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9 ways to increase endorphins in your body

Endorphins are chemicals released in your body when you feel pain or are under stress. Here are some ways to increase endorphins naturally.
Understand natural ways to increase endorphins in the body!
Purvi Kalra Published: 20 Jun 2024, 09:20 pm IST
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Care for a good mood? Well, let the endorphins kick in! These are a kind of “feel-good” brain chemical that act as natural pain and stress relievers. They are chemical messengers in the body that are released by our central nervous system and our pituitary gland. However, these can also be released by other parts of the body to manage pain and feel pleasure!

As per the Hawaii Medical Journal, endorphins are extremely helpful during situations like when a person is hurt, feels stressed or anxious, or needs a boost of self-esteem. They are released during pleasurable activities like sex, love, laughter, or exercise. Alongside, endorphins also enhance memory and cognitive health while boosting our immune system.

When are endorphins released?

Endorphins tend to be released when a person is injured, going through stressful times or when your natural reward system is activated by indulging in activities like eating, sex, or exercising. When endorphins are released in the body, they may trigger a euphoric feeling. Simply, they can make you feel extremely good.

Why is it important to release endorphins?

By increasing our body’s natural endorphins, we can witness an improvement in our overall health. High endorphin levels curb pain and boost feelings of pleasure. They might also help:

• Lower symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
• Boost mood
• Improve self-esteem
• Support cognitive function
• Better immune system
• Reduce inflammation
• Regulate appetite

Activities like regular exercising helps release endorphins in the body and helps us stay happy.

How to increase endorphins naturally?

There are many ways you can increase endorphin levels naturally in the body. Some of those are:

1. Indulge in exercise

We all are aware of the many physical health benefits of exercising. However, the mental health benefits are also a dime a dozen, thanks to endorphins. More exercise will always mean more production of endorphins, but any amount is better than being sedentary and doing nothing. As per 2011 research, it is indicated that endorphins get released in the body after 30 minutes of exercise. Even group exercises can give an endorphin boost. As per Biology Letters Journal, 12 participants experienced more endorphin boosts when they exercised in a group in comparison to when they did it alone.

2. Meditate every day

As per 2011 research, meditation is a great way to amp up endorphin release in the body. Meditation helps relax your body and helps you attain an inner state of calm. Some of the other health benefits of meditation include improving wellness,  enhance mood, boosting the ability to cope with illness and improving sleep pattern and quality.

One of the simplest forms of meditation is mindful meditation where you just find a comfortable spot and position for yourself and meditate by just focusing on your breath. When thoughts start surfacing, you do not engage with them and just act as a mere observer and let those clouds of thoughts pass by. A stage of “no thoughts” comes with practice, and there you experience bliss and calmness.

3. Smell aromatic oils

Sniffing your favourite calming oils like lavender can trigger endorphin release. You can use a diffuser to spread the aroma of oils in your surroundings and experience calmness. Some of the other euphoric oils include rosemary, citrus fragrances like orange or grapefruit, ylang ylang and Frankincense

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4. Indulge in sex

Sex is known to give you a euphoric feeling because endorphins get released in the body along with other love hormones such as oxytocin. A spike in endorphins may also be the rationale behind why sex offers other benefits beyond helping you feel good, like pain relief, reduced stress and improved self-esteem.

Indulging in regular sex with your partner will increase endorphins in the body. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Have wine, dark chocolate or both

Eating dark chocolate helps in the release of endorphins, promoting blissful feelings. You also must have noticed that under times of stress or sadness, you crave chocolate. It is simply because it makes you feel good, so you are more likely to look for it again. If you like wine, you may be happy to know that sipping a glass of wine can also boost endorphin production. But mind you, don’t overdo it!

6. Laugh more

You must have always noticed that good feeling when you laugh out loud with your friends. Your mood suddenly feels better and you find respite from that constant loop of anxiety or stress. There is a technique called laughter therapy in cognitive behavioural therapy that can also curb feelings of stress and depression

More than this, when you at something funny with your loved ones, your body also releases endorphins. A Journal of Neuroscience study indicated that watching half an hour of comedy with your group of close friends boosted endorphin levels. So, the next time you catch up with your friends and are not able to decide what to watch, go for a comedy movie and enjoy an endorphin boost.

7. Be kind

An act of kindness towards someone you know or someone who needs your help, can make you feel like weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You will always feel better and happier about yourself when you behave nicely with someone, for these random acts of kindness trigger the release of endorphins. This high is not permanent, but the positive feelings that tag along make you act like this for everyone in general.

8. Listen to music

We all have experienced how listening to music boosts our mood. Listening to music is a therapeutic activity on its own and thus increases endorphin levels in our body. According to the journal Evolutionary Psychology, musical performance has a higher chance of boosting endorphins than merely listening to it. So, you can even make music or perform, whatever gives you that kick!

Read more to know about the mental health benefits of music.

9. Grab some sunlight

Soaking in the morning sun has more than one benefit. Beyond helping your skin produce an essential nutrient, vitamin D, sunlight also enhances the production of melatonin and serotonin. These help boost your mood, increase your energy, and help you get good quality sleep. The UV rays of the sun boost endorphin levels in your body. Try your best to get outside at least 3-4 times a week or as often as you can for about 15 minutes to help you benefit from sun exposure. Do not forget to apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher since UV radiation is harmful and can cause skin cancer.

Follow these natural ways to boost endorphins, and see the difference they bring to your life!

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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