Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. It is made in the adrenal gland and is elevated when we experience heightened anxiety or stress. When we are relaxed, it is decreased. Chronic stress means chronically high cortisol. While cortisol is needed for the fight or flight response when we experience acute stress, chronically high cortisol levels are not healthy and can lead to increase adipose tissue, especially in the midsection, and decreased immune response. You can keep your cortisol levels in check by trying these tips to reduce stress.
- Meditation. A few minutes can reduce stress. New to meditation, try guided meditation where a narrator guides you through a few minutes of relaxation. There are literally hundreds for free online.
- Deep breathing. Take just a few minutes each day to take several deep breaths. This will help you center and be in the moment.
- Exercise. Walking is one of the best ways to reduce stress and cortisol levels.
- Sleep. Getting 7-9 hours a night helps keep cortisol levels in check.
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