Cortisol is the body's primary stress hormone, and it plays a role in many bodily functions. 
 
Cortisol also plays a role in: 
regulating the body's sleep-wake cycles 
managing how the body utilises carbohydrates, fats, and proteins 
reducing inflammation 
controlling blood pressure 
 
Here are some practical ways of lowering cortisol levels to help ensure that your body is able to manage stress levels. 
 

Why high cortisol levels are a problem 

The body relies on effective communication between the following three parts of the body to release the correct amount of cortisol: 
the adrenal gland, controls many different hormones 
the pituitary gland, the master gland of the body 
the hypothalamus, links the nervous system to your hormones 
 
Between them, they stimulate the production of cortisol when the body needs it and block it when the levels need to drop back down. 
 
Both too much and too little cortisol can have an adverse effect on the body. 
 

High cortisol level symptoms 

Too much cortisol can cause the following symptoms: 
fatigue 
impaired brain function 
weak immune system 
changes in mood, such as feeling irritable or low 
rapid weight gain in the face and abdomen 
 

Natural ways to lower cortisol 

People trying to lower their cortisol levels should aim to reduce stress. 
 
You can do this by removing yourself from stressful situations or learning how to cope with stress better. 
 
You can learn to recognise the triggers for stress and try to manage these proactively to reduce instances of worry or anxiety and decrease feelings of tension. 
 
People who learn how to cope when stressful thoughts arise will manage their cortisol levels better. 
 
If you are concerned about your stress levels and the impact that it is having on your health and performance, book a discovery session with Paula Ruane. 
 
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