Benefits of Endorphins
The Benefits of Endorphins and how to boost them
by Raquel Torres
A Cleveland Clinic Article about endorphins described them as chemicals (hormones) our body releases when it feels pain or stress, helping relieve pain, reduce stress and improve our sense of well-being. These amazing chemicals are created in our pituitary gland and hypothalamus, both located in the brain. Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter, or messenger in our body. They attach to our brain’s reward centers (opioid receptors) and carry signals across our nervous system.
Endorphin comes from the words “endogenous,” which means within the body, and “morphine,” an opiate pain reliever. Put together, that means endorphins are natural pain relievers. They are “feel-good” chemicals because they can make you feel better and put you in a positive state of mind.
You know that rush you get after a long run? In that moment, your stress fades away and you feel happy, strong, and ready to take on the world. There’s a reason why they call it “the runner’s high.”
This feeling is the result of endorphins being released. Other activities such as having a good laugh or dancing can increase the release of endorphins. They’re also released during an injury or stress to help minimize feelings of pain and discomfort. This explains why an injury usually feels worse hours later. When the injury happens, your body works hard to keep you safe and sends a surge of endorphins to protect you from experiencing the full extent of the pain.
There’s a strong connection between endorphins and mental health, endorphins are a key factor in maintaining a positive state of mind. In general, if your body doesn’t produce enough endorphins, you may experience mood disorders. Endorphins reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as a natural mood booster, they have an antidepressant effect.
“When endorphin levels are high, we feel happier, more energetic, and more optimistic,” says Dr. Natalie Bernstein, a psychologist and mental health coach in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “When they are low, we may feel sad, anxious, tired, and even depressed.”
Endorphins increase self-esteem, when endorphins are flowing, our mood is up and we’re feeling good. This has a positive ripple effect on our self-esteem.
Dr. Bernstein explains: “We have a more positive outlook on life and our relationships with ourselves and those around us improve. simply put, we like ourselves and we play better with others.”
Want a quick way to boost your endorphins and your self-esteem? Get moving, Dr. Bernstein advises.
“Exercise is one of the quickest ways to boost endorphins,” Dr. Bernstein adds. “When we exercise, we feel more confident about our bodies, which increases self-esteem.”
Raquel Torres, MBA is a USAT Elite Certified Coach, Professional Triathlon Coach and Professional Triathlete. Raquel also writes blogs for several magazines and her team Athletic Mentors. Since May 2021 she contributes as a columnist with CNY Latino Newspaper. She shares true life stories with her experiences, also tips and tactics that helps anyone to be their best version. To read about her, head over to cnylatinonewspaper.com and search for her by her name. You can also send questions or comments about her column to the following email: email@example.com and go to her website at www.raqueltorres.org