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Mindful Breathing to Embracing Sunlight: 5 morning rituals to balance Cortisol levels and conquer stress

Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can disrupt daily wellness. This article explores 5 simple morning habits, from mindful breathing exercises to a nutritious breakfast, to naturally regulate cortisol and reduce stress, fostering a calmer and more balanced day.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: February 18, 2024 7:00 IST
morning rituals to balance cortisol
Image Source : FREEPIK 5 morning rituals to balance cortisol & conquer stress

Mornings. They can be the chaotic symphony of alarms, rushing, and to-do lists, igniting a surge of the stress hormone cortisol. While cortisol is essential for alertness and energy, chronically high levels can wreak havoc on our physical and mental well-being. But by incorporating simple habits into your morning routine, you can become the conductor of your inner orchestra, harmonising your cortisol levels and setting the tone for a calmer, more balanced day.

Start with mindful breathing:

Upon waking up, take a few minutes to engage in mindful breathing exercises. Take a comfortable seat or lie down, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in deeply with your nose, letting your abdomen expand, and then gently release the air through your mouth. This simple practice activates the body's relaxation response, reducing cortisol levels and promoting a sense of calmness and clarity.

Hydrate your body:

After a night of sleep, your body is naturally dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up helps rehydrate your system and kick-starts your metabolism. Hydration is essential for regulating cortisol levels and maintaining overall well-being. Consider adding a slice of lemon to your water for added detoxification benefits.

Limit exposure to screens:

Reduce exposure to electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, in the morning hours. The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your body's natural circadian rhythm and stimulate cortisol production, leading to increased stress levels. Instead, opt for screen-free activities, such as meditation, journaling, or enjoying a leisurely breakfast, to promote a sense of calm and focus.

Connect with nature:

Spending time outdoors in the morning can have therapeutic effects on cortisol levels and overall well-being. Take a few moments to step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and soak in natural sunlight. Exposure to natural light helps regulate your body's internal clock and cortisol production, promoting alertness during the day and better sleep at night. If possible, incorporate outdoor activities, such as gardening or taking a nature walk, into your morning routine for an extra mood boost.

Eat a balanced breakfast:

Fuel your body with a nutritious breakfast to provide it with the energy and nutrients it needs to function optimally. Opt for a balanced meal that includes complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Foods rich in fibre, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, help stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent cortisol spikes associated with sugary or processed foods.

ALSO READ: Stress Reduction to Creative Boost: 5 reasons to start your day by listening to music

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