You've heard of having an endorphin rush, but what does that really mean? Your body produces a wide range of chemicals, including endorphins, that can affect how you feel physically and mentally. Lots of triggers can produce endorphins in your body and improve how you feel. Learn more about how endorphins work and how you can get your body to produce more.
Your body naturally produces endorphins, which are hormones that relieve pain and improve your mood. These chemicals lower your perception of the pain you have by interacting with receptors in the brain. This allows you to keep functioning through your pain. A similar response happens when you're stressed to help you get through the situation.
When you're doing something enjoyable, such as laughing with a loved one, your body also releases endorphins. Think of it as your internal reward system for doing something you enjoy. This helps amplify the pleasure you feel while doing the activity. Exercise often produces a wave of endorphins, which creates the "runner's high" phenomenon. You can experience a similar feeling of euphoria during other activities that make you happy.
When you get hurt, your body sends out endorphins to work as a natural pain reliever. If you're feeling lots of stress, your body will also produce the chemicals. However, your body can also make endorphins when you experience pleasurable things. This includes things like spending time with loved ones, sharing a laugh, eating chocolate, getting a massage, dancing, using aromatherapy, watching an entertaining show and doing something kind for others.
Sometimes you can be low on endorphins, even when you do things that would normally cause the endorphin euphoria feeling. Some symptoms of low endorphins or an endorphin deficiency can include body aches, depression, moodiness, anxiety, sleep difficulties, addiction and impulsiveness. It may also cause things like self-harm and exercise addiction, since doing those things can also create an endorphin rush.
Your body naturally produces endorphins if you're feeling stressed or you feel pain. Of course, you don't want to use those two methods to increase your endorphins. Luckily, you can also boost endorphin production by doing things you find pleasurable. Here are some ways to boost your endorphin levels.
You know how important exercise is for your physical health, but it also helps your mental health. Your body releases endorphins while you exercise. Low- or moderate-intensity exercise tends to make the biggest improvement in your mood, so you don't have to do a 10-mile run or a CrossFit workout to get a mood boost from exercise. Being active with a loved one can give you an extra boost of endorphins since you're combining two things that help produce the natural chemicals.
Socializing and spending time with your loved ones can be important to your health. Older adults who are lonely face a higher risk of premature death, dementia, heart disease and depression, according to the CDC. Quality time with people who are important to you can boost your endorphin hormones, which gives you a more positive outlook. Make the time together fun and positive with other activities that also help produce endorphins. Try something new together, watch a funny movie or indulge in some high-quality chocolate.
While time spent with loved ones is important for feeling positivity in your life, you also need time to yourself. Use this time to engage in things that help you relax and feel joy. Meditation is one example of a quiet, relaxing activity you can do alone that often increases endorphins. There are different types of meditation, so you can find an option that fits your preferences. Create a quiet space inside your home for meditation or find a quiet spot on the beautifully landscaped grounds of Autumn View Gardens where you can meditate. Taking a hot, relaxing bath can also give you an endorphin boost. Add some essential oils to incorporate aromatherapy and light some candles to help yourself relax fully.
Doing things you love can also help increase your endorphin levels. You don't have to go skydiving or mountain climbing to get a rush. Think about the things that get you excited or bring you joy. That might include listening to music, going dancing or eating at a favorite restaurant. Make time for those enjoyable activities, by yourself and with other people.
An act of kindness is another way to release endorphins. Finding a way to volunteer can give you a regular boost of endorphins. Look for organizations that help a cause that's important to you. Places that often look for volunteers include churches, animal shelters, homeless shelters, schools, libraries and museums. You might also notice an endorphin boost when you do random acts of kindness.
Autumn View Gardens offers residents many activities that can be enjoyable and help boost endorphins. You can enjoy relaxing salon services, go on cultural outings, exercise and take cooking classes, just to name a few. Meeting other residents and spending time laughing together can also get your endorphins flowing.