What are endorphins?

I have been arguing for some time now that treatment for anxiety, depression and stress-related illnesses has to include a program for raising endorphins.

Endorphins are protein chains (neuropeptides) that are released by the hypothalamus area in the brain. They act in a similar way to morphine, except that endorphins are 18-50 times stronger.

Boosting endorphins

An endorphin rush can occur when:

  • You do vigorous exercise (‘runner’s high’).
  • You laugh
  • You listen to music
  • You dance
  • You eat chocolate (addictive!)
  • You eat chilis (also addictive!)
  • You practice yoga, tai chi, qi gung, etc
  • You have a massage
  • You do something creative or inspiring
  • You achieve something important
  • You share affection
  • You have an orgasm
  • You cut yourself (which is why self-harming is addictive)
  • As well as lots of other ways that are personal to you

Bodymind uses endorphins for several purposes. Firstly. to boost energy when you need it; secondly to reduce pain from injury; and thirdly, to signal that you are doing something worthwhile or enjoyable and to encourage you to do more of the same.

Next up I will be writing about how binaural beat programs can boost endorphin levels by changing brain wave patterns.

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