10 Simple Ways To Fight Stress And Reduce Cortisol

  1. Practice meditation and deep breathing

Sometimes you may not notice stress levels accumulating within you. And then other times you can sense it in the form of a sudden panic attack. In either situation, the most common physiological reaction is to start taking quick and shallow breaths, which is completely counterproductive. The next time you are faced with a stressful situation accompanied by that terrible feeling, remind yourself to breathe in deeply and slowly for one full minute.

What this does is that it increases the supply of oxygen to your body and to the brain, which results in a feeling of calmness that will, in the end, allow you to take control of your emotions. Taking deep breaths can be so effective that once you try it, you will be amazed at how you didn’t think of doing it before. Numerous studies have shown that the majority of people take shallow breaths and they aren’t even aware of it. You shouldn’t be one of those people. This simple fix can make a tremendous impact on your quality of life.

  1. Take a short walk

Exercising is a great method for alleviating stress. But you’ve probably heard that a thousand times before. That doesn’t mean that exercising should consist of hard and heavy lifting in the gym so that you can clear up the brain fog. A lot of times a brisk walk in the park will do just fine.

Even so much as ten minutes can work wonders for combating stress and will often time be enough for the majority of people to feel more calm and relaxed once they return to their house or to their workplace. It is recommended that if you are working in front of a computer, you should take 15-minute breaks after every 3 hours of work. You can even pose as a healthy primer to your coworkers who can also find out the benefits of taking short walks.

  1. Eat more dark chocolate

Decreasing sugar consumption is much harder for some people than it is to others. The best strategy for those who have a hard time imagining life without sweets and chocolate is to know which type of chocolate to eat and when. Ordinary chocolate offers a great many benefits and is an excellent tool in your fight against stress, but some types are better than others.

The best type is dark chocolate. It has a number of various different compounds in it that trigger the release of endorphins in your body, but they are found in the cocoa part, not in the milky part or sugary part or the other additives. When buying chocolate go for the kind that has the biggest cocoa percentage.

  1. Drink more tea

You’ve probably seen lots of pictures of stressed-out people on the Internet. Chances are that many of them would have a cup of coffee placed right beside them while holding their head in desperation about the paperwork that awaits them. Well, that’s the picture we usually see when browsing through stress-related fitness articles. This would lead many people to believe that drinking coffee is essential to getting through another excruciating day and in most of the cases it is.

However, coffee has also been proven to increase the levels of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol and increase production of adrenaline, the hormone known for inducing the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. If you keep doing that for months or years on end it will slowly start to fatigue the adrenal glands, which will eventually lead to mood swings, general fatigue, and anxiety issues. Simply put, coffee is a double-edged sword which can lead to more problems, stressful episodes and feel less energized.

Green and black teas balance the content of caffeine with an amino acid called theanine. It is a very useful compound everyone should get acquainted with. For decades it has been popular for its characteristic of decreasing mental and physical stress, improve your mood and increase cognitive performance as well as increase the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and GABA. While various types of tea almost always have less caffeine than your average coffee, they were also proven in studies to reduce cortisol levels a lot more than a placebo. So, feel free to drink them whenever you feel like it.

  1. Find yourself a hobby

When you will the weight of obligations on your shoulders becomes too hard to manage, you think of nothing else than to get rid of it as fast as possible, thinking that doing that is the only way to be happy again. While that is true in some cases, it is much more bearable to have different aspects of your life that pertain to satisfying your desires only and where pleasure is the only goal. Those are the areas where you seem to be in a “flow” state and you needn’t worry about outside interferences.

That’s why you should engage in activities that should have your full attention and you shouldn’t have any sense of urgency while doing them, only relaxation and pleasure. We are talking about taking up hobbies, of course. And while your hobby might entail socializing, it is not a necessary component, even though it’s been repeatedly shown to increase happiness and overall wellbeing. But it doesn’t have to involve socializing to be good. As we said, its only goal is to get you rid of your worries and make you happy.

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