Endorphins are a natural version of morphine – all the benefits, without the side effects. Endorphins help reduce pain and anxiety, and the great thing is, you don’t need a refill because your body can continue to produce them!
When it comes to our mood or overall mental health, there are steps we can take to boost our endorphins naturally, that will provide positive benefits, and we can repeat these steps over and over.
Here are 10 things you can do to kick in those endorphins naturally:
- Take 3-5 deep breaths throughout your day. These are the kind of breaths you should pause for and be intentional about focusing on when you do them.
- Go outside and move. The combination of exercise and Vitamin D is a win-win.
- Breathe in lavender or use it as an essential oil. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that the aroma of lavender greatly improved the feeling of depression.
- Add some Ginseng to your recipes, as it’s known to help equal out stress and increase endorphins put out by the brain.
- Find something or someone that makes you laugh. Laughter is a great form of medicine and it can come in abundance from a funny movie, a funny friend, or even a comedian.
- Play the tunes that make you happy. Whether you listen to them while you’re on a walk, in the car or while making dinner, listening to your favorite music helps to increase endorphins.
- Eat some chocolate. There are two ingredients in chocolate that are beneficial: phenethylamine boosts your endorphins and theobromine helps reduce feelings of pain.
- Spice up your life. Adding a little spice to your meals has been found to boost endorphins, due to the chemical capsaicin.
- Enjoy some nuts. Just a small handful of Brazilian nuts boost dopamine, which produces endorphins.
- Recite a daily quote that is meaningful to you. It’s okay if the quote is the same every day. If it moves you and makes you feel good to read it, that is because doing so releases endorphins.
Sometimes when we are tired, stressed or sad, we tend to focus on things that make us upset and often times are out of our control. Consider the above steps “tools” that you can add to your mental health tool box. Rather than focusing on what you can’t control, try just one of these simple steps. By focusing your thoughts on what you can control, and acting on it, you are empowering yourself to improve your overall well-being.