Feeling Stressed Out? It Could Be Your Cortisol Levels (Here's How to Fix It!)

Have you ever dragged yourself out of bed, pressed the snooze button far too frequently, and felt tired all day? Even when you receive a full night's sleep, you still can't seem to wake up feeling awake.  You then think coffee will become your best buddy as a short-term solution to your fatigue. But what if a second cup of coffee isn't the solution to your lack of energy?

Cortisol, your body's stress hormone, can negatively impact your emotions, health, and energy levels without you realizing it. However, it is possible to regain control over your cortisol levels, which can lead to improvements in your overall well-being. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how cortisol affects your daily life and how you can manage it to maintain your life's balance.

So let's get started.

Cortisol level manage

Understanding Cortisol and How it Affects Your Body?

Many of us are familiar with feeling tired even after getting enough sleep. Turning to coffee for a quick energy boost may not solve the underlying issue, which could be high cortisol levels, the body's stress hormone.

Cortisol is an essential hormone secreted during stress. It provides a surge of energy to help you confront and handle challenging situations. It serves as a built-in mechanism for your body to respond to potential threats, commonly called the "fight or flight" response. 

Yet, in our modern society characterized by constant demands and pressures, prolonged exposure to stress can consistently elevate cortisol levels. This ongoing state of heightened cortisol can disturb the body's normal functions, causing disruptions in energy levels, sleep patterns, and overall health and wellness.

Lets have a look at the signs of imbalanced cortisol levels.

Signs and symptoms of unbalanced cortisol

Here are the following signs that indicate your cortisol levels might be high:

  • Waking up between 3am-4am everyday
  • Constant fatigue
  • Weight gain around the face and belly
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Weakened immune system
  • Struggle to focus
  • Skin breakouts
  • Cravings especially for sugar and salt
  • Feeling irritated
  • Severe fatigue
If you notice specific symptoms, it may indicate that your body is producing excess cortisol. There is currently a lot of exaggerated fear around cortisol on social media for attention-grabbing headlines. However, there is no need to worry, as I have personally experienced and researched ways to manage cortisol levels in the body.

Taking Back Control: How To Manage Cortisol Levels

Now you know why you cannot lose weight from your face or get sick every month, let's dive in to learn about certain steps to prevent this and live a healthy life.

Here is a list of strategies you must follow when it comes to balancing your stress hormone level:

1. Handle Stress: The number one thing you need to do is manage your stress levels. Engage in relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.

2. Make Sleep a Priority: Try to get 7-8 hours of good sleep every night. Establish a regular sleep pattern and develop a calming nighttime ritual.

3. Give Your Body the Proper Fuel: Consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and balance. Restrict your intake of sugar, processed meals, and bad fats.

4. Exercise Frequently: Engaging in physical activity enhances general wellbeing and aids with stress management. Whether it's dancing, team sports, or vigorous walking, choose something you want to do.

5. Spend Time in Nature: Take in the soothing influence of the natural world. Go hiking, stroll through a park, or just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air.

6. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Often resorting to these two to manage your stress levels? Well, they can both cause sleep disturbances, exacerbate anxiety, and raise cortisol levels even more.

7. Embrace your Loved Ones: Strong social ties can mitigate the negative consequences of stress and offer emotional support.

The Bottom Line

I hope now you have a clear picture of why and how things affect your body. Cortisol balancing is a process rather than a final goal. By implementing these techniques regularly, you can establish a habit that will help you reduce stress, increase your energy, and lead a better, more fulfilling life. 

See a healthcare provider for individualized advice if your cortisol levels are abnormally high.

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