Ways to Suppress Inflammation

Did you know that some of the things you do (or don't do) in your life can lead to hormonal changes and that affects your inflammation?

Ways to Suppress Inflammation
Photo by Paolo Chiabrando / Unsplash

If you're struggling with inflammation in your system and you're trying to heal your body from the inside out by changing the way you live, your diet is obviously the best place to start. And obviously I firmly believe that a good diet can make a world of difference for your health. But did you know that some of the things you do (or don't do) in your life can lead to hormonal changes and that affects your inflammation as well?

There are things you can do that can help lower your "bad" hormones (e.g. cortisol) and raise your "good" hormones (e.g. oxytocin) so let's talk about some of those things.

  • Physical touch - hugging, cuddling, sex, massage, holding hands
  • Laughter - find ways to make yourself laugh every day
  • Physical activity - light activity like going for a walk and enjoying the beautiful outdoors or doing some relaxing yoga (note that strenuous activity does the opposite and raises your cortisol levels so this is more about moving your body around so that you're not sedentary - not full blown strenuous exercise)
  • Spending time with friends and loved ones - hang out with friends, talk on the phone with someone you're close to, or even connect with people you care about on social media
  • Do something for others - when you give to others, whether it's monetarily or with your time, you feel great and boost your good hormones
  • Listening to music - choosing some music to put on that gives you a great feeling, raises your spirits, or makes you feel chill and relaxed - it can all help

All of these things are going to be good for you and will help increase your oxytocin and make you feel good. This will also help keep inflammation lower in your body simply because you're keeping cortisol levels lower. Try to incorporate these things into your daily life. It's easy to just hit repeat on your daily routine every day and just get up, go to work, come home exhausted, and collapse in bed at the end of the night. But try to live differently. Try to find positive things to make your life better each day. Not only will your mental health be better, you're going to improve your physical health as well.

And just as there are things you can do to increase your good hormones, there are things you do that can increase the bad ones too. What types of things raise your cortisol levels?

  • Stress - if you're maintaining a stressful environment you're increasing your risk of inflammation and poor health
  • Too much physical activity - yes, there is such a thing of exercising too much or too hard - you must give your body the proper recovery time and you shouldn't tax it too heavily and push it too hard
  • Poor sleep patterns - it's very vital for good health to get enough sleep every night
  • Too much caffeine - some caffeine isn't going to hurt you but you don't want to go overboard and load your body full of it all day long

Keeping inflammation low and doing things in your life that will naturally reduce it will increase your chances of living a healthy life and help you live with less pain, fewer body aches, better blood pressure levels, fewer chronic issues, and better mental health - just to name a few. If you're following a low-carb diet and eliminating processed foods and sugar, you're already doing at reducing inflammation in your body as those simple carbs and sugar are very inflammatory. But adding things like this to your daily routine will just help your cause even more and will lead you to a healthier life and a healthier body.

What kinds of things do you like to do to keep your life low-stress and happy?