In the last few articles, we talked separately about each happiness hormone, describing their properties, features, how they affect your body and what you can do to increase their levels. We talked about dopamine and serotonin, and in this article, we are going to talk about the last one: Endorphins.
What type of happiness hormone is the endorphin?
This naturally-active compound is produced by the cells of your nervous system and brain.
Endorphins act positively on your entire organism, they strengthen your immunity, accelerate wound healing and have a strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effect. They will also help you alleviate depression, reduce stress and anxiety and boost your self-esteem. One of the most important benefits of endorphins is its ability to reduce the felling of pain. Pregnant women have an increased level of this hormone during pregnancy, which will help them deal with pain during childbirth. After childbirth the levels start to decrease.
Both endorphins and dopamine are associated with euphoria and a momentary feeling of excitement and happiness. So, you probably wonder what’s the difference between endorphins and dopamine?
Endorphins are polypeptides made by the pituitary gland and central nervous system. The pleasure effect associated with endorphins is related to the increased dopamine production that occurs due to endorphin activity. On the other hand, dopamine is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine by the hypothalamus, substantia nigra, and the adrenal gland medulla.
Scientists say there are several ways to encourage the secretion of endorphins:
Eat spicy food
Eating spicy foods causes pain in your tongue, with the brain reacting immediately with increased endorphin secretion in order to relieve pain.
Regular physical activity means a sense of satisfaction because of the release of endorphins. As you can see, physical activity is very important for the production of all of the happiness hormones. So, don’t be lazy, start working out or simply walk and you will feel much better.
Eat dark chocolate
Many researchers have proven that the dark chocolate can help in increasing endorphin levels. This is a result of the chemicals called flavonoids that are contained in large amounts in the cocoa powder. These flavonoids appear to be very beneficial to your brain and nervous system.
It has been said many times that laughter is the best medicine. Many studies have shown that laughing has many positive benefits for your overall health, and it has also been proven that it can boost endorphins levels as well.
Be more generous with other people
Donating, helping others and volunteering can help you feel good and happy. Many researchers have shown that people who donate to charities activate the pleasure centers in their brain. All of these can lead to increased endorphin levels.
Yoga and meditation
Meditation and yoga are known for their stress-relieving and relaxing effects. This may be partially due to an endorphin release.
Simple and small things
You have probably heard this saying many times: “The happiness is in the simple things”. This saying is even scientifically proven. The simple and small things like dancing, enjoying a dinner with your family and friends, having a glass of wine, eating your favorite food, getting a massage, watching your favorite TV series or reading your favorite book can help you improve the endorphin level.