Kate Strong | Intuitive Healing

Practical Steps to Take When Your Cortisol Levels Are High

In our ever-busy lives, stress often feels like an unwelcome companion. When stress lingers, our body produces more cortisol, the primary stress hormone. While cortisol plays a crucial role in managing stress, too much of it over prolonged periods can lead to various health issues, including anxiety, weight gain, and impaired cognitive function. Recognizing when your cortisol levels are high and knowing how to manage them can significantly enhance your well-being.


Here are practical steps to take when you feel your cortisol levels are spiking.

  1. Acknowledge Your Stress

The first step in managing high cortisol levels is to acknowledge your stress. It’s okay to admit that you’re feeling overwhelmed. Often, we try to push through without recognizing the toll stress takes on our bodies. Take a moment to identify what’s causing your stress. Is it work-related? Personal issues? Acknowledging your stressors is the first step toward managing them.


  1. Practice Deep Breathing

When cortisol levels rise, our breathing becomes shallow, which can exacerbate stress. Practicing deep breathing techniques can help activate the body’s relaxation response. Try the 4-7-8 technique: inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle a few times to help calm your nervous system.


  1. Engage in Physical Activity

Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to lower cortisol levels. Exercise helps metabolize excessive cortisol, allowing your body to return to a balanced state. You don’t need a rigorous workout; even a 20-minute walk can make a significant difference. Find an activity you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, dancing, or biking, and make it a regular part of your routine.


  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

What you eat can affect your cortisol levels. A balanced diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains, can help regulate cortisol. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which can spike cortisol levels. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, which have been shown to reduce cortisol.


  1. Prioritise Sleep

Lack of sleep can significantly increase cortisol levels. Ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretches. Keep your sleep environment cool, dark, and quiet to enhance the quality of your rest.


  1. Stay Connected

Social support is a powerful antidote to stress. Spending time with friends and family can lower cortisol levels and improve your mood. If you’re feeling isolated, reach out to someone you trust and talk about what’s stressing you. Even virtual connections can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of loneliness.


  1. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help you stay present and reduce stress. These practices encourage you to focus on the here and now, rather than worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. Start with just a few minutes a day, focusing on your breath or a simple mantra. Over time, you can increase the duration of your practice. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer guided meditations that can help you get started.


  1. Engage in Creative Activities

Creative activities such as drawing, painting, writing, or playing music can be incredibly therapeutic. These activities provide a healthy outlet for expressing emotions and can distract you from stressors, allowing your cortisol levels to decrease naturally.


9.Seek Professional Help

If high cortisol levels are affecting your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide strategies and support to manage stress more effectively. Techniques such as the belief code can help you clear energy imbalances and reduce cortisol levels. Someone I follow on social media is The Workout Witch. She has amazing courses to take to help lower cortisol levels and balance your nervous system.


10. Create a Stress-Relief Toolkit

Develop a personalised stress-relief toolkit with activities and resources that help you manage stress. This could include things like your favorite book, a playlist of calming music, a journal for writing down your thoughts, and a list of supportive friends or family members to call. Having this toolkit on hand can make it easier to take action when you feel your cortisol levels rising.


11. Essential Oils

Therapeutic grade Essential Oils like doTERRA oils have been scientifically proven to reduce cortisol. Oils such as magnolia, bergamot and any oils that induce calm.



Managing high cortisol levels is essential for maintaining both physical and mental health. By acknowledging your stress, practicing deep breathing, engaging in physical activity, eating a balanced diet, prioritizing sleep, staying connected, practicing mindfulness, engaging in creative activities, seeking professional help, and creating a stress-relief toolkit, you can effectively manage and reduce high cortisol levels. Implement these practical steps to find balance and cultivate a calmer, healthier life.

Kate offers Healings and Intuitive Guidance. She offers sessions in the Emotion Code, Body Code, Cord Cutting Past Life Healings, Soul Healings and more. She offers these by email.

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