My guest blog for today was submitted by the Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic, a leading Gainesville Georgia Internal Medicine clinic, less than an hour drive from Atlanta. NGDC is a multi-specialty clinic with services that range from sleep medicine to diabetes education. They have been providing care to patients in the area for over 50 years.
Here are some great ways to trigger the release of endorphins in our bodies. I gained insight from reading this and I trust you will also. Enjoy.
Ways to Trigger the Release of Endorphins
Everyone has likely heard the word endorphins, but many may not truly understand what they are. Endorphins are a group of peptide hormones that, when released, naturally increases the body’s threshold for pain and improves how we feel emotionally. While it is produced naturally, it’s chemical and works very similarly to morphine.
The following are certain things you can do to achieve the natural high of endorphins:
Music: It’s amazing the effect music can have on our mood. Even more remarkable is that it actually releases endorphins as well. No wonder people get excited when their favorite song comes on the radio, or become calm and happy when they listen to soothing music like classical or instrumental selections. Studies have shown that roughly 30 minutes of music listening released enough endorphins to equal the effect of the muscle relaxer called Valium.
Relaxing activities: A deep level of relaxation is linked directly to the release of endorphins. Activities like yoga, massages and saunas are the perfect thing to do if you need to lift your mood. Deep breathing is also linked to the release of endorphins. Relaxing your mind, body and soul can heal some of the deepest internal wounds and create an opening for happiness.
Sun: Spend some time in the great outdoors and soak up the sun. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the fresh air while simultaneously achieving a natural high. Just don’t stay in the sun too long or you could risk premature aging or developing skin cancer. As with all things, happiness comes with balance.
Laughter and Tears: When you keel over with laughter, it’s hard not to feel insanely happy and good afterwards. This is because the body releases endorphins every time you have a good chuckle. Some even claim that it can give at least two hours of pain-free sleep for those who suffer from painful diseases or illnesses. When it comes to tears, researchers believe that the body releases endorphins to relieve pain that is often associated with the emotions that cause tears.
Sweet & Spicy foods: Chocolate and sweets stimulate the brain’s pleasure pathways, with chocolate being the highest endorphin releasing food in the world. However, the effect of the endorphins is short lived with sweets and can ultimately leave you feeling tired afterwards if you consume too much. On the opposite side, spicy foods can trigger the body to release endorphins as well by tricking our body into thinking the mouth is on fire and that it needs a chemical relief from the brain.
I can personally attest to the efficacy of each of the above, as can probably most of you. I believe a lot of us engage in endorphin releasing activities without realizing the benefit we are receiving. Having read this, I will be paying closer attention to differences in my mood and my body when I’m listening to music or eating chocolate, etc.
Does anyone know of other activities that help release endorphins? Let me know in the comments section, please.