Are you stressed?
Have you been under chronic on-going stress or have Post-Traumatic Stress or having acute stressful periods due to work, school or relationship issues? If you suffer from any of the above, you may have chronically elevated cortisol (“stress hormone”) levels (produced by the adrenal glands) which can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue syndrome.
Cortisol at proper levels in the body assists with proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, release of insulin for blood sugar maintenance, normal immune function, and normal inflammatory response. Normally levels of cortisol are their highest in the morning and at their lowest at night. The “Stress Hormone” Cortisol is secreted by the adrenals at higher levels during the “fight vs. flight” response to stress. Small increases of this endocrine hormone cause the following beneficial physiological changes in the body: sudden burst of energy to flee or survive, heightened vigilance and memory retrieval functions, sudden enhanced immunity, decreased sensitivity to pain, and homeostatsis of normal body functions.
Prolonged stress conditions cause on-going release of higher levels of cortisol into the bloodstream. Chronic high levels of cortisol can cause negative effects in the body such as: “brain fog” (impaired cognitive performance), hypothyroidism, hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugars), anxiety (feeling “wired”), insomnia, low energy, decreased bone density, breakdown of muscle tissue, elevated blood pressure, impaired immunity and inflammation response, prolonged wound healing, and increased abdominal fat (“love handles” that can expand over time).
Adrenal imbalance may be a factor in many other serious conditions, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, arthritis, and more. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the above on-going symptoms to rule out a serious health condition.
How Can We Normalize Cortisol Levels?
We can use different tools and learn stress reduction techniques to activate the body’s relaxation response and normalize cortisol levels in the body. The following have been shown to help relax the body, calm the mind, soothe the emotions, and assist with normalizing cortisol levels in many people:
Earthing (also known as grounding) is a completely FREE and natural way to lower anxiety, stress and cortisol levels! We should be teaching this to everyone at an early age as it can be a game changer as a daily self-care tool! The surface of the earth (due to constant lightning strikes every second at various places around the world) is negatively charged and constantly gives off negative ions. Areas in our body where there is inflammation is positively charged. When we walk barefoot in the grass or allow our bare skin to make direct contact with the surface of the earth, the negative ions flow through our body to neutralize the areas of positively charged inflammation. It can not only decrease anxiety within 40-60 minutes, if done with any regularity it lowers cortisol, improves sleep and mood, decreases inflammation, and can help support thyroid function and blood sugar stabilization!! Find out more about the benefits of earthing at the Earthing Institute site!
Eat 3 high quality small, balanced meals or frequent high quality nutritional snacks throughout the day. Avoid refined carbohydrates that cause ups and downs in blood sugar levels (see our post on ‘Food for Anxious Thought’). High-quality vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids help support a healthy metabolism and hormonal balance, which contribute to adrenal health. If you don’t already have a preferred brand, we like and use the best bio-available vitamins on the market, LifePak Nano: http://www.nuskinops.com/content/opp/en_US/products/pharmanex/lifepak/01003610.html Then choose LifePak Nano or whichever LifePak suits you best. Then click on ADR for automatic delivery ( it’s cheaper and you can cancel any time) to add to cart, then click on sign up to create your account which will take you a page where you clarify that you want to be a preferred customer as you create your account. Complete the transaction by filling in your data for your order.
Life can be stressful at times. Some stress is unpredictable in our lives; however some stress we can choose to avoid. Take time to understand where your stress predictably comes from in your life. It might be helpful to mindfully make a list of stressors that adversely affect your sense of well-being (physically or emotionally), especially those that are ongoing or self-imposed. Than make a list of changes you can actively make that would have a positive impact on reducing your daily stress level.
4. Rest and Relaxation:
Many of us can use more down time or rest in our life. Get sleep. Pursue a healthy hobby that “makes your heart sing”.
5. Music Therapy, Massage, Laughter, Dance and Meditation:
These have all been shown to help lower cortisol levels. Music is a powerful healer and we have posts on sound healing and laughter yoga here on this site. We have created various meditations for different purposes available at Amazon or i-Tunes.
6. Reducing Emotional Self-Sabotaging Behaviors:
Guilt, lingering emotional pain from past hurts, self-destructive/ self-defeating habits, and unresolved relationship problems may be functioning as an ever-present stressor in your life. Dealing directly with these problems can be far more beneficial to your health than spending a lifetime compensating for the stress they constantly create (and re-create) in your life and body. Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if you need it, especially if you have debilitating symptoms of anxiety or depression. We also have books and meditations that can assist with diminishing or releasing issues of guilt, shame, anger, resentment, fear of the unknown, sense of powerlessness, heartache, lack of self-love, and sense of abandonment. Our latest book is Bye-Bye- Self-Sabotage: Drop Your Baggage, Love Your Life.
Hope this is helpful. 🙂
Loads of Light to you on your Stress-Free Journey to Shift Your Life®!
Tracy Latz, M.D., M.S. & Marion Ross, Ph.D. (“The Shift Doctors”)
**The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.) are available for keynotes, speaking engagements, classes, events or for seminars (1/2 day or up to 5 days) on Energy Medicine, personal transformation, team-building, motivation, anger management, intuitive development, intuitive art, sound healing, or collaboration for private groups, conferences, corporations or corporate events. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more about their books, DVD’s, podcasts, CD’s and tools for personal transformation at www.shiftyourlife.com.