First thing’s first: Acknowledge your own stress. As Swart mentions, more cortisol can leak from your skin if you’re repressing those uncomfortable emotions. So if you can talk to a professional, friend, or loved one about your stress levels, we encourage you to do so. After all, repressing your emotions can harm your physical health: Self-silencing is even associated with adverse health outcomes and mortality3, according to research.
You can also encourage folks you spend the most time with to open up about their stress, if they feel comfortable doing so. That way, you’ll keep cortisol from leaking out of their skin and into yours and, more importantly, connect with a loved one in need.
From there, find whatever stress-busting methods work best for you, whether it’s journaling, exercising, breathwork (Swart is a fan of an early morning breathing ritual), or even supplements. Yes, certain formulas can help bring your body’s cortisol back to baseline and relieve stress before it builds up into a problem. Find our favorite options here, all backed by science.