7 Natural Ways To Lower Cortisol

Hannah Burton/Bustle

We all know stress doesn't feel good emotionally, but it can also have a negative impact your body as well. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause all sorts of problems, which is why it's important to manage your stress and anxiety. Thankfully, there are some ways you can lower cortisol naturally, and doing so can make a big difference in both your physical and mental state. We can't always change life's circumstances, but we can manage how we deal with those stressful situations and mitigate the effects of stress on the body.

"In general, everyone has high cortisol levels from time to time," psychiatrist and neurologist Daniel G. Amen, M.D, tells Bustle. "It’s part of your body’s natural response to threats of harm or danger. Yet, having high cortisol levels over a longer period of time can have lasting effects on your health, such as heart disease, [...] and anxiety."

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of high cortisol, including chronic stress, according to Dr. Amen. The stress response triggers a combination of signals from both hormones and nerves, and these signals cause your adrenal glands to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Other factors can affect cortisol as well, such as circulating estrogen. "Excessive estrogen is the most common cause of high cortisol in women," he says.

To make sure you're keeping your mind and body healthy, you'll want to keep levels of the stress hormone at bay. Here are seven natural ways to lower cortisol, according to experts.