Posts Tagged Happy Hormone

Endorphins – The Body’s Natural Painkiller

‘ENDORPHIN’ — A combination of ‘endo’ and ‘morphine’ – meaning endogenously 
                        produced morphine, or internally produced painkiller

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ENDORPHINS AND EXERCISE

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Have you ever asked yourself why you are generally in a good mood and feel great after exercising?  Well, one answer certainly is an overall feeling of accomplishment, but there is also something to be said about the power of these little, hormone-like substances called ‘endorphins.’  When you exercise, endorphins are being released in your body, giving you a feeling of well-being and a state of euphoria.  These feelings can be so powerful that they actually mask pain (the body’s natural painkiller). 

Maybe you have heard the term ‘Runner’s High’ or have experienced it yourself.  All it takes for most people is moderate-intensity exercise of at least 30 minutes to be in high spirits and feel the elation and joy of a ‘Runner’s High.’  Short, high-intensity workouts have proven to be of little value when it comes to experiencing those benefits.  So the most effective stress relief and improvement to your mood may indeed be exercise–who would have thought!

ENDORPHINS AND LOVE

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With so much power influencing your mood during and after exercise to the point of giving you a ‘Natural High,’ you probably think that endorphins are also responsible for the incredible feelings of infatuation, falling in love, and then being in love with that ‘special person.’  Well, yes and no.  Infatuation or feeling an almost unbearable attraction to someone, when the pure sight of that person can make your heart beat faster and your eyes sparkle, and can make you talk for hours (the same person may seem boring later  🙂  ), is caused by an explosion of neurochemicals similar to adrenaline.  At that point you’re basically in love with the idea of being in love. 

This passion can last between six months and two to three years and is nearly gone after that for most people.  At that stage, if the relationship is not strong enough, it will usually end.  However, if it is strong enough, it will advance and then other chemicals, mainly endorphins, play a key role in long-term relationships.  Endorphins don’t induce the giddy high you feel when you are first infatuated with someone, but give you a sense of well-being, peacefulness, calmness and stability.  They literally are one of the reasons why people stay married because of their addictiveness.  Endorphins are the reason why we like loving someone.

ENDORPHINS AND CHOCOLATE

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Eating a bite of chocolate will trigger an endorphin release and can impact your mood in a positive way.  There’s a reason why I call chocolate my ‘soul food.’  But be sensible; you don’t have to eat a large amount, a little will do.  The darker and more bitter the chocolate, generally speaking, the better for you.

BY THE WAY:  THINK ‘HAPPY HORMONE’

Looking for an easier way than exercise to release endorphins and get in a good mood?  Try a good laugh, think happy and positive thoughts, or make passionate love (or all the above)!   🙂

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