Cortisol Function: How To Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol Function Levels are a serious problem in today’s society.
What Is A Cortisol Function
A Cortisol is nothing but a steroid hormone. In our human body, there are two adrenal glands. These are located in the middle of our body.
Cortisol is the main hormone responsible for the response to stress and threat. Therefore given its function to detect stress it is called a “stress hormone”. Whenever you experience something that your body perceives as a threat, your brain releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
This hormone triggers the adrenal gland to release cortisol. Hence, a cortisol function is what keeps a check on the level of stress in our body on a regular basis.
The best way to decrease cortisol levels is to decrease stress. What many people do not realize is that there is such a thing as “eustress,” meaning good stress. The death of someone you love, divorce, job loss, eviction, an argument, a missed deadline: these are all forms of stress.
However, marriage, a new job, making a new group of friends, a financial windfall: these also are stress and can elevate cortisol levels. So, obviously, we do not want to eliminate all stress from our lives.
So How To Reduce This Cortisol Function Stress Level?
Some simple things that lower cortisol levels:
Listening to music
Prayer and meditation
Getting eight hours of sleep a night
Avoid alcohol and sedative drugs
The herb Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, has been shown to have a dramatic effect on lowering cortisol levels. Fish oil may also help, and it’s good for you for many other reasons as well.
Exercise To Reduce Stress
Exercise lowers cortisol levels, but it must be the right kind of exercise. Vigorous aerobic exercise or high-intensity weight training actually raises cortisol levels; body-weight resistance exercise combined with stretching, such as Pilates and yoga, lower it, as does low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise such as walking or leisurely cycling or swimming.
One thing to keep in mind about cortisol is that it is needed for your body and mind to function properly. Without any cortisol, you would die. Low cortisol levels result in a condition known as Addison’s disease. The daily peak of cortisol which occurs on rising in the morning enables you to concentrate during the day.
In Case Of Certain Emergencies
When a horrific life event occurs, the euphoric effect of cortisol is part of what enables you to get through it and recover; people with low cortisol response to stress are at greater risk of PTSD.
It appears that exposure to traumatic events in childhood affects both our cortisol response to stress, and the effect that cortisol has on our mood and health. These effects appear to be carried through epigenetically to the children of those exposed to very stressful life events, such as Holocaust survivors.