24 May Getting a Natural High with Endorphins
Endorphins are hormones that provide stress relief, increase energy, and make you feel good all the way around. When they are released through healthy activities, they provide a natural high and create feelings of pleasure. For people who are recovering from addiction, endorphins can provide relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms. When an addict is having trouble abstaining from a substance, releasing endorphins will help to shift their focus until the craving passes. Below are several triggers have been proven to reduce endorphins.
Humor: Anything that is funny or makes you feel happy will release endorphins. Deep, hearty laughter is a great way to get your endorphins going and give you that needed boost. Telling jokes, acting silly, and doing anything else to entertain yourself or others is just what the doctor ordered. If you don’t feel like you’re in a place where you can be sincerely funny or amused, fake it ’til you make it. The simple act of smiling (even if you aren’t necessarily feeling happy) can cause a release of endorphins.
Physical Activity: The “runner’s high” is no myth and exercising is one of the most effective ways to release endorphins. You will feel great after a workout, even if you’re not running for miles. Going for a walk, taking a bike ride, swimming, and anything else that gets your blood pumping will have the desired effect, so get up and get moving!
Engaging the Senses: Engaging any one of the five senses is a great way to release endorphins. Eating good, distinctive foods that are spicy, cold, or somewhat extreme in other ways will have the best effect. Dark chocolate actually increases endorphins chemically, so a little bit of that can go a long way. Listening to music, gardening, walking barefoot in the sand, and any other deeply sensual experience will engage the mind and release endorphins. Simply taking the time to slow down and focus on enjoying your life will increase your supply of this wonderful little hormone.
When you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed with life, get out and start experiencing the world in some positive way. You will find that your prior troubles are soon forgotten as your endorphins take over and you begin to feel better. Random acts of kindness, connecting with a friend, visiting your favorite restaurant, or seeing an action-packed movie are all good ways to pick yourself up and set yourself down on a path to a happier life.