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Love Learned

Make Yourself Happy

Let’s Increase Those Endorphins!

Endorphins are natural pain and stress fighters. They are released into the bloodstream to elicit the feeling of euphoria, enhance pleasure, relieve stress, and reduce feelings of pain.

They are one of the body’s “happy hormones” ♡

When you are low in endorphins, you are more likely to feel anxious, depressed, stressed out, and unable to enjoy life or experience happiness.

While physical exercise is the most widely known way to increase endorphins, it isn’t the only way. And that’s a good thing, since most of us will never experience the legendary runner’s high.

But some of the best things in life — like love, laughter, sunshine, and chocolate — increase endorphins just as well.

Let’s see how to increase our endorphins naturally!

Increase Endorphins with Food

Sweets2

Certain foods either contain or encourage the release of endorphins. They have high levels of vitamins and minerals — like vitamin 12, vitamin C, zinc, potassium and iron — that help our brain to release these “happy hormones”. Lucky for us, they also happen to be delicious!

DARK CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is one of the all-time favorite comfort foods. There are several compounds in chocolate that perform this magic. One of them, phenylethylamine, works by raising endorphin levels.

STRAWBERRIES

Summer Cut Strawberries.

ORANGES

GRAPES

SPICY FOOD

The hot, spicy taste of foods is not, in fact, a taste sensation but a feeling of pain. This causes endorphins to rush in to put out the fire, which produces a feeling of wellbeing.

NUTS AND SEEDS

GINSENG

Ginseng may benefit people who are feeling fatigued and over-stressed and those recovering from a long illness. It may also enhance the production of endorphins, ‘feel-good’ chemicals produced by the brain.

+ANY FOODS YOU ENJOY

Whatever it is –watermelon ice cream, italian meatballs, blueberry french toasts or hotdogs– if you like it, for sure it will make you happy releasing some endorphins.

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Increasing Endorphins with Lifestyle

Flower-Crowns

Besides food, there are other lifestyle choices that increase endorphins, and most of them are a lot easier than tough exercise (we must be the luckiest people on earth, right?!)

SNIFF SOME VANILLA OR LAVENDER

Certain aromas can lift your mood by influencing the production of endorphins. For example, the scents of vanilla and lavender.

  • To get the endorphin-boosting benefits of vanilla, add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the pot before the coffee brews, light some vanilla-scented candles, or add vanilla essential oil to your bath-water.
  • For the lavender’s ones, dab lavender oil on your wrists and temples or diffuse it in the air with an inexpensive device you can pick up at the health food store.

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CATCH SOME RAYS

The best known benefit of sun exposure is essential vitamin D formation, but the sun’s ultraviolet radiation also boosts endorphin production.

While you never want to get so much sun that you risk sunburn, moderate amounts of sun exposure can make you healthier and happier in more ways than one.

LAUGH YOURSELF HAPPY

The average child laughs 300 times per day while the average adult laughs only 17 times. And that’s to our detriment since laughter, as they say, is the best medicine (it does boost our levels of endorphins after all)

Don’t really feel like laughing?

It’s OK to fake it. Fake laughter increases endorphins too!

DANCE TO THE MUSIC

Listening to music, especially music that makes you feel joyful, increases endorphins. Even better than listening, grab an instrument, grab a mic, or just get up and dance.

Playing an instrument, singing, and dancing all stimulate endorphin release even more than passive listening.

Outfits

MAKE TIME TO PLAY

When we become adults we put aside our childish things and, unfortunately, one of these is play.

Playing  can reduce stress, exercise your brain, boost creativity, strengthen relationships, and even make you feel younger.

If your main form of entertainment is screen time with an electronic device, turn that thing off and engage in some endorphin-boosting fun instead.

MEDITATION

Meditation is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness. A regular meditation practice reduces the stress hormone cortisol, while increasing endorphins.

But moving meditations — like tai chi, Pilates and yoga — can trigger endorphin release too.

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BREATHING EXERCISES

Watch a child or a pet sleep and you’ll see that their belly, and not their chest, moves up and down. This deep breathing from the diaphragm is the way we are meant to breathe.

Breathe in from your belly for 5 seconds and then exhale out for 5 seconds.

Do this for one minute.

This sends a signal to the brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitters endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.

 

LEND A HELPING HAND

Helping others activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust — a flood of endorphins.

You can help friends and family, give to your favorite charity, or help out by volunteering.

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GOSSIP (It’s OK, really)

While giving to others is an altruistic way to increase endorphins, one of human’s less noble pursuits — gossip — can do the same. Apparently, gossiping is a primitive need that’s essential for our social and psychological well-being.

TAKE A SAUNA

Taking a sauna is a traditional way to relax, detox, and socialize — and now you can add increasing endorphins to the list.

If you don’t have access to a sauna, taking a hot shower can also do the trick.

EXERCISE WITH OTHERS

I promised that you wouldn’t have to exercise to increase endorphin production — and you don’t! But sitting all day is mind numbing and unhealthy, so you should do some exercise anyway.

When you exercise, do it with others. Taking an exercise class or having an exercise partner increases endorphins and tolerance to pain better than exercising alone.

Also, the fun is guaranteed!

Now that you know the ways to boost your body’s “happy hormones”, use them to make yourself happy!


♡ The body’s other “happy hormones” — apart from endorphins — are serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.

DID YOU KNOW your body’s natural pain-killing endorphins, molecule for molecule, are thousands of times stronger than morphine?

Sources
Eat Yourself Happy With These 8 Endorphin-Releasing Foods by FLORIE MWANZA
10 Natural Ways to Boost Endorphins Instantly BY READER'S DIGEST EDITORS
How to Increase Endorphins Naturally (Exercise Optional) By Deane Alban

2 Comments

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  1. Aww, this was an uplifting read. =] I love spicy food, haha. I think I love the release I feel and it’s always my go-to food when I feel stressed. Meditation and exercise are also some of my favorite ways to increase my levels of happiness. Thanks so much for writing something that helps remind us that it’s the little things that keep us going. <3

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Written by Kristina Súarez-Zarracina Sánchez

Kristina. INFP. Diplomat and mediator according to that... But I just think of myself as a lost soul that honestly has no idea where she's going nor what she's supposed to be... But that's a story for another day.
I'm in love with the artistic part of life, whatever that let's me be creative is something I love with all my heart. I've dealt in my life with some psychological issues, so I hope I can help people with my writting and artistic skills. I think our mind is something we've yet to explore and I hope I can participate on that!

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