Keep your stress in check with a few surprising strategies

“Keep stress in check by curbing cortisol.”

Help keep your stress in check with a few surprising strategies.

Modern life, with its hectic pace often puts unnecessary pressure, or stress, on our bodies.  Some stress can be good however too much prolonged stress can have some adverse health effects such as anxiety, weight gain and sleep problems to name a few. Our primary stress hormone is cortisol & there are ways that it can be managed.  Check out some strategies below.

Just having that special someone can reduce your stress hormone: A 2010 study from the University of Chicago showed that cortisol levels were significantly lower in participants who were married or in a committed relationship. Researchers cited that meaningful bond as the reason subjects handled life’s challenges with less stress.

Heart-surgery patients in a Swedish hospital showed a 22% reduction of cortisol levels after just 30 minutes of listening to soft music post-op. And you can’t beat the classics: A 2007 study by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, found that listening to Mozart’s piano compositions reduced stress-hormone levels and lowered blood pressure and heart rate in trauma patients.

Three thousand milligrams (mg) of vitamin C can help lower your cortisol level back to normal after a stressful event like giving a speech, according to a 2002 German study. (Participants were given three 1,000 mg supplements.) Experts believe vitamin C works best in concert with other micronutrients, so be sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to help calm your nerves.

Researchers found that people who chewed gum during stressful tasks had significantly better alertness and lower anxiety and cortisol levels than their non-gum-chewing counterparts had. Scientists behind the 2009 study credited gum chewing’s improvement on cerebral blood flow.

Looks like working in the dirt is good for more than just the flower beds: People who worked in the garden for 30 minutes showed significant decreases in cortisol levels compared to those who chose to read indoors, according to a study published in June.