The 7 Best Ways to Release Endorphins

Endorphins are nature’s pain and stress relievers. As purveyors of cardiology services, we know all too well the importance of stress relief for the body. When the body experiences pain, physical stress, or exertion, it responds by releasing endorphins—neurotransmitters designed to take the ‘edge off.’ Another added benefit is that they can empower individuals to exercise longer, and by reducing stress, save you a visit to our cardiology services and heart center.

So—how do you get your brain to release these endorphins and give you this natural high? Well, here are 7 ways to get that endorphin rush:

1. Chocolate

There’s a legitimate reason why women tend to want chocolate more at a certain time each month—it contains the compound phenethylamine, which encourages neurotransmitter activity, and theobromine, which promotes relaxation.

2. Other Delicious Food

In addition to chocolate, the brain will also experience a spike in endorphins if you eat the most palatable food. Whether that’s ice cream or French fries, any food that makes you salivate will likely give you an endorphin boost. Of course, regularly using food to release endorphins could become a battle of the bulge and require a visit to cardiology services, so use this endorphin-release method sparingly.

3. Raise your Pulse

Raising your pulse—via exercise—is a weight fighting endorphin releaser, making it a better long-term strategy.

Since exercise is a physical stress on the system, it encourages the release of endorphins to counteract the discomfort of aching muscles. Cardio, moderate exercise, and weight training can all signal your brain to release endorphins, though the rate differs from person to person. If you’re exercising purely for the ‘happiness rush,’ you’ll need to do a ‘happiness’ check throughout your average workout to see how much exercise is required. If you aren’t getting a happiness rush, then increase the intensity. With that endorphin plateau, you’ll be able to plan your workouts accordingly.

4. Laugh Out Loud—Literally

Despite many of us writing ‘LOL’ multiple times a day, very few of us actually do it. Hangout with a hilarious friend, watch your favorite stand-up comedian, or do whatever else makes you laugh till you bend over. The deeper the laugh, the better it is for you. Deep, long-lasting belly laughs are an optimal endorphin medicine.

Alternatively (or in addition), try out a laughing yoga class. In these courses, students are encouraged to do deep belly laughs while exercising and stretching. The combination results in a compounded release of endorphins.

5. Sex

Sex is fun, and it may very well be the most popular suggestion on this list. Sex is a great endorphin-boosting activity and it packs a double wallop. Not only does it get your heart racing, like in rigorous exercise, but it also causes your brain to release oxytocin (the ‘love’ hormone).

6. Spice it Up

When you eat spicy food, like hot peppers, your brain interprets the heat as painful stimuli and releases endorphins to counteract the feeling. Don’t make this your sole source of endorphins, though, or you could damage your palate or stomach lining.

7. Uncork the Wine

After drinking alcohol, endorphins are one of several chemicals released in the brain that give you a feel-good sensation. So, occasionally have a glass (or two) of wine, beer, or spirits, but don’t overdo it. Overconsumption can disrupt the production of endorphins as well.

Other Happiness Compounds

There are 4 primary compounds in the brain that stimulate happiness, decrease stress, and give you a ‘boost’ – endorphins are just one of them. If you’re looking to endorphins for a happy feeling, then you may want to give these three other ‘happiness hacks’ a try:

  • Serotonin

    Serotonin is known as nature’s antidepressant, as it helps alleviate feelings of loneliness, depression, and stress. Any anti-stress activities you do will promote overall wellness and keep you away from cardiology services.

  • Oxytocin

    Oxytocin is the brain’s ‘cuddle’ drug, as it promotes feelings of intimacy and trust. In addition to being a natural ‘love’ drug, it also creates stronger social bonds and healthier social interactions.

  • Dopamine

    Dopamine is a ‘get up and go’ compound in the brain that helps us stay motivated to attain goals and increase productivity. Low levels of this brain chemical are related to procrastination and self-doubt.

As purveyors of cardiology services, we’re always concerned with the overall stress levels of our clients. Ideally, we’d like to keep all our clients fit and out of our offices. Endorphin release is a great way to maintain a happiness high that encourages a healthy—and fun—lifestyle!