What Science Tells Us About Stress, And Tips On How To Reduce It.
We all know what stress feels like. But, did you know that it’s more than a feeling? Stress is physical. It’s caused by a hormone called cortisol, produced by the adrenaline gland. This hormone has a negative impact on our blood pressure and sugar levels, as well as our metabolism and immune system.
Cortisol is not our friend. It makes us feel physically bad. That’s the consequences of stress. It’s a legacy from our early days, when a jolt of cortisol was what we needed to push us into fight or flight at the first sight of a saber tooth tiger. We don’t need cortisol anymore, but it’s still around.
Our goal in these modern times is to find ways to keep those cortisol levels down. Here are ways you can do that, and they’re backed by science.
Eat And Chill
Nothing fishy about this advice. Indulge in anchovies, sardines, or wild salmon. You’ll add omega fatty acids to your diet. They regulate cortisol levels.
An all-fish diet might get tedious. Help yourself to citrus fruits, spinach, and a bit of dark chocolate. These foods have been proven to right the negative impact of cortisol.
Get A Massage
It’s not just a treat for sore muscles. Massage therapy can reduce your cortisol levels. The catch is that you can’t just get one massage. A study revealed you can reduce cortisol levels by as much as 31% with ongoing massage therapy.
Sleep On It
German research shows that skimping on a good night’s sleep can increase your cortisol levels by as much as 80%. The average person needs about 8 hours of sleep.
Chuckle if you like. For some of us, 8 hours in bed is an impossible luxury. Opt for naps if you fall into this category. It can give you the same restorative effects as a good night’s sleep.
The Best Medicine?
Yes, it’s laughter. Measured and vetted by science, no less. Having a good belly laugh with your best friend is now recommended by physicians. It’s nearly as good for you as it is fun.
It might be time to stop thinking that a cup of tea is too prim and proper for a place in your hectic life. A single cup of black tea can reduce your cortisol level by almost half. The study was undertaken at the University of London. As far as we know, crumpets were not involved.
Turn On The Tunes
Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. Wait, isn’t that a typo? No, it’s breast. Not beast. That’s how William Congreve write it in The Mourning Bride, back in 1697. He probably wouldn’t argue, though, that the physical sensations caused by cortisol make us feel beastly.
Which is why you should follow up on his suggestion. In these modern times, science has shown that listening to soothing music can reduce cortisol levels by as much as 66%. What’s interesting about this is that we each have different ideas about what’s soothing. Generally, though, it’s instrumental music or sounds of nature that work best.
It’s doubtful you can escape from the everyday things in life that bring on stress. But we do have to try. The hormone stress releases in our bodies can do us physical harm. High cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, digestive problems, and even insomnia.
Try one or more of these techniques to fight back against stress. They’re all easy to do and based on common sense. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in order to take a respite from the rat race. And we’re big fans of making use of what’s already at hand.
We’ve got over 5,000 dies in house that we can use to create what ultimately becomes a custom product for you. No need to start from scratch, or reinvent the wheel. It saves you time and money. And, that can reduce your cortisol levels, too.