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.
What’s the big deal about leaving the toilet seat up? On the other hand, how hard is it to put the toilet seat down? Toilet jokes aside, sharing your life with another person isn’t always easy, but even a little effort focused on the right things can go a long way.
What makes happy couples? What do happy couples have in common? We asked three Canadian pairs to reveal their secrets for getting more enjoyment out of their lives together, stressing less with a supportive partner by your side…and maybe even getting to hold the remote once in a while.
1. Go on adventures together
“Relationships ain’t always easy. Whether it’s a disagreement, a disrespectful interaction, or even just a little cabin fever, taking a break from our daily routine by getting outside for a nature walk always brings us closer together. I love you, Devon. Here’s to many more adventures into the woods where we can ventilate our systems.” – Shea Emry – @sheaemry & @devdevelopment
2. Look for moments of connection throughout the day
“A fully focused, 60-second conversation, a quick phone call, a moment of eye contact or a tender touch can create strong emotional resonance. In the rush of daily life, it’s amazing how little time we can end up spending with those we love. Moments of emotional and physical connection are key to a lasting relationship.” – @adamkreek & Rebecca of @oneyearwithout
3. Love to laugh
“A sense of humour is usually near the top of any list of traits women find attractive, and my own wife has told me as much. When we share a laugh about the many challenges of life — goofy co-workers, misbehaving kids, misunderstood text messages — it shows us both that we can overcome anything together. The key is to stay positive and look for humour wherever you can.” – @adam_bisby ofMostly Amazing
You don’t have to like the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” to be happy. If Motorhead or Mozart is more your speed, so be it. But if you find yourself not giving a sh**, well then maybe you — yes, you — should keep reading on, because after all, which one of us couldn’t use a little more happiness?
In fact, making an effort to be happy is the first and best thing all happy men do. Few are happy because of their circumstances – it’s how they respond to their circumstances, both good and bad, that gets the ball rolling.
So the good news, funny enough, is that happiness isn’t inherent. It’s about being a little proactive by making small changes all of us guys can implement today.
2. Look after yourself
No man can be happy if he’s unhealthy. Like happiness, an unhealthy life is fuelled by the choices we make, be it by working 18-hour days, eating the wrong foods, or never getting your heart rate up. Indeed, excess body weight and insomnia are two traits unhappy men share. Their happy counterparts, on the other hand, value their lives and want to keep the party going for as long as possible by making healthy choices.
3. Pursue your passion
That thing that makes you happy? Whether it’s time with your kids or a Jamaican beach or python wrangling (it’s surprisingly popular), your efforts to keep those people, places or things in your life can actually be more rewarding than the goals themselves. Getting there is half the fun, as the saying goes, and if your goal makes you happy then the process will always seem worthwhile. If one of your passions can be parlayed into your career, then success – however you choose to define it – is all the more likely to follow.
4. Be happy with yourself
Nobody’s perfect, and you don’t even have to be close to be happy. Your quirks, shortcomings and foibles define you as a person, and if you value these idiosyncrasies then you not only value your uniqueness, but also know how to look after, and even improve, yourself on your terms.
5. Live in the present
Reminisce and anticipation are all well and good, but don’t get stuck in the past or future. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” and even if those other plans are happy ones you don’t want to miss any unscheduled happiness in the here and now. You can’t savour the here and now if you’re distracted by the next challenge – cellphone addicts, we’re looking at you here. In short, you can’t find happiness if it can’t find you.
6. Be part of the solution
Who says pessimists can’t be happy? Life is full of challenges – that’s why many pessimists say they are “realists” – but what really matters is how you handle them. Instead of always pointing out problems, as negative men do, and then waiting for someone else to solve them, as negative, lazy, “victims” do, take an active role in dealing with issues head on. If you have outside help, fantastic. If you don’t, however, knowing that you have the power to make a difference will put you on the positive path that leads to happiness.