We all know that exercise and sex are a great stimulant for endorphins, but did you know that there are at least 20 types of endorphins all with different functions?
With opioid abuse being such a crisis, it is important to look at alternative ways to which to trigger endorphins. Especially, without the threat of addiction and overdose. That being said, the methods listed below are sure to get your happy juices flowing.
While endorphins can help to relieve pain and create feelings of euphoria, a lot of individuals have looked to prescription drugs to do just that, particularly opioids.
We are aware that endorphins are naturally produced chemicals that help to alleviate pain, discomfort and stress. They are produced by the nervous system and are often referred to as feel-good chemicals because of their ability to relieve stress and incite euphoria. Some help to ease pain, some help to boost motivation and others act as natural sedatives. The most commonly known ones are dopamine and serotonin.
Today endorphins that we are focusing on 7 that may surprise you.
1. A Diet For Endorphins
In your quest to trigger the release of endorphins, it's important to ensure that your diet is tailored to this goal. Brain foods that can help boost endorphin levels include foods rich in protein, dark leafy vegetables, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich foods. Such foods include salmon, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, avocados, nuts and seeds.
2. Spice it up
If you're a fan of spicy foods, you could be regularly experiencing a boost of endorphins.
Capsaicin is the compound, found in chillies, that is responsible for their hot and spicy taste. When eating chillies, capsaicin makes your brain believe that you are in pain by alerting the pain receptors in your nose and mouth. This then activates the release of endorphins.
3. Relax and enjoy a massage
As mentioned, touch can help to activate the release of endorphins.
Aside from intimate touching, getting a massage can also do the same. At the end of a massage, we're left feeling relaxed, relieved and much, much happier.
4. Believe it or not- chocolate (well dark chocolate)!
It seems that the need to eat chocolate when you're in a sour mood is scientifically backed.
The antioxidants found in dark chocolate help to boost heart health and reduce levels of inflammation. Interestingly, studies have also revealed that said antioxidants can also help to raise endorphin levels. When indulging in chocolate, it is important to avoid chocolates that contain added sugar and small amounts of cocoa. Rather go for chocolates that contain at least 70% cocoa and be sure to only enjoy it in moderation.
5. It's been said that laughter is the best medicine.
PsychologyToday revealed that the average child laughs about 300 times a day whereas the average adult only laughs about 17 times a day, which explains why we're often so grumpy at the end of the day. Thus, try not to take life too seriously and enjoy a good joke now and then.
6. Enjoy music!
The joyous feeling you get from listening to your favourite song is actually activated endorphins in action.
7. Meditation time
Meditation is a powerful experience that can have a profound impact on your health.
The art of meditation has been known to alleviate stress and some studies believe that this is due to the release of endorphins. If you're new to meditation, click here for tips on how you can start meditating.
While there continues to research in the activation and full effects of endorphins, learning how to naturally active them lowers the risk of dependency on alcohol and narcotics Ð a dependency that could lead to addiction and death.
Endorphins also have an effect on our general well-being as studies have found that having low levels can actually increase the risk of depression, fibromyalgia and chronic headaches.