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.
Dropping just a few pounds improves everything from sleep to sex
What springs to mind when you hear the words “Big 3?” NBA fans might think of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Car buffs could point to Ford, GMC and Chrysler, while millions of Canadian cellphone subscribers might shudder and say Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
But there’s another Big 3 that, unlike your wireless provider, may actually reduce your monthly bills. Which awesome Big 3 is this? It’s the Big 3 Benefits of Losing Weight:
You’ll feel better: Is any benefit better than this? Dropping just a few pounds can reduce joint pain, improve the quality of your sleep, and chase away fatigue and grogginess. Oh, and speaking of feeling better…
You’ll live longer: You’re feeling great, you’re getting some, so why not stick around to enjoy it? Dropping pounds lowers the risk of life-shortening conditions such as heart attacks and sleep apnea, a sleeping condition in which your breathing starts and stops but seems to you like heavy snoring.
It’s true, people who become supremely successful don’t take a secret shortcut in life, eat super foods, or take magic pills. Most successful people focus on a few simple tricks to get their mind right: this tip is straight from the playbook of NBA’s MVP Stephen Curry.
Here is what elite athletes, successful business owners, and peak performers do to get into a healthy mindset:
A positive attitude makes life look brighter and promising. With positive thinking, it’s easier to achieve success, have better health, improve relationships, and enjoy life overall. Start the day with positive affirmation; think about the lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes and focus on how they can positively impact your future decisions.
Gratitude is actually an attitude and way of living that has been shown to have many benefits in terms of health, happiness, and satisfaction with life. Simply put, it involves focusing on the present and appreciating what we have now, rather than wanting more and more. Once a day, try writing down one thing you’re grateful for. You’ll be surprised how big of a difference it can make.
The best athletes in the world are very familiar with the act of visualization. What this entails is thinking about a goal you want to achieve, then visualizing yourself going through that action and succeeding. Give it a try when waking up and see how it impacts your day.
So how do you benefit by “living in the present?” Pushing your boundaries by bungee jumping, pushing your credit limit by purchasing an expensive suit, or pushing your calorie count by ordering the nacho plate? Is it inspirational, indulgent…or neither?
Sign up for a free copy of our “7 Traits of the Happiest and Healthiest People” eBook.
For ancient Greek philosophers, “living in the present” was a state of mind one aspired to, becoming self-aware in order to experience and enjoy one’s current situation. Perhaps best captured by the slogan Carpe Diem — translated from Latin as ‘seize the day’ — the goal was to simply live in the moment… at least for emperors, noblemen, and anyone else that wasn’t busy doing intense labor.
How you can live like a king
We get it. You’re a regular guy with a regular job, not the King of England. You have commitments and responsibilities, which leaves little time for living in the present, right?
Thing is, you don’t need to throw lavish parties on luxury yachts, and you certainly don’t need to retreat to a cave and meditate, hoping for enlightenment. The key to being able to live in the present is to recognize that any situation presents opportunities.
Get started focusing on step one: breakfast.
Boost your mood with food
In theory, breakfast is a time to savor a meal while fueling yourself for the day ahead. In reality, you’re half-dressed, pushing the clock, chewing a bagel—briefcase in hand, moving towards the door. Don’t multitask around chewing and swallowing, schedule them in: HIGH PRIORITY! Meeting w/ oatmeal @ 7:40 a.m.
The key here is to remember to live in the present by dedicating your energy to the task at hand. Chances are, you’ll find that the more you put into living in the moment, the more you’ll get out of it.
Can’t remember the last time you had a proper lunch break? You’re not alone. According to recent research, only one in five North Americans step away from their desks for a midday meal. We stay in the office to be more productive, of course, but it turns out that skipping a regular time-out can have the opposite effect: Studies show, the longer we stay at work without changing our surroundings from time to time, the more our creativity suffers.
So before we get to the break-boosting tips, here’s the most important takeaway of all: Be sure to take a break away from your desk, even if it’s only for a few minutes. How you spend those few minutes away can have a positive effect on your mood, even beyond a fresh jolt of creativity.
Here are three great ways to boost your break-time:
1. Take a stroll to get lunch
If there’s a restaurant, cafe or grocery store a few blocks from your office, walk there for lunch or coffee. Eat your meal and drink your coffee, then walk back. Even a few minutes of light exercise like this can work wonders on your mood and physical health. Kick it up a notch by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And to improve your mood even more: Eat a healthier lunch by replacing fries for a salad with your burger, and by 2pm, you won’t feel like taking a nap!
2. Find a calm green space to breathe
Head to a calm green space near your office with your lunch in hand. (Here are some easy, tasty and healthy ideas for brown-bagging it.) Take a seat on a bench or a patch of grass, close your eyes and do some deep breathing: Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose — your belly, not your chest, should rise — and then do the same when you exhale. Do this once and you’ll feel better. Do it a few more times and stress and tension will melt away.
3. Get social with a buddy or co-worker
Invite a co-worker or a friend who lives or works near your office to tag along. Relaxing, laughing, and talking about last night’s game with your buddies will cheer you up, and help you shrug off the stresses of everyday life.
So go ahead and take that well deserved break! As you can see, there are way more benefits to doing this than just eating your lunch.