Endorphins are tiny neurochemicals that play an important role in your body. Your body naturally releases endorphins in response to pain or stress, but also during other activities like eating, exercising, or having sex.
These natural pain relievers are produced by your pituitary gland and other parts of your body, and they act on the opiate receptors in your brain. These are the same receptors that pain medications like morphine act on. You may have heard people use the term “endorphin high”. Indeed, endorphins are known for their role in reducing pain and increasing pleasure, giving you an overall feeling of elation and well-being.
If you’re looking for a morning boost, here are some tips to boost your endorphin levels
You don’t have to run a marathon every morning to get an endorphin boost – any form of exercise will do. Here are some examples :
high intensity interval training (HIIT)
Whenever possible, exercise outdoors. This way, your vitamin D levels will also be boosted. However, depending on where you live, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Ask your doctor if you should take a vitamin D supplement.
Dance is a form of exercise and a creative way to express yourself. And when done in a group, dancing is also a great way to bond with others. In fact, a 2016 study suggests that endorphins are associated with social connection. So grab your partner or roommate, put on some music, and have a little morning dance party to instantly boost your mood.
Laughter really is a form of medicine. A 2017 study in 12 healthy adult men suggests that social laughter can trigger the release of endorphins. And a 2011 study found that laughter increased pain tolerance, which researchers say is due to an “endorphin-mediated opiate effect.” When you get ready in the morning, watch a funny YouTube video, read a joke, or enjoy your favorite comedy show. The effects can be even greater if you can laugh alongside a loved one or friend.
4. Create music
Art and music are two great ways to improve your mood. Creating, singing, or playing music in particular has been shown to boost endorphins. A small study published in 2012 found that dancing, singing, or drumming resulted in a release of endorphins, but listening to music did not have the same effect.
If you have a little time in the morning, try doing one of the following things to make your day more joyful:
Practice a tune on an instrument you are learning.
Play your favorite songs and sing or dance to them as you get ready for the day.
Sing in the shower. As a bonus, the heat of the water can also trigger the release of endorphins.
Establishing a morning meditation routine is a great way to trigger the release of endorphins. Meditation can help you relax and improve your mood. Meditation may seem strange or difficult at first. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. The goal of meditation is to train your mind to focus and control or redirect your thoughts.
To get started, try the following:
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, indoors or outdoors.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
As thoughts enter your mind, instead of pleasing them, let them arise and pass. Try not to judge or push them away. Just acknowledge them and let them pass.
Do this for 5 minutes at first, then progress to longer sessions over time.
Remember that the purpose of this practice is not to avoid having thoughts at all. Rather, it is about establishing control over the thoughts that come into your mind.
Yoga is a form of meditation that links your body and mind. Doing yoga in the morning is therefore another way to stimulate endorphins.
6. Eat your favorite dish
Not surprisingly, eating something delicious can trigger the release of endorphins. To add a little more happiness to your mornings, eat your favorite foods, try new recipes, and take pride in your breakfast creations. Spicy foods, in particular, can boost endorphins, as can dark chocolate. If you’re a fan of spicy food, consider adding a little hot sauce to an omelette or breakfast burrito for an extra endorphin release. Although a chocolate bar isn’t really part of a nutritious breakfast, you can sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips or shavings over a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt. You can also add a little cocoa powder to a smoothie or your favorite pancake recipe.
Don’t underestimate the importance of physical contact. Hugs and hugs can release all kinds of happy hormones, but especially oxytocin. Oxytocin is similar to endorphins because it can also improve your mood and increase pleasure. If you have time, start your mornings by cuddling your partner or kids in bed, hugging your roommate, or even snuggling up to a pet.
Although not all of the roles that endorphins play in your body are fully understood, they are generally known to be involved in your natural reward circuitry.
reduce depression and anxiety
help you deal with pain
increase your overall sense of well-being
From exercise to meditation, there are plenty of ways to boost endorphins in the morning. It can give your body a burst of happy feelings and set you up for a good day ahead.