How Beneficial are Endorphins to a Person?

Endorphins are chemicals that are released in the body when stressed or in pain. They’re also released during exercise, massage, sex and eating. These hormones reduce stress, relieve pain, and improves well-being. Endorphins are made in the brain, specifically in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These neurotransmitters attach to the reward centers in the brain and carry signals in the nervous system.

Endorphins are released when the body is under stress or in pain. When you experience pain, your body’s nerves send pain signals to the brain which in turn releases endorphins to prevent pain signals from being received by nerve cells. This way you can continue to function even under stressful or painful situations. This explains why a person who is injured might feel pain hours after the injury took place.

Aside from being released in adverse situations, endorphins are also released to enhance states of pleasure including laughter, love, sex and tasting delicious food. These hormones increase the production of dopamine, which is the reward and pleasure hormone.

Endorphin release, which is often associated with exercise, is likewise associated with pain relief. It is responsible for the feel-good feeling you have after working out.

Researchers who studied the effects and functions of endorphin analyzed the PET scans of the brains of athletes and saw an increase in endorphin levels after exercise. The body releases these chemicals during exercise so that an individual won’t feel pain in the muscles. The state of relaxation experienced after exercise is attributed to chemicals known as endocannabinoids which gives the body reduced anxiety and a sense of calm.

Endorphin Benefits

Endorphins give several benefits to the body and boosting the production and release of these chemicals is a good way to improve physical and mental well-being.

1. Endorphins Increase Feelings to Pleasure

Endorphins which are released in activities that give us pleasure such as sex, laughter and eating.

2. Endorphins Lower Stress and Anxiety Levels

Endorphins have long been studied to determine its response to stress. These hormones are released when a person gets injured, undergoes surgery or is stressed for something as benign as a job interview.

3. Endorphins Enhance Mood

Exercise improves a person’s mood partly because of endorphin release during and after a workout.

4. Endorphins May Boost the Immune System

Endorphins have been found to improve immune response and lower inflammation. Beta-endorphins, in particular, inhibit immune responses and decrease inflammation.

5. Endorphins May Improve Cognitive Function and Memory

The brain’s opioid receptors stimulate various growth factor receptors giving neuroprotective effects in patients with ischemia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

How to Increase Endorphins

You can naturally boost your body’s endorphins with the following activities:

1. Exercise

Even a brisk walk can cause an increase in endorphins. Exercising in gyms like Planet Fitness a few times a week or even as little as 20-30 minutes a day can have the same effects.

2. Laugh

Laughing releases endorphins, along with serotonin and dopamine.

3. Listen to Music

A lot of studies show that music can lower pain by triggering a release of endorphins.

4. Eat Chocolate

Certain foods like dark chocolate stimulate the brain to release endorphins.

5. Meditate

Meditation reduces stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. People who regularly meditate have also been found to have greater tolerance to pain and it is believed that this is due to the release of endorphins.

Endorphins are essential to one’s well-being as it aids in boosting mood and reducing pain. However, as with everything else, too much is never good for you. Being addicted to the euphoria and adrenaline rush should be avoided.

Here are a few exercises to boost endorphins:

Four exercises to naturally boost endorphins

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