Endorphins are neurotransmitters that promote positive feelings, relieve pain and stress, and enhance mental health. Exercise is the ideal way to increase endorphins but you could also try taking a hot bath, eating spicy foods, or laughing with friends as other methods for increasing endorphins may work as well. So, how to increase endorphins naturally?
Research suggests that even moderate physical exercise like walking and swimming stimulates the release of endorphins, while group activities like rowing may produce even greater surges of these feel-good chemicals.
Cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate endorphin release. Once your heart beats and sweat glands start perspiring, feel-good chemicals begin rushing through your system and mask any pain your brain perceives – one reason exercise can be such an effective coping mechanism in addiction recovery.
Exercise is partially responsible for producing endorphins – endorphins are responsible for that “runner’s high” people often experience after engaging in strenuous physical activity such as running. You don’t even need a treadmill – walking, swimming, or group fitness classes such as those offered at many gyms will suffice!
Group exercise classes could increase endorphin levels even more than individual activity. Research in 2009 demonstrated this point with college row teams experiencing higher surges of feel-good chemicals than when rowing alone.
If you want a quick and effective workout that still gives you that feeling-good endorphin buzz, traditional burpees could be the solution. This challenging and intensely aerobic exercise requires you to start in plank position, jump forward into pushup position and land back in a squat before repeating for two minutes – working all major muscle groups while increasing heart rate to release endorphins quickly and effectively.
Though strenuous exercise is often seen as the key to increasing endorphin levels, other lifestyle choices like eating foods that enhance our mood or practicing mindfulness meditation techniques can also have positive results. Even simple activities like taking a short stroll, deep breathing exercises, and stretching can boost our natural feel-good chemicals and give us that feeling of well-being we desire.
Chocolate has long been recognized for its mood-enhancing effects. Just a few pieces of dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure and inflammation while increasing happiness levels. Spicy foods, like chili peppers, also release feel-good endorphins as your brain interprets heat as pain; in response, endorphins are released as pain relievers (Carollo 2012). Furthermore, small amounts of alcohol may trigger this response (although too much can have the opposite effect).
Sexual pleasure can bring on an exhilarating rush due to the release of endorphins and hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine; no wonder people love kissing and cuddling! You can experience similar euphoria through non-sexual activities like dancing to your favorite music, cuddling on the sofa, and sharing laughter together.
Endorphins are natural pain and stress relievers produced by our hypothalamus and pituitary glands to control pain, reduce anxiety and stress levels, and promote positivity in our daily lives. There are various natural ways of increasing endorphins such as eating your favorite foods, exercising regularly, laughing and listening to music or sunbathing; spreading kindness, or getting massages may also release endorphins.
Food can be an instant source of pleasure, especially when you really crave it. Spicy peppers contain chemicals that stimulate brain chemistry to release endorphins faster.
Listening to music is another powerful way to stimulate endorphins, but according to research musical performance may be even more effective as the social aspect may increase oxytocin and dopamine levels while helping you relax. Furthermore, meditation or practicing mindfulness has also been found effective at stimulating endorphin production; just choose a quiet spot without too much mental clutter – the more relaxed you are the better your meditation will go!
Laughing can be an effective way to instantly lift your mood and release endorphins, strengthen relationships, overcome adversity, and feel better about yourself. Try adding more laughter into your daily life whether through laughing with friends, watching comedies, or practicing laughter yoga – adding humor is good medicine!
Laughter helps your body take in more oxygen than usual, which stimulates your heart, lungs, and other organs – protecting and lowering your blood pressure at the same time! Additionally, laughter reduces stress hormones while simultaneously increasing infection-fighting antibodies and neuropeptides to fight infections more effectively.
Studies have revealed that laughing together with others can reduce pain tolerance, possibly by increasing endorphin release. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, smiling can still give your brain an instantaneous boost by stimulating a similar area.
Spending time outdoors can help boost endorphin levels and relieve tension, thanks to sunlight’s role in producing vitamin D for your skin, which in turn makes you happier and more relaxed. Furthermore, sunshine may also help you sleep better at night; those who get enough sun may be less prone to insomnia.