Most of us already know what cortisol is - the fight or flight hormone that gets released when we are stressed. Most of us also know that we have too much of it.
There are a lot of great articles out there on how to lower stress and cortisol along with it, but these articles only give stress-reducing tips that work over the long-term. What about when we have lived through a majorly stressful situation - say, almost being run over by a car or having a huge fight with a loved one (spouses, parents or the worst offenders... toddlers) - and we need something that lowers cortisol levels in the body immediately. In these situations, I recommend a Cortisol Flush.
Cortisol Flush: any activity that rapidly expels cortisol from the body.
Here are a few ways to achieve a cortisol flush:
You can do a few sprints or go for a 20 minute jog. The key is to get your heart and legs pumping.
Yoga is a lower impact way to remove cortisol build-up. Healthy Food House has put together a list of easy yoga poses that will get you well on your way.
Home alone and just hung up with someone who was a complete jerk? Let out the biggest, loudest, longest scream that you can muster and see if you don't immediately feel better.
Don't have time for a run or to do some yoga, then throw on some comfy clothes and turn up the music while cooking dinner - This song always gets me moving.
5. Jump on a Trampoline
"Did you know that trampolining is 68% more effective than your half hour jog?
Not only that, but trampolining provides a rush positive hormones and compounds—like adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. Also just as important, is a healthy lymphatic system, which maintains your body’s fluid levels, filters out toxic material and is an integral part of your immune system—has no ‘pump’. Trampolining can increase lymph flow by up to 30 times because you’re alternating between weightlessness and double gravitational force.
It reinforces your immune system, and helps your body to transport nutrients and cleanse itself of waste."
One of the most effective ways to flush cortisol is to orgasm. You can do this with a partner or on your own. The problem with cortisol, however, is that it lowers your libido. Cortisol's job is to get your body ready for fight or flight. You don't want to be thinking about sex when trying to escape a dangerous situation, so in evolutionary terms, this is helpful, but less so in modern times. Keeping that in mind, give this one a try even if you're not in the mood. You'll feel how quickly those stress hormones get replaced by happy hormones like serotonin.
Last words: Remember, stress is an integral part of a healthy life. You can't completely eliminate it from your life, and neither should you. We need stress and cortisol in order to react in situations like getting out of the way of a car. The trick is to lower stress where it isn't needed and to eliminate cortisol from the body when it hasn't been used up. If you would like more information on regulating stress in your life or on cortisol flushes, book a health history with me here