by Jessica Sanders

Cortisol Levels High? Time for Natural Stress Relief

There are so many factors that could lead to high cortisol levels, aka excessive or chronic stress. While a hectic schedule and lack of sleep are integral to your stress levels, so are internal factors such as processed foods and your overall mental health.

Natural stress reliefIf your cortisol levels are remaining high for extensive periods of time,  then this could lead to:

  • A depressed immune system
  • Heart problems
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Blood sugar issues

Instead of pushing the stress aside, and suffering the inevitable consequences, consider the natural way to heal from the inside out.

Internal vs. External Stress Factors

Stress doesn’t just come from inside. Though you may not realize it, your high cortisol levels are likely caused by a mix of both internal and external factors. But, to pinpoint and correct your stress, you first need to understand the difference between internal and external stressors.

  • External Stress: Your job, dangerous commercial drugs we ingest, poor working conditions, tough situations, hard decisions to make, and pollution.
  • Internal Stress: Your health and nutrition, emotional struggles, and sleep.

Time for Some Natural Happiness

Stress is rarely viewed as a physical problem; it’s often referred to as a mental state that we deal with and push through until the next sunny day. However, high cortisol levels are wreaking havoc on your body, not just your mind.

Experts at suggest, “Our brain notices a stressor, a physical reaction is triggered, and the reaction can lead to further emotional reactions and mental and physical damage.” Whether your stress is causing headaches, poor work performance, or heart problems, consider how you can handle both internal and external stressors for a healthier you.

Improving External Stresses:

  • Listen to your body: Your body is the most important natural de-stressor; If you can recognize when stress coming on, you can better combat it. Not only will this allow you to ease the stress but get rid of or improve the actual event/person/thing that is causing it.
  • Take a time out: It seems simple enough, but too many forget to do it. If you’re feeling stressed, take an hour out of

    the day for you. Whether you go to the gym, take a walk, or simply sit back and close your eyes. This moves you away from the stress and into a more positive and relaxed mental space, allowing you to better manage the stressors.

  • Natural supplements: If you’re taking Ibuprofen every day to manage your stress headaches, you are merely contributing to the problem. Commercial drugs are toxic to your body, and aid in the stress you are suffering from. Ibuprofen, and other commercial drugs, can lead to kidney damage, high blood pressure, and ulcers. Physical and mental stress goes hand in hand.

Improving Internal Stresses: 

  • Eat better: Eating processed foods has a major impact on your stress levels. These are often filled with refined sugars, which cause your body to rise and crash suddenly. While physically, this is bad for your insulin levels, it also makes you irritable and unable to concentrate. Focus on eating whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. These are filled with vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium – all of which are necessary for a healthy and stress free life.
  • Meditate: Different from “taking a time out,” as seen above, meditation should be a regular part of your routine. This is a simple way to improve your mental state all day long; a quick 10 minute meditative session will counteract your stress levels almost immediately. The key is push any other thoughts out of your mind as they come into view. Focus on your breathing, and nothing else.
  • Get more sleep: Insomnia affects more than 70 million people, and many of these people go undiagnosed. However, mental exhaustion is a huge factor in your stress; you are more irritable, less focused and at risk for congestive heart disorder. If you’re having trouble sleeping naturally, consider natural sleep aids such as: melatonin, fish for dinner (the tryptophan should make sleep come easier), or lemon balm tea.

Whether it’s caused by work, a poor diet or lack of sleep, living your life with high cortisol levels is dangerous to your health. Stress wreaks havoc on your body; potentially causing blood sugar issues, heart problems, and a depressed immune system. However, managing that stress the natural way, starting by recognizing the stressors and then choosing the best stress-busting methods, will allow you to lead the healthier, less stressful life you once enjoyed.

Do you have a friend you are worried about and now sure how to help?  Share these stress techniques and help a stressed out friend with the social share buttons!

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