Stress and Managing Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is an important stress hormone that aids the body during fight or flight.  It helps the body prepare to flee from a stressor or prepare for struggle.  When the stress response of the body is activated, the body is given the ability to have more energy and strength to survive.  This increases blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension.  Cortisol plays a big role in helping prepare the body.  Stress Management is a key way to regulate cortisol levels.

When non lethal situations activate the stress response in the modern world, long term high cortisol levels can be dangerous to the body.  They can cause high blood pressure and cause damage to the heart.  Furthermore, it can cause sugar increase and weight gain.   Cortisol also can lower energy levels overtime and affect mental health.  It is hence important to regulate stress through good stress management.  There are however other ways to also help regulate cortisol.

Learning to regulate and manage cortisol levels is a key element of stress management.


The article, “Cortisol Management: How to Regulate and Balance Stress Hormone?” by Disheeta Maheshwari looks at ways to regulate cortisol.  She mentions a variety of ways to help control higher levels from occurring.  Managing stress is one of the key elements.  Proper sleep, better diet, hobbies, healthy relations and regular exercise are all excellent ways to keep daily stress lower without even realizing it.  Those who deal with more stress and poor health because of it will face higher cortisol levels.  She states,

“Cortisol management comprises following specific ways that can help you lower the levels of cortisol within your body. It usually requires you to lead a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet, sufficient sleep, and regular exercise. If cortisol levels remain high for a longer time frame, they can cause certain problems such as difficulty sleeping, low energy levels, mood irregularities, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and more. That is why cortisol management is necessary.”

“Cortisol Management: How to Regulate and Balance Stress Hormone?”. Disheeta Maheshwari. February 16th, 2023. Sportskeeda

To read the full article, please click here


Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal cortex, a part of the endocrine system. It is one of the major hormones involved in the body’s stress response and plays a role in controlling how energy is used in the body. Cortisol interacts with many other hormones to regulate blood glucose, fat and protein metabolism, suppress inflammation, regulate blood pressure, and increase alertness.  It functions as an adaptogenic, allowing the body to adjust to stressors while maintaining homeostasis. Cortisol levels may increase during periods of acute stress, helping to regulate energy balance by increasing glucose availability and providing energy for a fight-or-flight response.  Furthermore, Cortisol secretion serves as an adaptive response to environmental challenges, such as physical or psychological stressors, and is mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It has been found to modulate the activity of certain brain regions involved in emotional processing, thereby impacting behaviour.

Negative Effects of Cortisol

While cortisol has been shown to play an important role in physiological processes and homeostasis, its excessive production can be detrimental to health and well-being. Specifically, research has demonstrated that chronic cortisol exposure can have deleterious effects on cognitive function, immune system functioning, metabolism, and emotional regulation.  Exposing an individual to prolonged or intense levels of cortisol can result in an array of detrimental impacts, including dysregulation of glucose metabolism, suppression of the immune system, cognitive impairment, depression, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, chronically elevated cortisol levels are thought to be associated with increased risk for hypertension and coronary artery disease.

Stress Management and Cortisol

This is not good news for individuals who are chronically stressed through relationship, work, or family issues.  This results in more cortisol manufacturing within the body, negatively affecting the body’s arteries and heart, sugar levels, weight, and mental issues.  It is imperative to find ways to reduce stress to control the output of Cortisol.

Cortisol, a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands, plays a key role in regulating physiological processes within the body. As such, controlling Cortisol production is essential for maintaining homeostasis and successfully mitigating the deleterious effects of long-term stress on health. This can be achieved through pharmacological interventions as well as lifestyle modifications such as aerobic exercise or mindfulness techniques. Additionally, manipulating dietary intake of macronutrients can also yield beneficial influences on Cortisol production.

Stress Management and good living can help reduce stress and hence reduce Cortisol in the body.  This is why hobbies, relaxation, meditation and exercise are so important to regulating its production.  It is imperative to reduce stress and learn how to remain more calm and collective in everyday life.


In conclusion, Cortisol is an essential part of the body’s functioning, but too much of it can be detrimental to one’s health. Learning how to control Cortisol levels through lifestyle changes, such as exercise and relaxation activities, is a great way to reduce stress and its associated symptoms. Additionally, a balanced diet with adequate nutrient intake helps ensure that cortisol remains well-regulated. Finally, seeking professional help if needed is recommended for those who experience severe or chronic stress.

Managing stress is key to regulating Cortisol. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


Stress Management techniques are key to regulating Cortisol.  Stress Management Consultants can help others learn better ways to manage stress and stay calm.  Individuals looking to become certified in Stress Management can utilize their knowledge in helping others.  AIHCP offers a certification in Stress Management Consulting.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.

Additional Resources

“Cortisol”. Health Essentials.  Cleveland Clinic.  Access here

“11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels”. Katey Davidson.  September 14th, 2021. Healtline. Access here

“What Is a Cortisol Test?”. WebMD Editorial Contributors. December 13th, 2022. Access here

“What Is Cortisol?”. Elizabeth Scott. August 12th, 2022. VeryWellMind. Access here

“Chronic stress puts your health at risk”. Mayo Clinic Staff.  July 8th, 2021.  Mayo Clinic.  Access here