Cortisol is known to be the stress hormone that is secreted by your adrenal gland. It aids in assisting your body to handle stressful and tasking situations because the brain triggers the release of the hormone to respond to the various kinds of stress. However, the excess secretion of the cortisol hormone is bad for health and can cause severe damages. As time goes on, the excess secretion of cortisol can cause gaining of weight, bad mood, high blood pressure, and even disrupt the sleep of individuals. It also reduces your level of energy and aids in the development of diabetes.
What happens when cortisol is high?
Research has shown that the excess secretion of cortisol can cause damages to the health of individuals. The damages which are caused by the excess secretion of cortisol include:
- Weight gain: This is a common effect caused by the excess secretion of cortisol. Most individuals might not be aware that the reason behind their excess gaining of weight is the excess secretion of cortisol which occurs as a result of stress.
- Chronic complications: The excess secretion of cortisol can cause the development of certain severe complications like high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and even type 2 diabetes.
- Tiredness: This is another well-known issue that is accompanied by the excess secretion of cortisol.
There are however some ways to reduce the level of cortisol released in your body. These methods include:
Getting the Right Amount of Sleep
The benefit of sleeping in reducing your level of cortisol cannot be overemphasized. Research has shown that getting an adequate amount of sleep aids immensely in reducing the level of cortisol which is produced by your adrenal gland. Other studies have shown that lack of sleep caused an increase in the secretion of cortisol in the human body. Insomnia is also a condition that causes the excess secretion of cortisol for up to twenty-four hours. As a nighttime worker, you cannot control the moment at which you sleep, but few things can be done to reduce the excess secretion of cortisol by your adrenal gland. They include:
- Exercise: The importance of exercise cannot be underrated. Exercise helps in relieving you of stress and anxiety. Ensure that you are active during your work hours while you maintain a constant bedtime.
- No caffeine: Avoid the intake of caffeine most especially at night or in the evening.
- Limit your exposure to bright light: This is a very important factor that ought not to be neglected. You must limit the amount of bright light you are exposed to every day.
Exercise but not too much
It is important to exercise to reduce your cortisol levels, but you must also be mindful when exercising because too much exercise can cause excess secretion of cortisol. Exercising also aids in reducing the amount of cortisol that you produce during the night time.
Learn to Relax
This is a very important factor that aids in reducing the level of cortisol which is secreted from the adrenal gland. Stress is the major factor that causes the excess secretion of cortisol. So by relaxing and taking a break off your regular activities, your cortisol level is bound to reduce. A method in which you can relax your body is by playing music and also taking deep breaths. Research has shown that individuals who take in deep breaths and play music regularly tend to ease off stress and even anxiety.
Another superb way of reducing the secretion of cortisol in your body is by having fun. This is a stress-free and easy tip to reduce the level of cortisol in your body. The most effective method of reducing your cortisol levels is by being happy. Research has shown that the performance of activities that make one happy tends to reduce the level of cortisol in the human body.
Maintain Healthy Relationships
The importance of healthy relationships cannot be overemphasized. Healthy relationships aids in reducing stress, worry, sadness, and anxiety all of which are causes for the increase in your cortisol levels. Research has shown that relationships that are not healthy and peaceful tend to result in depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety is a factor which aids in the excess secretion of cortisol.
Cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone that is secreted by the adrenal gland. This hormone is not harmful unless it is secreted in excess amounts. There are however methods that can be taken to reduce the secretion of this hormone. These methods include maintaining healthy relationships, exercising, having fun, and many more.