Is there anything better than feeling like you’re on top of the world? Whether it’s a runner’s high, cloud nine, or feeling unstoppable, endorphins give us a happiness rush that makes life feel in sync. That nothing can go wrong. Thankfully, other than exercise, there are many ways to boost your endorphins. In fact, you can adopt positive habits to experience that blissful feeling every day.
What Are Endorphins and Why Are They Important?
While we have all experienced the joy of an endorphin rush after running or completing a HIIT workout, you might be curious about their nature. Endorphins are responsible for creating that moment of euphoria, and they are your body’s natural pain relievers and mood boosters. While they’re not fully understood, beta-endorphins, the most well-known form of endorphins, are regulated primarily by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and act on opiate receptors to reduce pain and induce pleasure, playing an important role in protecting our body from pain and boosting our happiness.
What Are the Benefits of Endorphins?
While further research is needed, endorphins produce many positive effects that aid our well-being.
- Strengthens immunity
- Reduces pain and discomfort
- Improves your self-esteem
- Decreases stress, depression, and anxiety
- Enhances your mood
- Lowers inflammation and repairs your body’s defenses
- May promote stronger cognition and memory
What Happens When You Don’t Have Enough Endorphins?
Unfortunately, when our endorphin levels are low or depleted, we become more susceptible to mood swings, decreased immunity, anxiety, depression, poor concentration, heightened stress, increased pain and aches, and trouble sleeping.
9 Ways to Boost Your Endorphins
1. Chocolate meditation
Chocolate is always the solution. Right?! Even better, you can boost your endorphins by combining chocolate with mindfulness. Chocolate meditation involves eating a piece of chocolate or a chocolatey-rich dessert and savoring each bite through your five senses. For example, take a moment to observe its design/shape, smell its sweet scent, and slowly taste it to receive a delicious wave of happiness.
2. Give back
Engaging in acts of kindness like helping someone move, holding the door open for someone, or asking, “What can I do to help you?” provides a mutual endorphin release. For example, it may ease the physical and emotional burden on the individual you’re helping while also providing you with enhanced happiness and self-worth. It’s a win-win. And the best part? The feeling is temporary, meaning you’ll crave that boost again, leading to more selfless acts – spreading love all around you.
3. Mindfully enjoy your morning
How do you spend your mornings? Like most, you might start your day with coffee or make a cup of matcha tea. If so, incorporate mindfulness and slow down instead of rushing into your day-to-day responsibilities. For example, mindfully make your bed, practice gratitude as you brush your teeth, and turn the process of your morning beverage into an act of meditation. As you grind the coffee beans or steep the tea, smell its aroma, drink it with intention, and enjoy your beverage outdoors in the sunlight.
4. Walk to see the sunrise or sunset
A part of incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine to improve your well-being involves nature. Indeed, stepping away from your computer and unplugging from the rat race to breathe in the morning or evening display of colors will anchor you in the present moment and make you feel at peace. Whether you have time to see the sunrise or sunset, make it a priority by giving yourself one of the easiest ways to boost your endorphins and start or end your day right.
5. Laughter or goat yoga
Have you heard of either laughter or goat yoga? Well, these two forms of yoga are making their rounds across the world and for good reasons! During goat yoga, you attend a goat sanctuary and extend into your usual positions on your beloved yoga mat, but with a caveat. The goats roam free and jump all over you, making the experience light-hearted, fun, hilarious, and adorable. Perfect for boosting endorphins. Additionally, laughter yoga, developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, blends laughter exercises with yoga breathing Pranayama techniques enhance oxygen flow to your body and brain, promoting increased energy and overall health. Give either a try and enjoy the new experiences.
6. Floating or swimming
You’re already familiar with the endorphin-boosting effects of exercise, but to liven up your routine a bit and enhance your motivation, why not try floating or swimming? Immersing yourself in the water and trying either of these activities will give you a feeling of deep bliss. In fact, hydration itself is necessary to release the endorphins you need to feel happy, and connecting to your inner child by playing in a body of water will give you an added benefit for your well-being. So, take a holistic approach by floating through the water to release stress.
7. Get your thrill on
Facing your fears or experiencing an adrenaline rush can produce endorphins through the relationship between your body’s response to excitement and stress. When we bungee-jump, skateboard, surf, or do any thrilling activity that triggers our “fight or flight” response, our bodies release stress hormones like adrenaline and endorphins to reduce the heightened stress we initially feel and create that “I-can’t-wait-to-experience-it-again” kind of feeling. So, try a new sport or a bucket-list activity, always prioritizing your safety to experience the thrill.
8. Self pleasure or sex
Attention to all single people and those in couples: you can connect to your body or another individual and give yourself the act of pleasure. Whether you want to create a self-care routine and set the mood, dance in sexy lingerie, take a bath, and pleasure yourself in a way aligned with you, or you want to share this experience and have sex with your partner, sex is a beautiful way to achieve that euphoric feeling. It also reduces stress, improves confidence, and alleviates pain.
9. Cuddle your fur babies
This tip doesn’t only apply to cuddling your fur children. But what better feeling is there when you get home after a long, stressful day and see your animal companion wagging their tail or dancing around your feet to greet you? Their loyalty, unwavering love, and deep empathy, along with their cuddles, enhance our oxytocin levels (the love hormone) and endorphins, making us so happy. They selflessly take our stress and give us so much love and kindness. How did we get so lucky to have animals? If you don’t have pets, don’t worry. Have a lunch date with a friend, family member, or loved one and ask for a hug or cuddle to reap the same benefits.
There you have it! Our list of simple yet creative and unique ways to boost your endorphins. Whether you aim to prioritize one or many of these habits in your daily life, you’ll surely see an overall improvement in your health and well-being. So, why wait? Choose goat yoga, chocolate meditation, or watch the sunrise to give you that addicting feeling of being on top of the world.
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you enjoy this post on the ways to boost your endorphins? We’d love it if you shared this post on Pinterest!
Looking for more tools to improve your mental health and overall well-being? Make sure to follow our Mental Health Board on Pinterest!