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How to Naturally Reduce Cortisol Levels and Stress

by | Last updated: Oct 13, 2022 | Blog, Women's Health | 4 comments

Cortisol is an important stress hormone, but too much can cause damage. Cortisol has a catabolic effect produced by the adrenal glands, which can break down tissue, including bones and muscles. High cortisol can cause many physical and health problems over time. 

Chronic stress can keep your cortisol levels elevated. So it’s essential to reduce your cortisol levels to help reduce your stress. 

Here are five ways to reduce your cortisol levels and stress naturally. 

Practice Stress Reduction 

The first way to reduce cortisol levels is to practice stress reduction techniques. Stress reduction techniques include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, therapy, and biofeedback. You may have to experiment with different stress reduction techniques to find one that works for you to reduce your feeling of stress. Overall, it has been shown that using stress reduction techniques can reduce cortisol and stress. 

Good Sleep Hygiene

The second way to reduce cortisol and stress is to practice good sleep hygiene. By sleep hygiene, I mean having a good bedtime routine that allows you to relax and fall asleep. Plus, make sure you’re sleeping in the dark, so you make as much melatonin as possible, which helps reduce cortisol. High levels of cortisol at night suppress melatonin production, and high melatonin can help to suppress cortisol. 

Regular Exercise

The third way to reduce cortisol and stress is exercise. While it’s natural to have a little bump in cortisol when you exercise, there’s a nice decline in cortisol after exercise. It’s best to exercise in the morning to follow your natural cortisol circadian rhythm rather than at night, which may keep cortisol elevated too late. 

Healthy Diet

The fourth way to reduce cortisol and stress is by what you eat. There are quite a few foods that can help keep your cortisol levels low. Foods that are rich in omega-three fatty acids like fatty fish and nuts; foods that are rich in magnesium like bananas, avocados, and dark chocolate; foods that are rich in L-theanine like black or green tea; gut healthy foods like probiotic-rich yogurt and prebiotic-rich artichoke can help to reduce cortisol levels. And of course, you’ll want to be drinking enough water so you’re not dehydrated. 

There are some foods you want to avoid that can increase your levels of cortisol. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, plus high-sugar foods like sodas and candies and simple carbohydrates like cakes and pastries. 


The fifth way to reduce cortisol and stress, and thus your stress reaction, is by taking supplements. Supplements known as adaptogens can help reduce cortisol levels. These include passionflower, holy basil, ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, and chamomile. Supporting your hypothalamus, which controls your stress response and your HPA axis with Genesis Gold, can help reduce cortisol levels and stress for a more holistic approach. 

If you have any questions about cortisol and stress, why don’t you join me in our Hormone Support Group? You’ll get access to our free Hormone Reboot Training

About the Author - Deborah Maragopolous FNP

Known as the Hormone Queen®️, I’ve made it my mission to help everyone – no matter their age – balance their hormones, and live the energy and joy their DNA and true destiny desires. See more about me my story here…



  1. Olecia

    This was very helpful information thank you

  2. lira newhart

    can you reverse aging or skin laxity and fat loss due to stress


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