Cortisol is an essential hormone that helps regulate many biological processes. It’s when cortisol levels are too high that it can be a problem!
When you are stressed out or feeling really anxious, cortisol production increases to protect your body, activating the ‘flight or fight’ response – this is your sympathetic nervous system. When this system is activated, it increases blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation.
When stress becomes chronic, your body doesn’t get a break from being on high alert, and this can cause a whole host of problems. Research suggests that chronic stress causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction.
It can also lead to a host of other health issues, such as sleep problems, brain fog, digestive problems, sugar, fat, and salt cravings, increased belly fat, hormonal problems, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, immune system problems, and premature aging with inflammation.
You can try to turn off stress as much as possible by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is known as “rest and digest.”
Here are some helpful ways to activate your parasympathetic nervous system:
- Practice deep breathing and/or meditation.
- Listen to relaxing Music.
- Sing your heart out!
- Take a hot bath.
- Make sure you’re getting adequate Sleep. Try a sleep tracker!
- Read, draw, or journal.
- Enjoy nature.
- Take a nature walk through the woods.
- Get out in the sunshine.
- With your bare feet, make contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside connected to conductive systems that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.
- Plant and tend to a garden.
- Play with animals or children.
- Nothing is more soothing than a good cuddle with a beloved pet or person!
- Go for a massage or get regular pedicures.
- Practice yoga or tai chi.
- Add a mobility practice to your workouts.
- Heal your gut.
- Nutrition – be sure to eat lots of whole, nutrient-dense foods
- Probiotics – Get a good brand made for women, where possible!
What do you do to activate your parasympathetic nervous system? I want to know! If you wanna take your menopause journey to the next level and connect with like-minded women, join my private Facebook community!