We are all too familiar with stress. In today’s fast-paced, always-on and demanding world, it’s hard to avoid daily stressors. You’re late for work, have to drop the kids off at school, forgot about your big presentation to your boss and the mortgage payment is late. Of course you’re stressed, but don’t worry, there are ways to beat it.

Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” plays a large role in the body’s stress response. Cortisol helps trigger the fight-or-flight response to allow your body to manage the stress at hand. This process is meant to be short-lived, but our modern life is filled with stressors which can lead to chronic stress. Unmanaged, this can wreak havoc on your health and well-being.

So how does cortisol affect stress? Cortisol encourages the liver to produce extra glucose, giving your body the energy needed to deal with stress. At normal levels cortisol helps you wake up in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and deal with regular daily stress. But cortisol also shuts down your body’s immune system and increases blood pressure. Prolonged stress can lead to sleep problems, memory loss, blood sugar abnormalities and abdominal weight gain.

So what can you do to remain less stressed and cut down on increased cortisol production? There are many ways to reduce stress and you should find what works best for you. Here are a few things you can try.

Meditate Meditation has a long history as a tool for stress reduction because it helps calm the mind and produce deep relaxation.

Listen to soothing music – Music can have a calming effect on the brain and help you relax from the day’s stresses.

Take hot bath – Taking a hot bath can help reduce blood pressure and relax tense muscles and nerves.

Make time for regular exercise – Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it also helps your brain increase production of serotonin and dopamine to reduce anxiety and depression.

Have a cup of herbal tea or a natural stress-relief supplement – Ginseng has a natural calming effect and vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and CoQ10 can help regulate your stress response.

Get a full night’s sleep Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night is recommended to help your body recover from the day’s stresses before facing a new day.

Follow these simple tips to manage your own stress levels for peace of mind and a healthier life.