Fight stress, move your body

When we are faced with a stressful situation, our cortisol levels increase. This is because the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, so it released the hormone cortisol to tell your body you’re in danger, same effect if your boss is pressuring you on your deadlines.

The increase in cortisol immediately elevates your blood pressure and heart rate and released glucose into your blood stream so you have the energy to “fight or flee” from the stressful situation. Increase cortisol levels also increase your appetite, so stress eating can become a habit if you’re commonly in high pressure environments.

In general your cortisol levels will decrease after it has helped you deal with the stressful situation, but in some people the level can remain high. This can cause further issues with other hormones and your metabolism if chronic cortisol levels are left unchecked.

How to overcome rising cortisol

If you have a big week coming up, book your yoga class or set some time to go for a walk in nature to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system (your chill-out system). This will slow your heart rate and clear your mind whilst challenging and stretching your muscles. Yoga is known for reducing stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline as well as stimulating Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) which produces a calming effect on your mind and body.