People often talk about getting an endorphin boost, which can happen when doing things like engaging in strenuous exercise or intimacy. Endorphins are chemicals released by the brain and nervous system that typically cause feelings of pleasure and even euphoria, due in part because they activate the brain’s opiate receptors. If you haven’t been feeling the greatest, a simple endorphin boost could be just what you need to start feeling better.
Does an Endorphin Boost = Greater Productivity?
Scientists know that endorphins can help ease anxiety and depression, and both of those conditions often make it difficult for people to perform optimally at work. Plus, because endorphins cause pain relief, doing things to increase your endorphins could help you cope with the chronic discomfort that slows down your workflow.
Of course, if there’s a known or suspected medical condition that’s disrupting your productivity, don’t just rely on a quick endorphin boost to treat it. Get the advice of your doctor and use the tips blow in conjunction with other recommended treatments.
So, you might be wondering how to increase endorphin levels in ways that make sense for real-life applications. Here are five simple endorphin-boosting ideas.
1. Laugh With Other People
You might have heard about laughter yoga or other activities that encourage people to laugh together in groups. One study suggests that such social laughter settings raise individuals’ pain thresholds. In your case, one of the techniques that teaches you how to increase endorphin production could be as simple as going to a comedy club or watching a funny movie with friends.
2. Eat Some Chocolate
Research also shows that chocolate can be a quick endorphin boost. It takes one to two hours for the compounds in cocoa to absorb into the bloodstream, which boosts endorphin levels as well as serotonin.
However, the most significant effects on your mood last for only a few minutes, meaning you shouldn’t depend on chocolate for long-term improvements. Consider keeping a chocolate bar in your desk drawer and munching on it as a momentary distraction.
3. Use a Musical Instrument or Dance
Most people know music causes emotional responses, but if you want to know how to create endorphins, it’s necessary to do more than just listen to music. Researchers found that singing, drumming and dancing made endorphin levels go up in ways that just hearing music did not. Researchers clarified that it was the active performance of music that had to happen, not just the sound of the created music.
4. Do Specific Types of Exercise
You learned earlier that hard exercise could trigger endorphin releases, but research shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) works best. By doing particular activities, such as the box jump, sprinting or biking, you can experience how to raise endorphins by getting active.
Bringing a friend along with you could also keep your motivation high when you break a sweat.
5. Book an Acupuncture Appointment
Many people shy away from the idea of acupuncture — after all, it involves inserting tiny needles in particular points around the body to stimulate specific health benefits. For example, some acupuncture points help with lower back pain while others relieve migraines.
Your brain releases endorphins to help you deal with the discomfort you feel. That means acupuncture is an accessible answer to the question of how to release more endorphins, especially because there may be a practitioner in your community. This option is even more appropriate if you have a particular health issue that might get better through acupuncture as you also release more endorphins.
Feel Your Best by Increasing Endorphin Levels
Your brain releases endorphins even if you don’t consciously do anything to make it happen. However, now that you know that simple everyday activities ramp up endorphin production, you can use them to your advantage to see if you notice the feel-good effects at work or in other aspects of life.
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