How to Lower Cortisol Levels Reduce Stress Hormone and Improve Quality of Life

by katiem2

Cortisol is a steroid hormone regulating metabolism, the immune system and aids the body in dealing with stress, high levels of stress create to much cortisol resulting in disease.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone made in the cortex of the adrenal glands where it is released into the blood stream launching it throughout the body. Do you experience frequent and consistent stress in your life? High levels of stress condition the body to produce high levels of cortisol and too much of anything is bad. It is true that nature designed cortisol to protect our bodies and is therefore known as the stress hormone. The problem being excess which upsets the delicate balance causing dangerous conditions such as; obesity, depression, muscles loss and weakness, heart disease and the list goes on.

Stress Cortisol

How Cortisol Works

What Cortisol Does

A multitude of cells in our bodies contain receptors for cortisol, it is for this reason cortisol impacts a large portion of bodily functions depending on the cells involved.

What Cortisol Controls in Our Bodies

  • Development of a fetus
  • Triggers birth in humans and other living species
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Metabolism
  • Balance of sodium and water
  • Memory and brain health
  • Blood pressure

How Cortisol is Produced

Levels of cortisol vary greatly throughout a 24 hour period, levels highest in the morning and lower as day turns to night. This cycle is known as the diurnal rhythm.

The DR cycle adapts to people working the night shift proving it fluctuates with activity.

Our bodies experience an intense reaction to stress causing a flood of cortisol to aid the body accordingly.

The bodies cortisol control panel lives in the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (in the brain) and adrenal gland otherwise known as the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis.

Anytime cortisol levels fall a group of cells in the hypothalamus release corticotrophin releasing hormone, this signals the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone into the blood stream.  The adrenal gland detects these high levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone triggering the adrenal to secrete cortisol into the blood stream elevating the once low levels.

How Cortisol Production Cycles Loop

What Triggers High Levels of Cortisol

The Production Cycle of Cortisol

  • Once cortisol levels have risen corticotrophin releasing hormone is blocked in the hypothalamus.
  • This then triggers a drop in the adrenocorticotropic hormone levels of the pituitary.
  • The decline of adrenocorticotropic hormone triggers a drop in cortisol levels, this is referred to as a negative feedback loop.

This cortisol production cycle begins with stress which triggers the delicate process producing cortisol, it is not intended to be habitual and yet our life styles create a vicious cycle.

The Dangers of High Cortisol Levels

Why It is Important to Lower Cortisol Levels

Dangerous Cortisol Levels

Cortisol aids the fight or flight response providing the body with energy needed to cope in dangerous or intense situations.

In addition to providing an increase in energy, cortisol also increases blood pressure, raises blood sugar and lessens insulin sensitivity, while narrowing arteries. 

It's reasonable to think the effects are hard on the body and not meant to occur frequently.

Stress Can Kill

Cortisol becomes dangerous when stress is a routine part of everyday life.

Anytime you become chronically stressed inflammation causes arterial damage from the constant restriction and release of arteries. this can lead to a heart attack. 

Make eliminating stress from your life a priority and work to add anti stress related activities. 

Reducing stress helps more than just reducing cortisol levels, it improves your overall quality of life. 

Why It is Important to Lower Cortisol Levels

The Dangers of High Cortisol Levels

Why It is Important to Lower Cortisol Levels

The proper function of cortisol is life saving in rare instances such as pulling a child from a burning building or reacting to a near miss collision during grid lock, but is not something you want happening all the time.

We must do anything and everything to avoid stress or deal with it in a healthier manner.

The Dangers of High Cortisol Levels

  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • insomnia
  • Metabolic Dysfunction
  • Poor Immune System
  • Weight Gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT CORTISOL AND YOUR HEALTH

How to Reduce High Cortisol Levels

The Best Way to Lower Cortisol Levels

The best way to lower cortisol levels is to harness needless stress eliminating it from your life, and yes it can be done. Start by adopting new habits to make the change and lower cortisol.

My Favorite Way to Lower Cortisol

Grounding and Earthing Heal and Lower Cortisol

Whenever your temper flares, your mind worries or life throws an abundance of negativity and demands your way, just walk away. This is a habit that can change your life and is called grounding and or earthing.

What is Grounding and How to Ground

Take your shoes and socks off, walk outside or buy and use a grounding device.

This reverses the stress overdrive storm all while increasing heart rate or HRV heart rate variability. 

HRV provides a good measurement of the hearts flexible heart rhythm.  

Stressful situations produce lots of cortisol lowering your hearts flexibility, this increases risk of heart attack.

Flip side, when your hearts flexibility is high cortisol levels drop in a good way. 

Think of it as having a flexible and more durable body verses having the opposite, you get the picture.  Low and healthy levels of cortisol are good for the heart.

How Grounding Reduces Cortisol Levels

How the Earths Electromagnetic Field Calms the Nervous System

The Earths Electromagnetic Field Calms the Nervous System

Walking with bare feet on the earth or ground, sea side sand or unpainted concrete, brick or stone directly on the grounds surface allows a flow of the earths natural electromagnetic field to travel your body calming the nervous system. Grounding should be done 20 minutes a day for optimal benefits.

Take advantage of longer periods of grounding by sleeping on conductive sheets anytime possible.

Grounding and or earthing by using a conductive device all night has been proven to lower cortisol, plus it improves quality of sleep.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Lowers Cortisol

Eat to Lowers Cortisol

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 

Take into consideration how cortisol raises blood sugar in preparation for fight or flight mode when this is combined with sugar in your diet blood sugar rises which in time leads to weight gain and diabetes.

Living with a healthy anti-inflammatory diet helps to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is a prime example of a new habit that defeats the battle of high cortisol levels. 

A good anti-inflammatory diet follows a low glycemic, fresh vegetables, healthy fats and good proteins diet plan.

The two books to your right are good examples of beneficial anti-inflammatory diets.  Inflammation has been proven to be a major contributor to a large majority (if not all) disease and illness.

Maintaining the Delicate Balance of Cortisol

Maintaining the Delicate Balance of Cortisol

By now the delicate balance providing cortisol to the body with its intricate and complex processes is clear.

Recently, we have heard much concern regarding high levels of cortisol and its negative impact.

Prolonged and high levels of cortisol cause a condition known as Cushing's Syndrome.

 

The Causes of Cushing's Syndrome

Medication and a tumor of the adrenal gland causes high levels of cortisol.

The Symptoms

  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Flushed Face
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bruising and Purple Marks
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Lack of Desire
  • Irregular Menstruation

The Healing Power of Earthing and Grounding

How The Earth Heals and Relieves Stress

I count myself lucky to have been raised by hippies.  My mother, a free spirited flower child, found life, joy and peace in the earth.  To this day, while I embrace technology and the modern comforts a good life affords, I understand its impact. In fact, I believe in the tremendous need to disconnect on a daily basis by connecting to the earth. 

Let Everything OUT!

Some of us are sensitive, aware of the energy others transmit.   

Sadly, only a small portion of our society acknowledges this delicate energy field within all of us, how others and the world deplete ours and deposit theirs onto us. 

It's as if receiving much needed blood that is not your blood type, something must be done.

It is extremely vital to our health and happiness that we rid ourselves of the energy, stress and baggage we do not need and is of no use to anyone.

The on slot of such stress blocks us from our natural gifts and talents, it prevents us from letting everything within us out. 

The things within us that create amazing stuff when not hampered by negativity.

The good things we must put out into the world, in order to accomplish what we want, are halted by this stress and the very reason you should eliminate it, try grounding and be amazed by what you can do. 

We must rid ourselves of this blockade of destruction for the sake of our health and happiness. 

These precious time capsules embed themselves in the ground beneath, the earths magnetic field grounds me freeing me from the negative energy and stress of the world above.

brick
brick
Katie L McMurray

My brick driveway connects me to the earths magnetic field, I enjoy walking barefoot along my driveway to the mail box, summer, spring, winter and fall.

Brick Driveway
Brick Driveway
Katie L McMurray

Me grounding on the patio just outside the side door of my garage. The bricks you see here all have significant value as each were preserved from historical sites around the country.

The energy I experience from the brick is both healing and telling of those who stood before me. The strength of each heals and empowers me. The bricks lay directly on what was once part of my lawn. I laid them on the earths surface and they took root.
Barefoot Grounding
Barefoot Grounding
Katie L McMurray

Grounding and Earthing

Grass, Leaves and Dirt Beneath Bare Our Feet is Good Medicine.
Katie's Yard
Katie's Yard
Katie L McMurray
Updated: 11/04/2018, katiem2
 
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Discussing How to Eliminate Stress

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DerdriuMarriner on 03/02/2019

katiem2, This article is so proactive about de-stressing and doing things that advance the world's natural beauty. I love your comment from Nov. 11th about all you do to rescue treasures about to be trashed and about the backstory behind your brick driveway photo.

katiem2 on 11/14/2018

frankbeswick, Great plan, we should do what we love and when we do what we love all is right with the world we live in and, as you mentioned, stress free.

frankbeswick on 11/10/2018

Thanks. I am ahead with the examination work and I am having no complaints from my boss, but I am thinking that after thirty seven and a half years of doing this job this session will be my last. I want to spend more time writing and gardening, and of course, now, participating in horticultural shows, which I love. That will be one source of stress removed from my life.

katiem2 on 11/10/2018

frankbeswick, That makes sense, may your examination task breeze by with ease.

frankbeswick on 11/10/2018

I garden in footwear. That is my RHS [Royal Horticultural Society] training! When I took my practical examination the examiners checked our footwear to ascertain that it was safe.

Today I have examination marking to do, but I spent some time gardening first. And I feel less stressed by the examination task ahead of me.

katiem2 on 11/10/2018

frankbeswick, That is very interesting while gardening is very relaxing it is physically taxing, you must be earthing and grounding. I garden barefoot. I get teased about being barefoot out of doors from neighbors and the like, it seems a large majority of folks never do so. I can only imagine how delicate their feet must be. You make a good point, being outside working with the earth is a great way to ground oneself and calm the nervous system, the wiring to our hearts.

frankbeswick on 11/09/2018

Thanks for your thoughts on adrenal burn out. When my heart has a spell of running too fast, which happens occasionally, I sit back and breathe deeply. Interestingly, this problem never happens when I am gardening.

katiem2 on 11/09/2018

frankbeswick, I feel so good about recycling, I always think about planet earth and the many ways to avoid contributing to landfills. It amazes me the things I have salvaged by keeping a frugal eye out in my daily activities. My friends tease me about begin Scottish, mentioning we are so tight we won't spend a buck. I say, " I am proud of my frugal intellect.

My mostly Irish Mum (who died far younger than dreamed) was a pagan and worshiped the earth. She was wildly earthy and very in tune with all things of mother nature. I get it from her, I feel I must rescue these precious natural resources, I feel connected to such useful treasures and a steward to the preservation.

It does sound as though you have adrenal burnout, which does become taxing on ones heart. Your heart is responding to the production of stress hormone, which sounds like you are wise to avoid stress as much as possible or all together.

My mother was the most carefree and blissful human being I have ever had the pleasure to know. In regard to anything negative or something others would find stressful, she would say "Welllllllllll" Yes a long drawn out well and on with the beauty of the day. I waited for the day she would lose this carefree personality and yet it never came, she was a marvel, she was happy and smiling till she took her last breath. She was a great example and by learning from her I too have a live and let live mindset.

With the live and let live mindset we must accept others are vastly different, everyone is born with a varying degree of discernment and beliefs and those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still, so why bother doing anything but acknowledge the reality of things and people as they come and go.

Calming your mind does alter your physiology and to that end I would adopt as many mindful habits as possible in order to relieve your stress receptors. As a man thinks so shall he be. I like that, it serves a good purpose in its meaning.

Try free hypnosis on youtube, there are many great choices, and not going to do more than relax your mind. Chose topics you want to adopt or change, give it a go and see what occurs. Earthing is a very powerful way to heal and cure our bodies and minds of glitches that cause issues. I have notice more women go barefoot than do men. Is this true or is my experience slanted?

Oh and tree hugging, there is much more to that other than a love for nature and protecting it, trees are powerful.

frankbeswick on 11/08/2018

About ten years ago my doctor told me that my body had overdosed on its own adrenaline,which seems to be what you are talking about in your article. I manage the problem by avoiding stress, but one of the problems with which I have been left is that, given any stressful situation, my heart runs too fast. This is something that I must manage by rest and avoiding stressful situations. Fortunately, I am now retired.

frankbeswick on 11/08/2018

Katie, your recycling is wonderful!

I did try to recycle brick to use in paths, but was thwarted by the council's tidying programme,which scrapped so much in my area..I have recycled much wood; and I recycle tyres as planters.


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