Stress can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Here are few tips that will help your body get back to the normal stress hormone levels.
We live in a world where people compete with each other and struggle to make their dreams come true. Many others are concerned about their partners and children. In the process, many of us fail to look after our own mental and physical health. These kinds of situations contribute to a lot of unwanted stress and anxiety in our lives. However, not all of us are aware of the devastating effects stress can have on our body and mind.
When we are in stressful situations, our body releases cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol in the body can hurt us. It can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, reduce energy levels and even contribute to diabetes.
Hormonal imbalance is one such health condition that is caused due to excessive stress hormone or cortisol. "Americans are living life at 100 miles per hour, every day. It’s no wonder we have hormonal imbalances," said Dr. Jane Oh to Healthline.
According to Healthline, in a survey of 2000 American women, aged 30 to 60, almost half of the participants had experienced symptoms of hormonal imbalance. However, 72 percent were not aware that their symptoms were related to hormonal imbalance until they experienced it first hand. It is also surprising to know that most women are unaware that stress is a major contributing factor.
“When patients come to me for hormonal imbalance, the root cause is usually too much cortisol or stress hormone. Then [it’s a] downstream — every other hormone in our bodies is affected, including sex hormones and thyroid,” said Dr. Jane Oh to Healthline. Fortunately, changes to our lifestyle can lower our cortisol or stress hormone levels. Here are a few things you can do:
According to Medical News Today, people who want to control their cortisol level should pay attention to the food they intake. It is important for them to eat a healthy, balanced diet. They should also control the sugar intake. Foods such as bananas, pears, yogurt, green tea, and dark chocolate can help you lower the level of cortisol. Keep yourself hydrated with enough water. This can also contribute to bringing a balance to your stress hormone.
Getting proper sleep is also a great way to get your cortisol level in control. The time, length and quality of your sleep can influence the stress hormone. If you are an individual who works on late or rotating shifts, you are prone to suffering from hormonal imbalance and also other problems associated with cortisol increase. Cutting off caffeine at night and staying away from mobile phones can ensure efficient sleep. If you work for long hours, make sure you are taking enough naps. These steps can give you better sleep.
Physical activity is beneficial for better physical health and can also help improve moods. However, a person should not over exercise but should do work out in appropriate amounts. The right amount of workout for a person is dependant on factors such as their physical fitness and the amount of cortisol that may release during the workout says Medical News Today. A mild or moderate amount of exercise is recommended for people with higher levels of cortisol.
Quick and easy relaxation exercises have proven to bring down cortisol levels. Deep breathing exercises and yoga can bring down cortisol and help you manage stress. Massage therapy sessions were also found to have similar effects on individuals. Another great way to relax is to listen to some soothing music. This can also result in decreased levels of cortisol.
Your mood can directly be proportional to the people you surround yourself with. Stable and loving relationships with parents, friends, and family can have a positive effect on your stress level. Sometimes bad relationships are a major contributing factor for stress. According to Medical News Today, the cortisol level can rise after an argument with your partner. It also reported that a study found that children with happy families had lower cortisol levels than those who belonged to broken households.
A good animal companion is a great stress buster. It was found that an interaction with a therapy dog reduced distress and brought changes to cortisol levels in children. Non-pet owners were found to experience a great drop in their cortisol levels after they were given a furry companion. Therefore, getting yourself a playful pet can get you back in your mood.