A resolution for 2020 can be anything that brings further meaning into your life.
You do not need to promise yourself that you’ll use the gym membership this year or that you’ll commit to a 100% clean diet with regular detoxes.
Though these are both wonderful for your health, you can choose to correct the stress hormone cortisol which is known to wreak havoc and create collateral damage.
If you have high levels of cortisol, it is an indicator of chronic stress. This hormone is insidious in its effect on your body. High cortisol and chronic stress can make you gain weight or hang onto the weight you would rather say goodbye to. You can also feel more cranky, inflamed, or at minimum, age faster than necessary.
Mastering stress as a form of energy, rather than being bullied by it, is the key to health, longer life, and a happier day to day existence.
Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD explains that your health and longevity may hang in the balance of your honest responses to the questions below.
It is better to know, in order to make meaningful change towards a healthier life, than to avoid something that may be contributing to your moodiness, weight gain, and fatigue, among other symptoms.
- Are you addicted to high stress?
- Do you consider yourself a workaholic?
- Do you feel chronically depleted from working so hard or giving so much?
- Do you experience wandering attention?
- Do you feel tired but wired at night and often get a second wind?
- Do you have drama in your life, such as your relationship with your partner or your mother or work colleagues?
- If you have a period of smooth sailing, do you feel bored? How do you feel after a break from work?
- Do you need to exercise to self- regulate? Do you feel out of sorts when you don’t get your gym time in?
- If you have a day where you are completely unscheduled, do you feel uneasy, maybe anxious—and rush to fill it in?
- How’s your sex drive? Is work more appealing?
Here are Dr. Sara’s top 3 ways to rehab cortisol and find cortisols sweet spot of not-too-high and not-too-low:
Institute a morning practice of at least 7 minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing. It could be yoga, meditation, tai chi. Your choice.
2. Cut back on, or quit, caffeine and alcohol.
3. Master your sleep. When you’re off of caffeine, you may sleep an extra hour or two per night, which you need to perform the adrenal repair of high-stress living. Track your sleep.
Bonus Tip 4! Tag your best friend to help you stay accountable to your cortisol recovery. Even better, share in the recovery and gain strength from one another. You can also find support in the Public Facebook group Going Forward Together.