Health & Wellness Mindfulness

Reducing Cortisol 101: How to Sweeten Up Your Mood Without Sugar

by Meg Gerber April 16, 2019
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Now that we know the damage that chronically elevated cortisol and sugar cravings can cause overtime, let’s lower it! How? First, acknowledge this-stressors are not always in our control and will never go away. That work interview for a new job, a car accident or a breakup can all contribute to our heightened stress levels.  

BUT, most importantly, we are always in control of how we react to life’s stressors.

Manage and reduce your stress response in a matter of minutes with my go-to easy & inexpensive tips:

  1. The Rule of 3’s
    Your breath is the most powerful and inexpensive healer you own and it is at your fingertips whenever you need it! My favorite way to practice stress relief and mindfulness is incorporating breath at each of my meal times. My Rule of 3’s refers to my recommendation to take 3 deep breaths 3 times during a meal. To start, breathe deeply into your diaphragm, (also known as belly breathing) vs. into your chest. During those deep breaths, you should count to 3 on the inhale and hold the breath at the top for a few seconds. Release it slowly to a count of 3 or longer. Repeat for 9 deep breaths total per meal. 
  2. Drink a Cup of Calm
    Start your day with a hot cup of green tea instead of coffee; it contains a compound called L theanine which promotes relaxation (3). Feeling stressed or anxious before bed? Finish your day with chamomile tea; known to promote stress relief and calm a nervous stomach (4). Tip-double dose your tea bags and steep covered for 4-5 minutes-this will provide a more potent dose of herbal relaxation support. 
  3. Get Dirty
    Get outside and get into nature! Research has found that gardening and walking in the woods both have proven cortisol-lowering effects (1, 2). Bonus-gardening or planting flowers allows healthy soil-based organisms to transfer good bacteria to your skin providing immune-boosting benefits! Stop, put down your technology, and get present to the beauty of the world around you-you will be surprised by how good it will make you feel! So long, cortisol and so long, sugar cravings!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793346/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522508
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728665/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080520