10 Fun Ways To Reduce Your Cortisol Levels
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of "Mind Over Medicine," "The Fear Cure," and "The Anatomy of a Calling." She is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu
The body knows how to heal itself. As I describe in Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, our bodies are beautifully equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that fight cancer, prevent infection, repair wounds, protect us from infectious agents and foreign bodies, and even affect how our genes express themselves! But here’s what most people don’t know. These natural self-repair mechanisms get deactivated when your body is full of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine.
The good news is that it’s easy to shift the body from the stress response to the relaxation response, and when this happens, your cortisol levels drop and your body’s self-repair mechanisms get back to work healing you. All of the following techniques have been scientifically proven to activate relaxation responses and return your self-repair mechanisms back to optimal operation.
Play with animals.
Express yourself creatively.
Creative expression releases endorphins and other feel-good neurotransmitters, reduces depression and anxiety, improves your immune function, relieves physical pain, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This lowers your heart rate, decreases your blood pressure, slows down your breathing, and lowers cortisol.
Practice yoga, tai chi, qigong, or dance forms.
Get it on.
Those with healthy sex lives live longer, have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, get less breast cancer, enjoy the benefits of stronger immune systems, sleep better, appear more youthful, enjoy improved fitness, have enhanced fertility, get relief from chronic pain, experience fewer migraines, suffer from less depression, and enjoy an improved quality of life. Oh, and their cortisol levels are lower!