We all know that Endorphins make us happy but they are also important in many other ways! Endorphins are a naturally occurring chemical neurotransmitter produced in the human brain.
The name is derived from two words: endogenous (from within) and morphine (a pain-killer).
Naturally, since endorphins block the pain receptors, they are also called as “happy chemicals” of the human body. When endorphins are released in the body of a person, he or she confronts a feeling of bliss, flow or euphoria. They are often produced and released when a person eats certain foods such as chocolate or spicy peppers, exercises strenuously, listens to music, and is in love.
This is one of the main reasons why people are addicted to the things they enjoy, as the release of endorphins makes them feel joyous.
The human body makes around 20 different types of Endorphins. Though research is still underway to determine what each one of them accomplishes, they are all very important for the functioning of the body. Here are 10 reasons why endorphins are so important:
The benefits of releasing Endorphins
1. They help in reducing pain
Endorphins block the pain receptors in the brain, and thus are a great help in reducing the feeling of pain in the body.
It doesn’t matter where the pain originates in the body; endorphins have an equal effect in combating all kinds of pain: leg, arms, stomach, head, tooth, etc.
2. Wards off anxiety and depression
While depression depends on the nature of the patient, it is also affected by improper functioning of neurotransmitters in the brain. Endorphins have a great impact on a person’s personality, intelligence, and moods. Hence, they play a great role in warding off anxiety and depression.
You could say that Endorphins are the best natural anti-depressants we have at hand.
3. Improves sleep
The word Endorphins is derived from two words, endogenous and morphine. Morphine is in turn derived from the word Morpheus, who in Greek mythology is the ‘god of sleep.’
Working as a natural relaxant, endorphins helps one to sleep better.
4. Boosts self-esteem
Self-esteem is a measure of worth of a person’s overall emotional evaluation of himself or herself. A lot of factors contribute to one’s self-esteem; a few of them are pride, shame, despair and triumph. By reducing and pain and fear, endorphins boost the confidence of a person immensely. Thus, they also help in boosting one’s self-esteem.
5. Increases and encourages physical activeness
When a body is stressed beyond its physical limit, endorphins are released in the body, which creates a sense of feeling “high.” Serious runners and weightlifters regularly experience this phenomenon. Hence, by creating a delightful feedback mechanism, endorphins increase and encourage one to be physically active.
“Now,I’m no scientist,but I know what endorphins are. They’re tiny little magical elves that swim through your blood stream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain,you hear what they’re saying and that boosts your health and happiness.” – Ellen DeGeneres
6. Make activities more pleasurable
Research has shown that people who listen to music, eat spicy foods, watch movies, or perform a certain activity, are bound to repeat them when they’re enjoying. The sense of feeling joy is due to the release of endorphins; thus, they also make activities more pleasurable to do. Moreover, the release of endorphins makes us feel better and improves our mood.
7. They help in treating trauma and surgery
Trauma patients experience serious pain that is very hard to withstand. The same applies to patients who are undergoing surgery. Endorphins help with addressing the symptoms of trauma by reducing the pain in moments of great stress. Acupuncture, massage therapy, exercise, and many other activities increase the production of endorphins, which in turn helps in treating trauma patients.
8. It stabilizes blood pressure
Blood pressure is controlled by various nervous and endocrine systems in the human body. Since endorphins also affect the functioning of these systems, they help in normalizing the blood pressure. Moreover, blood pressure is also affected by stress, which endorphins reduce considerably.
9. Enhances the functioning of immune system
Endorphins stimulate the immune system by activating the natural killer cells. As a result, they help immensely in combating various infections and diseases. They even help in killing cancerous cells and postpone ageing. Hence, endorphin secretion is also linked to immune system functions.
10. Makes you look fit and healthy
Since, endorphins promote physical activeness and encourage many healthy habits such as exercising and eating healthy foods, they also play a great role in making you look fit and healthy. While this might not be a direct result of endorphin secretion, it is a very beneficial result nonetheless.
You can see from the above how this naturally produces, wonder chemical works in numerous ways in our body to help improve its functioning.
Less Stress, Happier, Less and managed pain, Immunity booster, Stable blood pressure, More pleasure in every day activities, Better sleep and self esteem…Who wouldn’t want to boost their Endorphin level to feel all of the above!
It is extremely vital that one pays attention to their endorphin secretion levels, as it can affect a multitude of other systems in their body and it makes you feel Great!