Take a bath with Ginger and Baking soda to cleanse toxins from your skin and help control anxiety.
Home Remedies for Anxiety Disorders:
Following are some important herbal remedies which control the anxiety properly:
- Do regular exercise.
- Do massage to the body.
Using Diet to Control Anxiety Naturally:
Diet plays an important role in controlling the anxiety, panic disorders, phobia and other forms of anxiety disorders.
A balanced diet including food rich in vitamin B-Complex is the best choice for easing anxiety attacks. Prevention is also very necessary in order to control anxiety.
Understanding Anxiety And Insomnia
Whats behind the more stress, less sleep connection? If youre frequently triggering your stress response, your body never gets back to its baseline, says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M.
Stress and sleepless nights are closely linked, Buenaver says. If youre in pain, tend to worry, or are coping with a difficult situation in your life, you may have more stress hormones than usual circulating in your body. A poor nights sleep adds even more. And those hormones may never be fully broken down. Its like running an engine in fifth gear all the time.
You May Like: Can Stress Cause An Eczema Flare Up
Spend Time With Friends And Family
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.
Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
Read Also: How To Stop Stress Sweat
Bottom Line: Stress Doesnt Have To Win
Its my hope that as moms we can beat the stress monster and create a safe space within the walls of our homes where there is enough time and we are enough.
Im not sure I achieve this every day so if there are ways youre making this happen in your home, please share with our Wellness Mama community and help all moms know theyre not alone!
This article was medically reviewed by Amy Shah, MD, Medical Advisor to Genexa through partnership with the Wellness Mama Team. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Do any of these stress busters work for you? What are three ways that youve found help reduce stress levels in your life? Share below!
How To Lower Cortisol Levels Naturally 6 Steps
You can greatly help manage cortisol levels and regain your health by changing your diet, exercise routine, sleep and stress levels. Assuming you havent been diagnosed with Cushings disease by your doctor, here are steps you can take to help lower high cortisol levels naturally:
1. Switch to a Whole Foods, Anti-inflammatory Diet
Poorly managed blood sugar levels and high levels of inflammation can contribute to high cortisol levels and other hormonal imbalances. Following an anti-inflammatory diet low in processed foods and high in antioxidants, fiber and essential nutrients is key to balancing hormones, controlling your cravings and getting you on the right track. These same strategies can also help with adrenal support, allowing you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, boosting energy during the day and helping you sleep better at night.
Some of the most significant dietary contributors to inflammation and high cortisol levels include:
- high-sugar, high-glycemic diet
- consuming high amounts of refined and trans fats
- drinking too much caffeine and alcohol
- experiencing insufficient intake of micronutrients and antioxidants
- not consuming enough fiber
- not consuming enough healthy fats or protein
2. Reduce and Manage Stress
Fortunately, stress management is something you can begin without too much trouble. The natural stress relievers listed below are proven to help lower cortisol and decrease the negative impact stress has on your health:
3. Exercise Regularly
Read Also: Is Stress Bad For Pregnancy
Simple + Quick Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally
Effective stress management strategies should help you to naturally and quickly:
- Calm your mind,
- Refocus and be more present,
- Be aware of your thoughts and feelings,
- Gain control of your emotions , and
- Stay positive in the face of challenging and stressful circumstances.
This is what enables you to take back control. Luckily, the natural stress management strategies below all help with one or more of these areas.
Here are 20 easy and effective ways to reduce stress naturally, bounce back quickly and keep stress levels low:
Natural Medicine Is Still Medicine
The most important thing to understand is that the most “natural” way to treat anxiety is without any type of medicine at all. Many people turn to herbal supplements, for example, because these supplements are not made from synthetic products, but medicine is still medicine, herbal or not. The safest possible way to cure anxiety – and the most natural way to treat anxiety – is with some type of therapy or exercise that does not involve any type of herbal or medicinal treatment in any way.
Keep that in mind as you consider alternative options to prescription anxiety medications. While an herb or mineral may improve your anxiety, they still affect your body and are not truly as natural as learning new coping mechanisms and ways to control stress.
ALSO NOTE: Many natural treatments still have compounds that interact with other medications you may be taking. That is why it is always important to talk to your doctor before taking any medication, natural or manmade. Herbal supplement companies are not required to state the risks on their products, but that doesnt mean theyre 100% safe. Your doctor should give approval.
Read Also: Why Do I Binge Eat When Stressed
Spend Some Time In Nature
As previously reported by Health, spending time in nature has a profound effect on our stress levels. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, even spending just 20 minutes in a park does wonders for our well-being. According to research psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Joy of Movement, incorporating a little nature every day is beneficial to managing your stress levels. Depending on how youre social distancing, getting to a park every day may not be easy, but even a short daily walk outside would suffice and help you clear your head.
Dark Chocolate Offers An Antioxidant
Dark chocolate in the diet can reduce stress in two ways via its chemical impact and its emotional impact. Chocolate feels like such an indulgence that it can be a real treat to simply savor a piece of it, and that feeling alone can help to reduce stress, says Meyerowitz.
Dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, may also help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body, according to a study that followed participants who ate about 1.5 ounces per day for two weeks. But be sure to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation, advises Meyerowitz. That means you should aim to eat only one-fourth of a small dark chocolate bar . Also, make sure the bar doesnt contain an unnecessary surplus of added sugar, says Figueroa.
Its also important to choose high-quality dark chocolate, she says. You may have heard about the bean-to-bar movement, which focuses on high-quality ingredients and in-house responsibility for every aspect of the chocolate making process. This farm-to-table approach ensures the bar is packed with pure components and no hidden additives or chemicals. Look on the label for two or three ingredients only, such as cacao beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter.
You May Like: How To Deal With Chronic Stress And Anxiety
Its Time To Commit To Yourself
Stress and anxiety doesnt have to be in control of you and its definitely not the norm. That doesnt mean that youll never feel stressed. On the contrary, life is messy and stressful things happen.
But you CAN manage stress and anxiety, be more resilient to stress and even prevent much of it.
Take back control of your life by implementing the above practices so that you can naturally relieve and prevent stress. And be sure that youre consistent with your practices !
And if youre serious about decreasing your stress levels, dont forget to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions for proven mindset and stress management strategies that will decrease stress, increase resilience and help you take control of your thoughts .
Grab your FREE copy here here:
Ways To Relieve Stress Naturally
As a doctor, I get a lot of health questions both in my practice and in my email inbox. Today, I found one that I felt was particularly compelling, which Id like to share with you.
Hi, Dr. Manny, can you please tell me some natural remedies for stress? Shideh
Winter and the accompanying bad weather can be a stressful time for anybody, especially in today’s day and age, with all the problems Americans are facing in this difficult economy. More and more people are suffering from negative stress. Negative stress takes a toll on our daily lives and our health and can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, among other problems, so I feel this question is very appropriate.
Rest assured, there are many things you can do before you run out to get a pill. Heres a list of some of the most effective natural stress reducers.
While passionflower has long been considered a folk remedy for anxiety and insomnia, a few studies have shown that the herb may actually be comparable in effectiveness to benzodiazepine drugs, which are used to treat stress. Though not proven, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain. This lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
5. Organize your life
6. Eat healthy
7. Limit Internet and cellphone use
8. B Vitamins
Also Check: How To Calm Your Stress Down
Practice Mental Health Every Morning
So you have a skincare routine, a wake-up ritual , and maybe even a coffee schedule . So why not also include some mental health in your morning routine? Studies show that meditating in the morning , has dramatic effects on the brain throughout the day including boosting self control, improving productivity, and decreasing stress or anxiety.
If meditation is not your style, you can also go for a walk in nature, journal morning pages, or pick a daily mantra. Not only will adding mental health to your morning routine change your brain for the rest of the day, but your long-term cortisol levels will drop, too.
Tense And Relax Your Muscles
One of Dr. Saltzs favorite de-stressing techniques actually involve tensing your muscles, holding them in that tense position for 5 to 10 seconds and then releasing, creating a near instant feeling of relaxation. This practice reduces stress through the mind-body connectionwhen we’re feeling very stressed, we tense up our bodies, says Dr. Saltz. And when we tense up our bodies, it reinforces the message to your mind to be stressed. It’s a signal of physiological arousal. Doing what you can to relax your body helps relax your mind.
Also Check: How To Deal With Mental Stress