Ever noticed why you felt good after a workout? It’s because of endorphins. These are neurochemicals that play a key role in regulating various functions, such as stimulating feelings of pleasure, happiness and well-being. The word “endorphin” comes from “endogenous” (from the body) and “morphine” (pain reliever). This means endorphins help in relieving pain naturally.
So, how to boost the levels of endorphins naturally? Here are some tips you should try-
Exercising provides lots of physical health benefits. In fact, it can also help reduce stress, anxiety and other mental health benefits. Science says it happens due to endorphins. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, thus making you feel good while taking all your tensions and worries away. Here are some interesting facts about exercising and endorphins-
- Endorphins are associated with continuous workout. A study published in 2011 reported that the neurotransmitters are released after 30 minutes of exercise.
- Exercising in a group can help you with a better boost. Dancing, walking and running deliver amazing health benefits.
Moreover, exercising helps activate the endocannabinoid system as cannabis does. Cannabis is an amazing plant with benefits such as pain management, anxiety, relief, etc. Many prefer mixing exercising and cannabis to receive more benefits. But, you should talk to medical marijuana doctors before doing so.
Enjoy a Massage
There’s no doubt that massage promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. It’s also beneficial in managing pain and fatigue. These benefits are associated with increased levels of neurotransmitters, including endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine.
Science says that massage therapy helps lowering the levels of stress hormones, which trigger a fight-or-flight response. Massage also reduces adrenaline and norepinephrine by activating the parasympathetic state. Thus, a quick massage can help you boost energy and promote a sense of well-being.
So, to boost your endorphins, get at least an hour of massage and tell your therapist that relaxation and stress relief are the primary goals.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Yes, it helps. Medical researchers have found that cocoa makes the brain release endorphins. Cocoa is one of the major ingredients in the chocolate. However, it’s important to learn about the difference between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. The former has a bitter taste, but it can help you release more endorphins.
Other benefits of eating dark chocolate are—boosted mood, better heart health, improved energy and enhanced cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2014 reported that eating dark chocolate every day can help promote weight loss. It works by reducing insulin resistance, thus decreasing blood sugar levels.
Laugh With Friends
Laughter is the best medicine for pain. Laughing with your loved ones helps release more feel-good chemicals endorphins in the brain. Endorphins interact with opioid receptors, thus managing pain and triggering feelings of pleasure and happiness.
Additionally, the release of endorphins caused by social laughter helps in improving social bonding. So, next time you are with your friends, add watching a movie in your schedule for a natural endorphin boost.
Doing something kind has a positive impact on the brain. Helping others generates a sense of satisfaction and makes you feel good. It increases the levels of different neurotransmitters, such as endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine, thus regulating mood and various other important bodily functions.
By performing some simple random acts, you can feel good daily. For instance, holding a door open for someone, writing a thank you note for someone, buying someone a cup of tea, etc.
After performing an act of kindness, you generally feel happier and proud about yourself. And, the feelings of doing something nice for others make you keep doing more.
Get Some Sun
Many avoid going outdoors when the sun is shining to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. However, research shows that ultraviolet radiation helps in releasing more endorphins. It’s good to get outside by covering yourself up.
Additionally, sunlight helps the skin produce vitamin D and also accelerate the production of serotonin and melatonin—thus improving your mood, energy levels and sleep. To benefit from sun exposure, it’s necessary to sit in the sun for at least 20 minutes every day. And, if you want to sit longer, apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher to reduce the risks of skin cancer.
Endorphins are natural feel-good chemicals associated with pain management, stress relief and happiness. Techniques, such as exercising, enjoying a massage and eating dark chocolate can help you boost the levels of endorphins naturally. Studies show that laughing with others and performing a random act of kindness can also release endorphins and other chemicals.
I would recommend you to try different methods to learn how they are working for you. For instance, if you are planning to exercise, start with running outdoors and add more exercises gradually.
What do you do to boost your endorphins? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.