Remember when we thought we had seen the worst of our hormones with puberty? Nope—in reality, these chemicals can be just as tumultuous as we speed along into adulthood, spelling out breakouts, an unstoppable appetite, and, above all else, stress. But it's not all bad: When in balance, our hormones help ensure that our body and mind are working optimally and in tandem—our metabolism is humming along smoothly, our skin is clear, and our mood is in check.
The tricky part, however, is knowing when our hormones are out of whack in the first place, and why. Since a ton of random factors could be potentially at play, narrowing the culprit down isn't the easiest task. But our preferred strategy is to be proactive about restoring balance, and it turns out there are a handful of exceedingly easy ways to do just that.
Keep reading to find out how to re-balance your hormones in less than five minutes.
File this under fascinating: Sadie Lincoln, founder and CEO of barre3, tells MindBodyGreen that she always starts the day by giving her husband a firm, 20-second hug—and it's not just to spread the love. ("We both calm the eff down when we slow down and realize what matters," she says.) In fact, research shows that giving a loved one a squeeze can lower blood pressure and keep it there even if you're faced with stressful tasks after the embrace. Hugging also boosts oxytocin, your bonding hormone.
Getting your heart pumping for just a few minutes can boost your mood and, most significantly, stimulate your human growth hormone—that's the chemical responsible for cell regeneration and keeping your body young. For the biggest impact in the quickest amount of time, try cycling through some HIIT training.
Adaptogenic herbs like maca, ginseng, rhodiola, and reishi mushroom help the body adapt to stress by nature—they're shown to re-balance cortisol, effectively curbing anxiety and out-of-control cravings.
There is actually a variety of foods that can keep your hormones in check, but fatty acids in particular have a profound effect on the endocrine system. You can find healthy fatty acids in coconut oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and fish.