It’s called stress. And I know that just saying that can make us feel even more stressed. So I will cut to the chase and offer some very potent things you can do on a daily basis to lower the amount of cortisol running through your system. Cortisol is one of the main stress hormones, liberated into the blood stream to prepare the body for fight or flight. But we don’t actually need to be in fight or flight all day long. Constant stressors and our reaction to those stressors, and our mind keeping stressors in our awareness all maintain high levels of cortisol flushing our body. This bath in stress hormones leads to many symptoms, like being wired and tired. And is the #1 cause of aging and hormone imbalance. There isn’t anything that I treat that is not in some way connected to the stress of living. See more in my notes below.
The good news is that you can do something about it. Actually, many things:
I share the following tips with you, most come directly from Dr. Sara Gottfreid, in her Podcast “7 Ways to Rock Cortisol”, and I have added my own flare.
7 TIP top Tips to minimize the effects of stress
#1 - Breathe
5 minutes of conscious breath practice per day will balance your sympathetic or fight or flight nervous system and lower cortisol levels.
Alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/yoga/nadi-shodhana-pranayama/
Simply take 5 minutes to sit in silence and take deep, even, conscious breaths.
#2 - Drink
Dr. Sara’s favorite cocktail for lowering stress hormones is:
Happy Hour for Healthy Bodies!!!
FYI: wine and alcohol increase cortisol in the blood
8 hugs per day keep the doctor away.
Long delicious heart to heart hugs. Hug a dog, cat, tree, person. But get 8 in per day. At least.
Not the quick sneeze kind of orgasm. But long and wonderful bath in orgasmic energy is the best medicine. Check out OMing: https://www.onetaste.us/what-is-om/
Sleep is the BEST medicine. Deep sleep is our regenerative time, when our body does all the repair it needs. The potent hours are between 10pm and Midnight, so don’t miss them. Check out my article on Sleep Hygeine: http://www.brilliantmedicine.co/questions/2018/11/9/why-am-i-tired-and-wired
One pound of vegetables per day
AND… Dark Chocolate = YES!
But watch out, sugar and gluten increase cortisol levels.
Get acupuncture! You knew I was going to say it. Acupuncture, regardless of what it is focused on, brings the body into a coherent state - meaning mind, heart and body come into resonance, organ systems harmonize, and the body heals. This is why it feels so relaxing and delicious.
There is no denying that it is challenging to live in this world at this time. What I say to my patients all the time is that we are round beings trying to fit into a square world. Literally. Time lines, traffic lanes, square calendars... cubicles. These are life sucking realities that we face everyday, yet wonder why we always feel a little ‘off’. Not to mention relationship, health, racial, and financial stress.
Our bodies want to live in cycles. We are not only influenced, but governed by round celestial bodies - like the sun and moon - orbiting. The tides are cyclical, the seasons spiral forward, water undulates. Our round eyeballs witness it all. We are built of round particles, creating molecules and cells that are anything but square.
There is nothing about us, or nature that is linear or square. Yet our narrow slice of reality and the analytical mind keep us in the land of list and squares. If we medicate ourselves with self-love and self-care and using some of the tips above, we can set ourselves up for a longer, happier, healthier and more effective life.