This picture pretty much sums up today’s post: endorphins. I thought it would be a fun and easy post right before the New Year and celebrations. Endorphins are neuropeptides released in response to neutransmitters and bind to certain neuron receptors. They are released in response to pain (childbirth, combat, exercise) and can even produce feelings of euphoria. Drugs like morphine, heroine, and cocaine are classic endorphin releasing entities. There are a number of ways to spike and increase the endorphins released by the body:
- Chili Pepper: eating peppers can release endorphins centrally and on the tongue. Why, do you ask? To reduce the pain of the hot pepper, duh! The hotter the pepper, the greater endorphin response.
- Think positively: think of those placebo studies, where patients think that they’re being medication, when they’re really not, but because they think their taking a medicine, they will themselves into feeling better.
- Exercise: most have probably heard this before (aka a ‘runner’s high’). Working out is proven to enhance mood.
- acupuncture: needles are a release for the body and may trigger endorphins (I wonder if this is true of tattoos too? They do they’re addicting.) Also it plays into the placebo thing, where they think the needles are doing something for them.
- Chocolate: how many times have I talked about the benefits of cacao! Chocolate is the closest food to a drug and can impact the brain and the release of endorphins. Don’t go hog-wild, 1 or 2 bites is all it takes and I bet that the least processed, the better.
- Be afraid: most having probably gotten that rush- watching a scary movie (having to hold your hand over your eyes) or the feeling when barrel down a rollercoaster drop like you’re going straight through the ground. There’s a reason extreme sports is popular.
- Sunlight: UV light triggers endorphins production
- Laughter: can produce endorphins that will increase immune function and create greater resistance to disease.
- Emotional: viewing beautiful art, watching a touching movie scene, or listening to inspiring music can produce endorphins.
- Have an orgasm: don’t think I really need to get into this one.
Feeling down; need a pick me up? Well release those feel-good endorphins. Laugh, how easy and inexpensive is that. Watch a moving movie or jump on a roller coaster. Chow down on some chilis or on some chocolate. Have sex, do whatever, but there are plenty of options here (that are safe and natural) and feel good now!