Every day we find ourselves searching for new and creative ways to get happy. We dabble in an array of questionable tasks, seek great achievement, search for true love and sometimes even find ourselves on board with deep spiritual quests. Why? Because happiness can be found from within. Cliché, but true. The body provides us with many chemicals that make us happy – and in the quest for happiness; we have the head honcho of happiness chemicals to thank: endorphins.
So why are endorphins the crème de la crème of happiness chemicals? Simple, they’re pretty damn good for the body. Why? Well, endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that when they’re linked to specific parts of the nervous system, kick that part into motion. The release of endorphins can perform many powerful wonders on the body. They can up the ante on the happiness Richter scale, allow people to overcome pain, decrease hunger, and increase the immune response. The neat thing is, there are twenty-something endorphins that have the ability to bring much-needed pleasure to certain things.
Below we have compiled some helpful and creative ways for you to kick-start these wonderful happiness chemicals into gear!
Think Positive Thoughts
Yep, it’s that simple. When people take placebo pain medication that they believe will help them, it generally does help them. Scientists believe this is more a direct result from positive thinking and it’s ability to release endorphins. By smiling, laughing and thinking about pleasurable activities, such as people that make you smile and happy events in your life, you will be on the road to an endorphin overload of good times. Studies have also revealed that 8 to 10 minutes of laughing aloud will produce an extended elevation of endorphins that will help you get a better night’s sleep! Seinfeld marathon, anyone?
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When it comes to exercise, endorphins are the new buzzword. This is because endorphins are naturally released during exercise and really make a scene during lengthy periods of strenuous exercise. Large amounts of endorphins are released to combat pain and give you that extra oomph you need to get past your normal threshold. This feeling is commonly referred to as the “runner’s high.” What’s that you say? Well, a high level of endorphins stick around in your system after exercising allowing your body to feel cheerful and energised for the next few hours as opposed to feeling tired and run down.
Here are some fun and efficient ways you can sneak exercise into your busy schedule without needing to acquire a gym membership:
Speed walk your errands – Kill two birds with one stone. Combine your exercise for the day with your list of errands. Get your heart rate pumping along with your checklist.
Play in the park – Instead of having a drink at the pub after the daily grind, head to the park with a ball and kick that ball around!
Stand and flex – Next time you’re waiting in a line at the shops or bank, flex those abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Nobody will notice!
Go the long way – Take the stairs rather than the elevator. If traveling via bus or train, get off one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Have a proactive weekend – The weekend is a great window for getting in some workout time. The only problem is that it also a great window for finally getting some household duties done. Rather than trying to juggle both, combine both by manually washing your car, maintaining your lawn and cleaning your home.
You are what you eat
Did you know endorphins are made from fats and sugars? This means that those who have limited body fat or an eating disorder are extremely moody and depressed, as opposed to those who have the right amount of meat on their bones.
To properly supplement and maintain your endorphins levels, you need to have a moderate level of fats and sugars in your diet. Sorry guys, devouring an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting will not provide you with the happy high that you seek. Binging on the wrong types of fatty and sugary food will actually change the opiate receptors in your brain that can make you feel depleted of endorphins.
Try eating good fats such as fish, nuts, avocados and fruits, as they will provide you with natural sugars and essential vitamins that will keep your emotional maintenance and overall well being happy and healthy!
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