Endorphins are chemical substances produced by the human body. They act as natural analgesics, which means they help reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins are also involved in mood regulation and can have beneficial effects on emotional well-being.
Endorphins can be produced in a variety of ways, such as through strenuous physical activity, positive emotions or eating certain foods. Some people feel a "boost" of well-being after playing sports or completing a strenuous exercise, and this can be attributed to the release of endorphins.
There are several types of endorphins, but the best known are morphine and norepinephrine. Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and are released in the brain and peripheral nerves. They work by binding to specific receptors on nerve cells, thereby decreasing the transmission of pain signals.
Basically, endorphins are natural substances produced by the body that help reduce pain and improve mood. Here are 15 ways to get your body to produce more of them:
Exercise: This is THE best way to trigger the release of endorphins in the brain. Ideally, moderate intensity exercise, 30 minutes or more. In a group (even a small one), it would work even better. Personally, since I've been walking 3x week with 2 girlfriends and my dog, my life has been transformed.
Spicy foods: Capsaicin, a compound found in spicy foods, has been shown to stimulate the production of endorphins.
Red wine and dark chocolate: What else can I say? Go!
Massage: Massages can stimulate the release of endorphins and improve circulation, which can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Laughter: Laughter has been shown to stimulate the production of endorphins and improve mood.
Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve mood by increasing the production of endorphins.
Sex: Alone or with someone else. Take advantage of the January sales to get a new toy. Be modern, you have power tools in your kitchen and garage. You're not thinking of whipping up those egg whites by hand, are you? It doesn't make you a worse cook if you use tools that make your life easier. Still following my metaphor? Well then, long live technology in 2023!
Acupuncture: Research shows that acupuncture triggers the nervous system to release beta-endorphins, the "feel-good chemicals". These substances are important in pain management because they produce a morphine-like effect.
Music - Listening to it is good, but playing it is even better.
Cold showers, cold water baths. But for those of you who are cold like me, hot showers work too!
Random act of kindness. I understand better now all those stories about people paying it forward: they get an endorphin boost!
Essential oils. You can try lavender or other euphoric oils, including: rosemary, citrus scents (like orange, grapefruit or bergamot), ylang ylang or frankincense.
Time in nature: Even in the city, we can find nature corners to integrate small walks into our daily life, no need to go hiking a weekend every time!
A good drama: According to a 2016 study, the emotional arousal that occurs when people watch dramas increases pain threshold and social connection. This led scientists to believe that your Netflix marathon might actually boost endorphins.
Tattoo: Tattoos cause at least some pain, even if you tolerate it well. The endorphins your body releases during the tattoo can make you feel good and cause a euphoric feeling. This feeling can last for a while, and it's not uncommon for you to want to experience it again.