Did you know that chemicals called “endorphins” influence our feeling of well-being?
It is 100% natural and is produced in the brain when you take part in sports or relaxation activities.
Endorphins were discovered in 1975. This powerful neurotransmitter relieves pain, reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. For more information on endorphins and mental health, please visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website.
Exercise produces what is called an “endorphin rush,” occurring between 10 and 30 minutes into the activity. When the brain detects “physical stress,” it produces endorphins, which allow the body to continue to function without experiencing pain. That’s why you feel good after a run!
Stimulating the production of endorphins is therefore key to being happy and healthy. And intensive sports are not needed to release them. Meditation, acupuncture, massage, deep breathing and even spicy foods help to release this happiness substance!
Here are a few tips for stimulating your endorphin production to benefit your physical and mental health:
- Take a 30-minute walk after dinner with a good friend. Releasing endorphins while in good company is great for your mental state.
- Try spicy dishes from time to time. You’ll see: the more you have, the more you’ll enjoy it. Veggie-stuffed tacos or an exquisitely prepared red curry is mouth-watering, healthy and makes you happy!
- Practice mindfulness activities, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing. You will release endorphins, reducing stress and the risk of depression.
- Summer is here! Make a list of beautiful places to visit in your area: shorelines, wine routes, forests and mountains. Go by bike (or fix your bike to a rack on your car). You can travel dozens of kilometres outdoors and experience amazing landscapes. You’ll leave the stress of the city behind. And you’ll feel good both mentally and physically after a day of biking.