How To Reduce Cortisol Levels Naturally For Weight Loss And Stress Relief

how to reduce cortisol well cortisol is
a stress hormone so in order to reduce cortisol we have to reduce stress and
stress has been linked to every disease condition known to man
and because stress is often a result of a lifestyle it’s a way of life that we
have adapted then in order to truly reduce stress we have to change our
lifestyle so today we’re going to talk about not just what the steps are but
why they work and once you understand that then you can turn your lifestyle
into one of stress reduction and learn how to get truly healthy coming right up I’m dr. Ekberg I’m a holistic doctor and
a former Olympian and if you’d like to truly master health by understanding how
the body really works make sure that you subscribe and hit that notification bell
so that you don’t miss anything stress is an enormous topic and cortisol
is super important and people have different reasons but since so many
people have issues with weight they want to lose weight and cortisol is part of
that picture that’s where a lot of people start looking at cortisol that’s
where they’re we get their attention but in order to reduce cortisol we also have
to change the whole picture and that’s kind of just a side benefit that once
you reduce cortisol and you understand the bigger picture you don’t just change
one thing you get a trickle-down effect that can be tremendously beneficial some
people look at cortisol because of adrenal fatigue chronic fatigue syndrome
they just don’t feel right other people look at it because it’s involved with
insulin resistance weight gain and also with type 2 diabetes and like we looked
at a recent video on Cushing’s disease with which is an extreme cortisol level
it can also be involved with muscle wasting so once we address the root the
core issues we turn around all of these things all
at once so what is stress well stress is a response from your sympathetic nervous
system so your autonomic nervous system the part of your nervous system of your
brain that manages everything about your body everything that you don’t have to
think about is your autonomic nervous system has two branches and the
sympathetic nervous system responds to things that threaten you when there’s
some threat real or imagined the sympathetic nervous system revs you up
it increases resources so that you can defend yourself so you increase your
heart rate your blood pressure you you body wants more blood sugar for quick
fuel so that’s where cortisol comes in cortisol goes up to raise the blood
sugar but you also increase muscle tension you increase LDL cholesterol
because LDL cholesterol is part of wound clotting and during a fight flight
situation you might get situation where you start bleeding so all of these
things are part of the stress response but there’s a balance that we have to
understand that the parasympathetic that’s the other than sympathetic it
handles your digestion it stimulates immune responses it’s responsible for
reproduction function and it’s responsible for healing so the key
takeaway here is that you can defend yourself you can activate the
sympathetics and defend yourself or you can activate the parasympathetic and
heal but you can’t do both at the same time you can do a little bit of one or
the other but the more you do of one the less you do of the other that’s just how
we are wired and we’re going to look at that so even though the sympathetic is a
stress response that doesn’t make it a bad thing it’s not like a mistake in the
way the body is created the sympathetic nervous system keeps you alive in
emergency situations it’s just that we’re not
supposed to have emergency situations all the time and it’s designed for
bursts of activity so if you get chased by some some wild animal if you have an
emergency you’re supposed to engage that sympathetic to a very high degree and
then you’re supposed to be done with it but in our modern life style it doesn’t
matter if it’s a real short threat or if it’s a long term imagined threat so
financial pressures and bad news and overwhelm at work and feeling
overwhelmed insufficient all of those are stresses they activate your
sympathetic nervous system and we develop chronic stress so I don’t have
any exact numbers but just to give you an idea I would guess that were designed
probably for 10 or 20 percent burst sympathetic activity and the rest of the
time 80 90 percent we we should be in parasympathetic but with a modern
lifestyle it’s kind of the other way around we don’t have many of those
extreme burst activities but we have a little bit of stress a little bit of
sympathetic activation most of the time so it’s like this balance is reversed
we’ve developed habits and we have become stuck in sympathetic dominance so
this is why stress is so destructive this is why the things that the
sympathetic develops like heart rate high heart rate high blood pressure high
cortisol muscle tension cholesterol that’s why those are things that people
take the most medication for because you’re sympathetic drives those things
when they become a chronic habit that’s the stuff we end up taking drugs for
they become chronic degenerative diseases
the next thing to understand about stress is that most of the time that you
have stress you’re not aware of it because stress can be many different
things anytime your sympathetic nervous is activated you have stress could be
something chemical it could be an infection it could be toxicity could be
long-term low-grade toxicity or it could be something like food poisoning
you could have dis glycaemia unstable blood sugar for which the body has to
compensate with cortisol that’s a lot of stress stress can be mechanical being
sedentary is a form of stress having passed trauma like slips and falls and
car accidents is a form of stress having a spinal stiffness having a lack of
spinal movement also known as subluxation in chiropractic is a form of
stress and we will look at that in just a second we can also have emotional
stress and that’s what people usually talk about when they mean stress that’s
when you have an emotion that you don’t like when you feel bad when you have
fear anger when you’re feeling overwhelmed when you have feelings of
grief and those are obviously types of stress but they’re not the only types of
stress they’re not the only thing that activates that sympathetic that stress
response so we want to think of this as a triangle where every part is equally
important we have chemical we have structural we have emotional stress it’s
sort of like three legs on a table if you have a three-legged table you can’t
balance the table on two legs you can’t balance the table on one leg you want to
start addressing all sides of the triangle to create balance in your life
and now we’re getting to the really cool stuff this is what true stress
management is what is it that manages stress in your body well it is your
brain and specifically it is your frontal lobe because stress is
lifesaving stress responses are life-saving when something threatens you
you’re supposed to react you have to if you don’t you’re a sitting duck
and whatever threatens you gets you so stress responses are
necessary and life-saving but the frontal lobe has the ability to
determine when it’s time to turn it off if the frontal lobe doesn’t work so well
then stress responses just kind of come and they’re acting unopposed and they go
on much stronger and much longer than they’re supposed to that’s why different
people have different stress tolerance that’s why they manage stress
differently some people act very calm in stressful situations and some people
completely freak out that’s depending on how well is that
frontal lobe working and what is it that the frontal lobe does well the frontal
lobe inhibits it turns things off it’s like a light bulb that the brighter it
burns the better it is at turning things off it’s like turning off the darkness
if you will and the way that we’re wired is that the frontal lobe can turn off
the sympathetic stress response and the sympathetic nervous system in turn is
wired to turn off the parasympathetic nervous system why is that because the
body has limited resources so in a stressful situation you’re not concerned
about digestion that’s the liability you’ll be wasting
resources on digestion if there’s something threatening you so your body
is wired that any time that you have a threat you turn off the parasympathetic
nervous system so even though the parasympathetic helps you digest and
defend you from immune issues and it helps you reproduce and heal it is not
an asset in an emergency the frontal lobe turns off the sympathetic stress
response so indirectly the frontal lobe turns on the parasympathetic s– it
turns on digestion it turns on immune system it turns on reproduction it turns
on healing so by turning off the thing that was turned on
you turn it on and this is just how we’re wired that’s just part of the
design but we can use it to our advantage because if we understand this
then we can use this to control stress so let’s talk about the solutions but
we’re not just going to talk about the solutions we want to understand why they
work because if you understand what the mechanism is then you’ll start noticing
in your life when you start apply you become more sensitive and that’s how you
truly can turn it into a lifestyle which is necessary if you want long-term
results so the way that you can manage stress is primarily through a few
different mechanisms it’s by doing a pattern interrupt so why is that
important because the reason that you have a stress dominance is that you’re
stuck it’s become a habit the brain doesn’t quite know it’s done so much of
it it just gets stuck in that habit and what we want to do is interrupt that
pattern the other way we can manage stress is through brain stimulation just
like we talked about if we increase the activity of the frontal lobe then we
manage stress we can also do it with nutrients we can give it nutrients we
can give the brain nutrients that help it function better and we can give
nutrients that are innately calming to the brain and then we can have certain
lifestyle modifications that are going to affect hormones and neurotransmitters
such as growth hormone and cortisol primarily so let’s look at the list
number one aerobic exercise aerobic exercise is fantastic because it is a
pattern interrupt it gets you away it gets you out it gets you moving
all of those are pattern interrupt it’s also brain stimulation because 90% of
what stimulates the brain the signals they get to the brain
90% of those are from movements and you’re also increasing oxygenation which
your brain loves and you are starting to you not getting tremendous amount of
growth hormone from just walking but you’re getting just a little bit
you’re also reducing insulin because your muscles become more insulin
sensitive during aerobic exercise so it’s a fantastic way to reduce stress
and reduce cortisol of course the next thing you can do is another type of
exercise and this might seem counterintuitive because this is kind of
the opposite of aerobic exercise this is extreme high intensity interval training
and this will stimulate cortisol but the trick is to do it for such a short
duration you do it 15 seconds at a time you do a few repetitions of 15 seconds
until you get exhausted until you max out your heart rate and then you have
increased your growth hormone by 3 to 400 percent and growth hormone opposes
cortisol they work against each other so you can do things to reduce cortisol or
you can do things to increase growth hormone and you can accomplish the same
thing so even though you produce cortisol with hit the trick is to keep
the duration so short that the growth hormone benefit far outweighs the
cortisol downside if you’re really really fragile though if you have just
totally burned out your system if you’re feeling sick you’re feeling bad you’re
not fit then you might want to hold off on the hit or you might want to do it
extremely carefully because this is a stress on the body and some people are
just not at a point yet where intense exercise is a good idea so if you have
any question marks about that then hold off on the hit number 3 recover
exercise can be beneficial but just because it’s beneficial doesn’t mean
that more is better and it’s the contrast between exercise and recovery
that helps your body heal so anytime that you exercise you want to allow
enough recovery and you never want to exercise so much that your body starts
feeling fatigued or worn down number four Yoga Yoga is fantastic it is a
pattern interrupt it is brain stimulation you stretch you teach your
brain about paying attention to different things it’s a different
mindset highly recommended just don’t get into
the modern versions of yoga where they turn it into something intense something
upbeat fast moving because that defeats the purpose of reducing cortisol
breathing exercises number five very very powerful because your sympathetic
and your parasympathetic nervous system are tied to your breath when you breathe
in that’s a sympathetic activity when you breathe out it’s a parasympathetic
activity so if you do a slow breath in and a slow long breath out
then you’re balancing your sympathetics and your parasympathetic so the trick is
keep your out-breath about five seconds or even a little bit
more but at least five seconds that gives your parasympathetic nervous
system five whole seconds to engage and you’re in training a pattern there
number six meditation very often tied to breathing but meditation is more about
paying attention to your mind it’s about changing your focus which increases
frontal lobe activity so it’s a pattern interrupt it is brain stimulation and
it’s about finding a profound place of peace and in doing that in reaching
deeper and deeper levels of of Pia that you’re getting more and more
pattern interrupts and brain stimulation and you can start undoing by finding
that deep piece you can start undoing past stresses also number seven
mindfulness often associated with meditation it’s even called mindfulness
meditation which it is but mindfulness goes much much further than that it’s
something that you want to turn into a lifestyle habit it’s something that you
do all day long if you can remind yourself every minute as you get better
and better it runs more an automatic remind yourself every minute to pay
attention to how you feel make how you feel the most important thing that there
is and start looking on the bright side that’s what mindfulness really is it’s a
it’s a way of life eight celebrate whenever something good happens don’t
just brush it off and move on to the next thing take some time pat yourself
on the back milk it take a minute to really sort of
celebrate and appreciate and and soak in why that was so good and take a moment
to just feel good about it and now you’re building momentum number nine
appreciate look around you into your wonderful life look at how beautiful
nature is look at the good things in life there is few things as powerful for
feeling good and undoing stress as appreciation you cannot appreciate and
be stressed at the same time number 10 read make it a habit to read or if
you’re reading challenged then listen to something get a good audio program most
of the time you’re limited to your own mind your own thoughts but when you read
or listen to something uplifting you have a third party put in good stuff in
your mind it’s a pattern interrupt it helps build your momentum it helps you
change perspective it helps you build a positive outlook over
so I can’t emphasize that enough take 10 20 30 minutes every day and build
yourself grow yourself number 11 positive people notice how you
feel around people and give yourself the Liberty to avoid the people who make you
feel bad the people who pull you down the people where you feel like there’s a
shadow coming as soon as you get in the presence give yourself the freedom to
avoid those and instead find the people to make you feel good find the groups of
people the organizations where where positive people hang out and go there on
purpose number 12 essential oils they have become
extremely popular in recent years but how do they actually work and the thing
to understand I’m not opposed to essential oils at all I think they’re
great but a lot of people use them as a form of nutrition which they are not
they don’t add anything that the body is missing what they do is they provide a
pattern interrupt they smell is very very powerful it’s
the most primitive is the most fundamental of all human senses and it
has profound impact on the brain so when you smell something and you pay
attention to that you’re interrupting a pattern you are stimulating the brain
and you’re changing your focus you’re paying attention to something else
you’re getting a timeout and it’s very very powerful it doesn’t have to be
essential oils but anything that serves that purpose can be excellent
there are also homeopathics of flower essences we use several in our office
that have excellent effects in calming you down you can also use herbs number
14 that there are adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and ginseng and kava and
they help your body calm down there they have safe medicinal effects number 15
smile and laugh give yourself a moment when you’re sitting in the car just put
a big silly grin on your face and smile for no reason at all and just notice
just ask yourself how good could I feel right now for no reason at all put a big
smile on your face and just let that emotion right just let that state go for
a few seconds and you’ll have a state change you’ll have a pattern interrupt
and you’ll feel better if you do that on a regular basis you can have
long-lasting effects you can build momentum allow yourself to laugh for no
reason or watch a funny movie number 16 sleep sleep increases growth hormone
especially if you get a couple of hours of sleep before midnight and you need to
get enough sleep and you need to have certain regularity to your sleeping
times it’s very beneficial for your recovery and for growth hormone which
again opposes cortisol another way to raise growth hormone is number 17
intermittent fasting whenever you go a period of time without food then your
increase in growth hormone so if you just go from three meals a day to two
meals a day you’re just making more growth hormone
you are reducing cortisol but you can’t get very good results with that if
you’re eating a lot of carbs because if you’re creating a blood sugar
rollercoaster then every time your blood sugar dips in the low end then your body
makes cortisol to compensate so you need to be fat adapted and have stable blood
sugar in order to benefit optimally from that intermittent fasting which brings
us to number 18 stable blood glucose so that goes together with number 17
unstable blood sugar is a stress it stimulates cortisol whenever the blood
sugar is low number 19 there are specific Newt
that help your brain and your adrenal glands work better your adrenal glands
of course are the ones who respond to stress your brain detects the stress it
sends signals to the sympathetic nervous system and it’s the adrenal glands that
carry out the orders of the sympathetic nervous system so when you have a lot of
stress you’re wearing your adrenals down and you want to give them the optimal
nutrition so vitamin d3 and number-20 B vitamins primarily b1 and b5 but don’t
get the synthetic stuff you want to get it from food and you want to get it the
best natural source that you can take sort of as an isolated source is
nutritional yeast it’s taste great I love it you can put it in smoothies you
can sprinkle it on things it’s got kind of a cheesy flavor excellent source
number 21 we are still in the nutrition category those are minerals minerals not
only provide necessary nutrients for the brain but they also have a calming
effect on the brain magnesium especially is generally
considered calming it helps the neural membranes regulate ions better potassium
and calcium are also very important minerals number 22 DHA which is
docosahexaenoic acid don’t worry about the name it is one of the two most
important parts of fish oil so the EPA is in anti-inflammatory the DHA is a
brain building nutrient that also has a calming effect an anti stress effect
number 23 there are a couple of adrenal points that you can stimulate you have
if you go to your belly button and you go one inch over on each side and one to
two inches up on side then those are your adrenal reflex
points these are points that have been identified in applied kinesiology as
early as the 1960s and they relate to the adrenal gland so if you take and you
rub those you put a finger on each and you rub them for a few seconds and then
you just hold them while you relax you will notice pretty soon 10 20 30 seconds
that you start getting a pulse right in the skin and as you hold it longer that
pulse increases and you’re actually allowing the adrenal glands to calm down
so it’s a direct treatment that you can do a couple of times a day you don’t
have to rub very hard because they tend to get tender if you do number-25 you
could get a pet they are very very calming they have a good energy about
them spending time with a pet focusing on the pet interrupts your pattern and
it changes your hormone balance it really helps you reduce cortisol levels
and you could also get a hobby you could go exercise you could join a
chess club you could join a choir anything that you consider fun anything
that’s your idea of fun is going to help you feel good it’s going to help your
pattern interrupt and have tremendous benefits so even though this videos
about how to reduce cortisol it’s important to understand that you never
reduce one isolated thing that cortisol is just one component of the stress
response which has a multitude of components and once you learn how the
bigger system works and you start bringing the whole system back to
balance then you will reduce cortisol every one
of these steps will reduce cortisol but if you understand the bigger mechanism
then you understand how you can turn this into a lifestyle you can reduce the
bigger picture of stress and you can really start undoing ambass
and disease if you watched a few of my videos already then you know that we
have several videos on a lot of these different topics but if you feel that
there’s a topic that I haven’t covered as completely as you would like then
please let me know in the comments below which one of these would be your number
one choice to see more elaboration on and whichever I see the most comments on
I’ll go ahead and do a video on that if you enjoy this video you’re gonna love
this one so make sure you check that out and
until next time thanks for watching


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