10 Ways to De-Stress & Lower Cortisol Levels

10 Ways to De-Stress & Lower Cortisol Levels

Being wheeled into the operating room to have cancer surgically removed from our bodies caused most of us to rightly feel acute (intense) stress, this sporadic stress prompted our adrenals glands to secrete the hormone cortisol into our bloodstream, which then flooded us with high energy glucose/sugar.  This response automatically raised our blood pressure, heart rate and immediately provided extra energy to our minds and muscles to enable us to fight, flight or freeze. (Hopefully, you froze).

After waking up from our surgery and about an hour after being given the thumbs up by our surgeon, our pancreas secreted the hormone insulin into our bloodstream which brought the high energy sugars/glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure back down to homeostasis (stable conditions). 

This response to acute stress was and is necessary for our survival and evolution.

Being a cancer survivor and struggling daily with the disruption and side effects of cancer and its treatments cause most of us to experience chronic (continual) stress.

   The three main chronic stressors of being a cancer survivor

  1. Mental/Emotional stress – cancer recurrence risk, imbalanced neurotransmitters, body image, weight gain, identity crisis, financial worry, family issues, work pressures, mortality worries, depression, fear, anger, anxiety, PTSD, etc. 
  2. Physical/metabolic stress – cancer treatments, body fat, menopause, health issues, poor diet, body pain, disability, fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, poor focus, dehydration, sleep issues, physical activity, etc.
  3. Chemical stress – cancer treatments, prescription medications, synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals such as artificial flavors, sweeteners, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, plastics, heavy metals, airborne chemicals, detergents, dyes, etc. 

It is no wonder that chronic stress is the symbolic state that cancer survivors experience In fact, 90 to 95% of all cancer prognosis, progression, recurrence, and mortality are directly related to the (chronic) stressors of our environment and lifestyle.  

Having perpetually high cortisol, blood sugar/glucose, blood pressure, and insulin can unleash havoc in our bodies causing inflammation, disabling our immune system, increasing visceral (belly) fat deposition, stimulating the maturation of fat cells and significantly slowing down our metabolism which makes losing weight metabolically impossible. 

And since blood glucose/sugar is cancer’s main source of energy and high insulin is attributed to increased cell proliferation and circulation, having chronic stress promotes the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) process.

By purposely harnessing and altering our primary “happy” neurotransmitters (chemical mind/body messengers) serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite, and sleep and dopamine, which is linked to thoughts, emotion, memory, and reward we can reduce or eliminate our chronic stress.

10 ways de-stress and balance our cortisol levels.

  1. Utilizing cognitive psychology-based techniques to modify our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and physical patterns.
  2. Having a strong support system. 
  3. Prioritizing ourselves and taking actions to get healthy physically, significantly decreases the emotional fear of recurrence.
  4. Discovering and living our authentic truth and purpose.  
  5. Participating in the recommended daily exercise protocol for cancer survivors increases our endorphins which is directly correlated with antidepressive effects, mood balance and significantly reduces cancer recurrence (up to 50%). 
  6. Creating and following an organic, healthy anticancer nutrition plan that helps you lose weight, balances hormones and provides you with energy.
  7. Improving our emotional and stress responses by including the vitamins and minerals that balance our dopamine, serotonin and GABA levels. 
  8. Practicing good “sleep hygiene” and getting at least 8 hours is paramount to hormonal release, repair, and neurological pathway regeneration.
  9. Getting sufficient sunlight naturally activates serotonin (feelings of well-being) and provides us with much-needed vitamin D3.
  10. Reducing or avoiding synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals and using water and air filters helps us balance our hormones.

  

Decreasing stress, losing weight, balancing hormones and lowering recurrence risk is completely possible by modifying our emotions, nutrition, and lifestyle.

  

Please contact me if you would like to know more about balancing your many weight and cancer-related hormones and are ready to engage in a higher quality of life.

Download my *FREE* Guide to learn how you can start losing weight, lower your estrogen levels & reduce recurrence risk.

How Breast Cancer Transformed My Life

How Breast Cancer Transformed My Life

My cancer journey began like so many others, I was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer with a 4.5cm grade 2 tumor (low risk). My bi-lateral (double) mastectomy was scheduled out for 4 weeks and then hooray! I would be cancer free and would be able to get on with my former life.

Two weeks before my surgery, I became concerned because I could feel that my tumor was growing rapidly. I called the oncology center and explained my situation.  I was told that tumor growth was actually a very slow process and that it just seemed to be growing because I was now more aware and focused on it…. So I conceded and politely let it go.

My date with destiny arrived, I was given general anaesthesia, underwent my surgery, woke up, and was informed that apparently my “slow” growing tumor had doubled in size to a full 9cm! 

This news definitely changed the trajectory of my life, my re-diagnosis was now a stage IIB with a grade 3 tumor (high risk).  I had to endure a port implant, chemotherapy, radiation, hysterectomy, diep flap reconstruction, expanders, fat grafting, lymphedema, ongoing hormone therapy and cancer treatment-induced menopause.  

shocked.

following my surgery, I was informed that apparently my “slow” growing tumor had doubled in size to a full 9cm

During this time I experienced and noticed the collateral damage of inadequate supportive resources for survivors trying to recover from the debilitating side effects caused by the cancer treatments. 

I was so  frustrated and disappointed for not having advocated for myself, for not insisting to be reevaluated and having had my surgery moved up.

I felt victimized and I argued with reality until I was exhausted.

I realized that I needed help. Through life coaching, I learned how to manage my mind and body. I began embracing the process and even became grateful for the experience.

What?  Stay with me here……

While staring down the barrel of my own mortality, my perspective of what was and was not important, was completely altered, I was forced to review my life, body and identity through a new pair of crystal clear lenses.

I feel incredible eternal gratitude for cancer requiring me to evolve into my own recovery crusader, for giving me the experience and gift of aligning my path so I could find my mission, my passion and my life’s work of supporting my survivor sisters in advocating and prioritizing their well-being so that they are able to take back the power over their health, wellness and recovery.

I appreciate that my cancer journey has allowed me to be an example of how beautiful life can be post-cancer and for the opportunity to serve my fellow survivors by helping them develop the mental resolve and attitude that is required for them to come out triumphant so that they too can capitalize on the rest of their lives.  

If you too have battled and would like to learn how beautiful life can be post cancer, you’re just one decision away from beginning to create the best years of your life.

Download my free guide today or schedule your free 20 min strategy session. Click one of the links below to get started!

Download my *FREE* Guide to learn how you can start losing weight, lower your estrogen levels & reduce recurrence risk.