Find Happiness Everyday With These 6 Natural Ways to Boost Endorphins
Working out of any kind strains your system (albeit in a good way), which leads to the release of endorphins, because that’s just what they do – help in coping.
Photo Credit : Credit: Bruce Rosenstein,
Have you ever received good news, and not felt happy about it for who-knows-what reason? Sometimes, we get dragged down by commitments, duties, roles, and responsibilities, numbing our minds to the things that earlier brought us great joy. On International Happiness Day, let’s talk about endorphins – the source of happiness.
First of all, trust me when I say that we ALL need endorphins, with no exception. But if you are a working professional who spends over 12 hours at work, and umpteen more answering emails, calls, or messages at home, then you need these brain chemicals especially more. These feel-good neurotransmitters are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland, and the word is actually a combination of 2 words – endo (secreted within the body), and morphine (because of its similarity to the drug). The key role of endorphins is to make you feel good at the times when it may seem the most difficult. Endorphins essentially block the transmission of pain/stress signals, and produce a feeling of euphoria (a rush, as some people call it), much like opioids are known to do.
In the past, low endorphin levels have been linked to depression, hypersensitivity, and low immunity. So if you are looking for happiness, better immunity, or overall wellness, endorphins are a good place to begin.
Here’s how you can ensure an endorphin boost naturally, through the week:
1. Exercise – Working out of any kind strains your system (albeit in a good way), which leads to the release of endorphins, because that’s just what they do – help in coping. But remember, no 2 bodies are alike, and what may give your friend a rush, may not necessarily be enough for you. Monitor yourself the next time you exercise, and check for happy feelings on a scale of 1 to 10. In some time, you will know exactly how much to work out for that high. Oh, I almost forgot, sex can be counted as exercise too, and yes, it does wonders for your endorphin levels as well!
2. Giggles – Yes, laughing, guffawing, chuckling, chortling, and cackling will make you feel even better! I call it ‘tummy jogging’. What’s more, laughing also helps lower blood pressure, boosts immunity, relieves stress, and promotes a general sense of wellbeing.
3. Creativity – Listening to music sure does make you happy, but composing something will do so even more! You don’t have to be a classical musician, because you see, endorphins don’t really discriminate. At work, channel all your creativity into everything you do; don’t restrict yourself. I’m talking presentations, sales pitches, emails etc. with a touch of imagination. While at home, sing karaoke, write a short story, or dance away – do something creative, and be rewarded.
4. Hot peppers – Even if you love spicy food, your body still perceives spice as heat, and responds in the way it would to pain – by releasing endorphins. But make sure you don’t overdo it.
5. Chocolate – I’m sure this point made you very happy. Unwrap, bite, endorphins, repeat. Studies have noted that chocolate leads to a huge endorphin release in the brain, establishing chocolate as the comfort food we know it to be.
6. Aromatherapy – Certain scents are known to have very calming effects on the mind and the body, due to their endorphin-boosting effects. Vanilla and lavender for example, have been seen to help anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Add a drop or 2 of vanilla/lavender essential oil to your tea while it’s brewing, add it to your bath water, or light a few scented candles, and melt away into the good feelings.
Simple, right? All the good things in life are. Why should you keep yourself from a healthy and happy body, mind, and everything else? In fact, considering that the efficacy of endorphins is said to reduce with age, I suggest that you begin working toward your daily endorphin quota right away.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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