Many people often use drugs, alcohol, or caffeine to reach a euphoric feeling, however did you know that it is possible to achieve your own natural high? Your body is capable of releasing copious amounts of natural “feel-good” chemicals.
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Hormones and neurotransmitters moderate our feelings of wellbeing, and lifestyle factors affect them. Let’s look at some of the feel good hormones that work together to make you feel good and what you can do to release them to get a natural high:
Endorphins are often known as the “happy” hormone. They are also known to assist in treating depression. Endorphins can give you a euphoric feeling, also known as “runners’ high”. It’s said that endorphins have a similar chemical structure to morphine. The endorphins produced can be so powerful that they actually mask pain, as they are the body’s natural painkillers. Experts actually compare endorphins to opiates because they deliver such intense pleasure.
Much evidence has associated dopamine with the brain’s reward system. For this reason, dopamine has been called the “feel good” or “pleasure” chemical. Stimulation of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, makes us feel good. It also drives pleasure-seeking behavior. We like to do things that makes us feel good. Dopamine affects our thoughts and behavior in this way. For example, when we eat, the brain’s reward system tells us to feel good by activating dopamine.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can help you feel calm, relaxed and happy – it is like nature’s antidepressant. It also helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood. Low serotonin has been linked to anxiety and depression. Did you know that around 80 percent of the serotonin in the body is actually in the gut, not the brain? That’s why a healthy diet is so important – what you eat affects your mood.
Oxytocin is a hormone that is made in the brain, in the hypothalamus. It is transported to, and secreted by, the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. Both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, oxytocin is often called the “love”, “cuddle” and “bliss” hormone due to its effects on behavior, including its role in love and in female reproductive biological functions in reproduction.
Below are 6 easy ways to release feel good hormones that will give you a natural high:
Let’s start with that dreaded word: Exercise (personally, I like to use the word movement)! Movement is something we should all do as often as possible, whether it be a brisk walk, strength training, or gentle, strenuous or competitive exercise. The best exercise is always the exercise you enjoy. Your body was made to move, so move it and move it often. When you change your physiology you change your psychology.
Meditation has so many benefits: it will bring you peace in daily life and make you more aware and mindful. It helps lower stress levels. helps you think clearer, it helps create new neural pathways, it rids you of your own blindfold and allows you to see yourself for who you really are, it cleanses your consciousness and it allows you to cope better with the constant mind chatter and different emotions, plus so much more.
When you meditate, you calm your mind and enter a state of relaxation. In doing this you let go of the busyness of your daily life and connect with your higher self. Meditation leads you home, and home is where you discover your true self – not your brick and mortar home, your home within.
Yoga is not something you do – it’s a way of life. It teaches you to develop a particular attitude towards life, connecting body, mind, and spirit. The physical aspect is just one aspect; it is a complete holistic practice for overall health and wellbeing. The meditation, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and self-awareness practiced with yoga all allow you to achieve a state of mental acceptance, being in the present moment, and surrendering to any limitations.
4. Eat Healthy Food
Nutrition is one of the cornerstones to our health and happiness. Food can heal or harm. Ensure that you’re eating foods that strengthen and revitalise you, rather than leave you feeling weakened and sluggish. Choose to eat life-giving foods as opposed to live-threatening foods. There’s a simple rule when it comes to nutrition: Nature gets it right, human interference often gets it wrong. Eating food in its natural state is a great way to nurture your mind, body, and spirit. Try to eat food that is closest to nature as often as possible. Your health, immunity, digestion, clarity of mind and energy levels will all reap the benefits.
Regular sex will give you a host of physiological and psychological benefits? It’s anti-aging, immune-boosting, stress-reducing, mood-enhancing and hormone-balancing. It is said that sex is the secret to a longer, healthier life, what more reason do you need to spend more time between the sheets?
Have you ever had that exhausted feeling after a good laugh? You know, the one where your belly hurts, your eyes water, your jaw aches and you can’t catch your breath. Do you laugh often or has it been a long time between belly laughs? Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humour and laughter strengthens your immune system, improves your blood pressure, boosts your energy, releases feel good hormones, and reduces pain. Best of all, this priceless medicine is free, and easily accessible.
Unlike illegal drugs, the natural high your body freely gives you leads to a more energized zest for life and does not lead to self-destructive addiction or dependence.
So, my message is: Move your body, eat well, meditate, laugh and make love, and you will experience your own natural euphoria!