What chemical makes you happy

Endorphins - definition, effects and origins of the happiness hormone

When endorphins rush through your body, you want to hug the whole world. Because these happiness hormones boost your mood, awaken your thirst for action and make you want to go on new adventures. Good reasons to pay more attention to these special messenger substances.

1. Endorphins - pain relievers and happiness hormones

Happiness can be so easy when you know how to do it. Endorphins is the magic word that drives away cloudy thoughts and lifts your mood immediately. Actually everyone knows that these happiness hormones have a positive effect on our brain - but many do not use this knowledge and prefer to mop up instead of exhausting their full potential.

But what are endorphins anyway? Strictly speaking, they are endogenous morphines, in short Endorphinsthat are used in the body Pain reliefproduced become. In other words: they are the body's own drug that is released when needed and provides a high.

Endorphins are produced in the brain in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, among other places. On the one hand, this happens in emergency situations so that you don't feel any pain in the event of an injury.

On the other hand, the Messenger substances at positive events released. Since they dock on the same receptors as opiates, it can lead to intoxicating euphoria.

Endorphins are made up of up to five amino acids and are divided into

  • Alpha endorphin
  • Beta endorphin
  • Gamma endorphin

Beta-endorphin is most common in the human body, which is why it is the best-researched subgroup of small lucky charms.

Take home message # 1: Endorphins are on the one hand the body's own pain relievers and on the other hand messenger substances that increase the feeling of happiness and can lead to euphoria.

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2. The effects of endorphins

As I said, the endorphins primarily have an analgesic effect. In addition, the messenger substances have one calming effect and take care of you restful sleep.

Another function is the formation of sex hormones and the regulation of hunger. You probably know the latter from sport. As soon as you have exhausted yourself, you start to feel hungry. But endorphins can do even more:

  • Endorphins for health

Those who go through life in a positive mood, have fun and take more time out to relax, are less likely to be ill. This is simply because endorphins are the strengthen your immune system.

The body produces regularly Happiness hormones, even depressive moods don't stand a chance. Endorphins support so both the physical as well as the mentalhealth.

The pain-relieving and calming effect of the endorphins is very beneficial in times of stress. It makes you less sensitive and more resistant to the high stress. Maybe a walk in the sun or a jogging session will help you if you are stressed - it promotes endorphin production.

Take home message # 2: Endorphins relieve pain, ensure better sleep, activate sexuality, reduce hunger, strengthen the immune system and prevent stress.

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3. The most important happiness hormones at a glance

Various neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of happiness, and when combined, they can develop their effects even better. But every happiness hormone also has its own tasks:

  • Beta endorphin: As already described, beta-endorphin is a subgroup of endorphins and a pain reliever produced by the body that kicks in immediately in the event of injuries. On the other hand, it promotes joy and the feeling of happiness through positive experiences.
  • Serotonin: The hormone Serotonin makes us happy, but also relaxed, balanced and satisfied. It gives us a feeling of satiety, satisfaction after meals and reduces stress, anxiety and aggressiveness. If the body lacks serotonin, it can lead to unfounded anxiety, depression or compulsive behavior.
  • Dopamine: The messenger substance Dopamine not only triggers feelings of happiness, but primarily joy, lust, desire, interest and motivation. It provides the drive to develop further and to always want to achieve new goals. If your body lacks dopamine, you become listless, sluggish and listless.
  • Norepinephrine: The neurotransmitter is created from dopamine Norepinephrine. It has a similar effect to the stress hormone adrenaline and increases activity, makes us more alert, more motivated and more efficient.
  • Oxytocin: When touching the skin, caressing and massaging the so-called Cuddle hormone Oxytocin released in both women and men. It promotes the emotional bond between partners and between mother and child.
  • Phenetylamine: The hormone phenetylamine increases the sensation of pleasure. When you are in love, it creates that very special tingling sensation in your stomach.

Take home message # 3: There are different happiness hormones, each with a different effect, but in the end somehow make everyone happy.

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4. This is how you can increase your endorphins

Now that you've learned more about endorphins, it's up to you to take your luck into your own hands. We'll show you how you can easily increase your happiness hormone balance:

When you exercise, your brain releases a lot of endorphins. Even one lap of running brings an enormous endorphin kick. But it doesn't really matter whether you just walk for half an hour or completely exhaust yourself while cycling - you are sure to get the happiness hormone benefit.

The so-called Runner’s high are the Endorphins for this responsiblethat runners can endure long distances despite exhaustion and pain - and still feel good at the same time.

The positive effects of exercise were also found by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine in a study in which daily running of 30 minutes already after 10 days a clear one improvement brought [1].

Also To dancein the group puts Endorphinsfree and promotes social contacts. This is confirmed by a study from Brazil in which 264 students were divided into groups and were supposed to perform synchronous movements.

It turned out that their pain threshold increased sharply due to the release of endorphins and that they felt more connected to their fellow dancers than those who did not have to learn synchronous moves [2].

When you think of chocolate how do you feel? Happy? Quite rightly, because the enjoyment of chocolate actually sets Happiness hormonesfree - even if only in small quantities. Capsaicin in chillies has a similar effect.

Also recommended are foods with L-tryptophan like fish, bananas, avocados, legumes, oatmeal, cheese or seeds like amaranth, quinoa and sesame. They contribute to normal serotonin levels.

Dietary supplements can also help you naturally. Products with Vitamin Dfor example can contribute to serotonin production. This in BRAINEFFECT MOOD The vitamin D it contains helps against oxidative stress and vitamin B12 supports your psychological function.

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Why does your mood immediately rise when the sun is shining? Of course because they Sun the distribution of Endorphins stimulates. Among other things, this is due to vitamin D, which is increasingly formed in the body as a result of solar radiation. Vitamin D in turn boosts the production of happiness hormones.

Especially in spring everyone knows the spring fever that spreads as soon as the days get longer and the sun shines more. The hormones dopamine and serotonin are released immediately and we feel elated and happy.

Falling in love causes butterflies in the stomach, which are perceived as a feeling of happiness. Because at Kiss or with loving ones Touches pours the brain Good luck messengers out. The Endorphins are in turn at the education of Sex hormones involvedwhich increases the desire for intimacy.

Laughter is healthy because it makes you happy and strengthens at the same time that immune system. That laughter leads to PainLessintensive researchers at Oxford University found out [3].

The test subjects were asked to watch a funny video while the cuff of a blood pressure monitor on their arm was inflated very tightly. The group with the funny videos hardly noticed the pain. The control group who saw serious documentation felt the pain more intensely.

Another study even found that people with good social contacts have a higher pain threshold than people who are not particularly sociable [4]. But even when you're not out with friends, you can give yourself a smile.

Because it's pretty good for the brain no matter, if this Really laugh or just put on is. Through the Relaxation or. Tension the Facial muscles can you Trick the brain and activate the production of endorphins.

Take home message # 4: You can easily increase your happiness hormones, for example, through regular exercise, a healthy diet, laughing with friends or taking a walk in the sun. Happiness can be so easy!

5. What happens when there is a lack of endorphins?

Exists a permanent deficiency at Endorphins, can do that in worst case to depressions or lead to addictive behavior. The first symptoms of an endorphin deficiency are

  • fatigue
  • Listlessness
  • Irritability

If you observe these signs continuously or repeatedly, the moment has now come to increase the production of endorphins - be it through exercise, social contacts, diet or food supplements.

6. Conclusion

Endorphin is one of the happiness hormones. It creates a positive mood and reduces your sensation of pain. Endorphins, for example, are also the reason for the so-called runners high.

It also has a calming effect and strengthens the immune system. You can increase your endorphin levels through a balanced diet and a little exercise every day.

7. Sources

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/
[2] http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/11/10/20150767
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267132/
[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/srep25267