That’s right- taking some slow deep breaths activates the parasympathetic nervous system which then turns off our stress response. Lowering our stress levels is key to hormonal balance because it reigns in the stress hormone cortisol. When we’re stressed out, cortisol levels rise and stay elevated. The body has to use most of its hormone building blocks to keep on making cortisol- at the expense of making enough thyroid hormone, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
If we don’t manage stress- we’ll never get to the bottom of our hormonal imbalances.
So, what can we do?
Make stress management a priority. We’ll never eliminate stress, but we can manage our reactions to it.
What are some effective ways to do so?
One of the simplest and easiest is to practice deep breathing- you can do this whenever you feel stressed. Just take 5-10 slow, deep breaths- breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
It’s also important to get into the habit of doing one stress relieving practice a day. Yoga and meditation are great and very effective. But, if they don’t appeal to you or you find them too difficult, try some of the following:
-Going for a walk, especially in nature
-Listening to soothing music
-Taking a warm bath or shower
-Talking to a good friend or family member
Once you get a handle on your stress, you’ll have made a big step forward on the road to hormonal balance.