Endorphins are neurotransmitters naturally produced by the pituitary gland (central nervous system). They are responsible for producing feelings of well-being, as they combat discomfort and reduce painful sensations.
How to stimulate endorphins
Not only are they neurotransmitters that make us happy, but we can also stimulate endorphins. Here we list 6 simple and practical ways to stimulate endorphins , these can be through physical exercise, the stimulation of caresses, laughter and contact with nature, among other ways.
1. Physical exercise
Improved mood, and therefore self-esteem, is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with receptors in the brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also cause a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that you are following a race or training is often described as “euphoric.”
That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing attitude in life.
Endorphins act as pain relievers, which means that they decrease the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are made in the brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
The neuroreceptors that endorphins bind to are the same ones that some pain medications bind to. However, unlike morphine, activation of these receptors by endorphins in the body does not lead to addiction or dependence.
Regular exercise has shown:
- Reduce stress
- Protect from anxiety and feelings of depression
- Increase self esteem
- Improve sleep
Exercise also has these additional health benefits:
- Strengthen your heart
- Rise the levels of energy
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves muscle tone and strength
- Consolidate and strengthen bones
- Helps reduce body fat
- Makes you look fit and healthy
2. The caresses
Kisses and hugs stimulate the discharge of endorphins, as well as pheromones, hormones that increase the attractiveness of the person and captivate the couple.
The combination of these two hormones produces a situation of intense pleasure, during and after the intimate relationship.
Here’s how a good hug, resulting in a good flow of endorphins, affects:
- It lowers blood pressure, especially helpful if you feel anxious.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) is lowered, allowing for a higher quality of sleep.
You can increase your social connections and a sense of belonging.
Because of these results, it’s no surprise that studies have also shown that couples who hug more are more likely to stay together. Some reports have even shown how hugging can reduce pain. There is only one question: it has to be a good hug, which means, it has to last at least 20 seconds.
The laughter is regularly promoted as a source of health and wellness, but it has been difficult to pinpoint exactly why laughing until it hurts feels so good. The answer, reports Robin Dunbar, an Oxford evolutionary psychologist, is not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humor, but the physical act of laughter.
The simple muscular efforts involved in producing the familiar, “ha ha,” he said, cause an increase in endorphins, brain chemicals known for their wellness effect . It is enough with outlining a smile so that our body begins to secrete endorphins, especially enkephalins.
4. Contact with nature
It fills us with energy and good humor. The atmosphere that you breathe in nature , whether in the countryside or on the beach loaded with negative ions, stimulates the hormones of happiness.
A harmonious walk, where pure air is breathed calmly, without agitation, causes a decrease in worrying thoughts that weigh on the person. In a calmer state, well-being is generated and that brings about the segregation of endorphins.
5. Massages, meditation and yoga
Endorphins are secreted more easily and in greater quantity when our mind is relaxed. It is highly recommended to practice relaxation through practices such as meditation , yoga, and tai-chi.
The massage causes great discharges of well-being, since the nerve endings transmit the friction of the hands on the skin to the brain, activating the secretion of hormones of happiness.
6. Melodic music
We all enjoy listening to music , but if it’s just listening to it in the background, experts say it won’t work on the mind and body. To truly experience music you have to listen actively not passively.
“If you actively listen to music, it channels and trains certain actions in the brain, which I think are beneficial,” said Dr. Crookes , a bariatric surgeon and musician .
Studies show that music can help people recover from pain and reduce the need for medications after surgery.
Another study reveals that music can reduce anxiety in patients before surgery. Patients say that the ability of music to alter their mood can be very beneficial.
Music causes a significant release of endorphins, achieving a decrease in heart and respiratory rates as well as significant muscle relaxation.
They found us looking for:
- What are endorphins?
- Exercise and endorphins
- Endorphins and sport
- The hormone of joy
- Hormones of happiness
- How to release endorphins