We’ve already covered stress in a previous post so I won’t talk much about it. However, when we talk about people who have trouble with sleeping or have symptoms of depression, stress is usually a factor that comes into it. Luckily Endorphins are here to save the day and ensure that you get a good nights sleep and feel more positive about life.
Really all this stuff I’ve said before but it’s really important and so I’m reinforcing for you.
Release endorphins, block pain, feel good, the end!
That’s the long and short of it.
Why this helps sleep though? This is because most often than not people release Endorphins through exercise. Not only do you feel great after but because you’ve worked out for an hour rather than sitting on the coach watching tv, you have done something to make you feel tired! A lot of the time people who have trouble sleeping are just not tired. They haven’t done anything during the day to make their bodies need to rest.
As soon as you start exercising it will have a snow ball effect. Endorphins will be released to help elevate your mood and keep your positive attitude more consistent. Then you will get tired because you are doing physical activity which will in turn make you happier. And finally stress will go down because you are looking after yourself and are happy and are sleeping you have three less things to worry about in your day!
Endorphins are the gift our bodies give us to live a natural, holistic and incredible life. Go out there and release them and feel the Natural High!
Ever wondered why our bodies crave fatty and sugary foods? Apart from the taste its actually because of what happens when the body breaks down sugars. It is a chemical process that actually releases Endorphins! I know what you’re thinking… If Endorphins are so good for me, why are they making me eat sugar and fatty foods?!
The reason is simple. When our body breaks down sugars and releases Endorphins into our body we get that same euphoric feeling we would get like if we went for run, not as intense of course but still enough to make us addicted to the sensation. Ever heard of the term ‘comfort eater’? This is the term used to describe people who say they eat food to get in a better mood or just feel happy when they eat. This is because eating food is their way of releasing Endorphins and achieving a somewhat “natural high”.
You’re kind of right Keanu… It goes to show that if we have low Endorphin levels in our bodies we will crave these kinds of foods because at the end of the day, our body wants to feel good, wants to give us a natural high, wants to make us feel happy! Therefore we need to find our Natural High in other places and release Endorphins into our body by other means.
Refer back to my previous blog post about releasing Endorphins and find out which one suits you, because if you’re looking to diet or stop eating unhealthy foods, high Endorphin levels are a MUST so that your body doesn’t try to find the high in unhealthy ways.
Just a quick post and not just because of the ‘punny’ word play I thought of for the title.
A bit of info about the person behind ‘The Natural High’ campaign, I was raised in the water. Before I could walk my parents were throwing me into swimming pools and out into the ocean. I joined swim schools and squads, went to swimming races, events and carnivals, and eventually found a sport that tailored to my competitive and physical nature, water polo. I cannot thank my parents enough for the encouragement they gave me to get active and physical in water. There is no other exercise quite like it and I’ll share with you now.
1. Swimming has almost zero impact on your body. You are able to do more aerobically because you are not causing any pressure or damage to joints like when you run on a hard surface. Therefore, swimming is also perfect for people with muscle or joint pain for a low impact form of exercise.
2. Leading on from this is weightlessness. By swimming, you are in an equilibrium state between gravity and the buoyancy of the water. This gives your muscles and joints a much needed break from the constant pushing down of gravity.
3. Swimming makes you look good! When you run you are running through air. When you swim you are trying to get through a substance much denser than air, therefore increasing muscle tone.
4. Range of motions. There are many different styles of stroke and movements that just arent possible in a gym. Swimming almost lengthens the body and increases flexibility and range of movement by stretching muscles as they work out.
5. Aerobic. Great for your heart while also being a resistance set.
6. A Natural High. Not only does swimming release Endorphins, the constant stretching and relaxing of muscles coupled with the deep rhythmic breathing produces an incredible relaxation response in the body much like yoga. Swimming makes your feel good body and mind.
So if you’re not sure how or where to start in releasing Endorphins and achieving a Natural High my advice is to make like Dory and… “Just keep swimming!”
Like so many of us, motivation is the biggest factor that stands in our way to achieve a natural high. We need a push to get of the couch and release endorphins into our body through exercise or other means. Many turn to personal training which is a great option. They push you to your limits which is exactly the place you need to be to get a massive high from the rush of those mood altering opiates flooding into our system. But there are other ways to get motivated…
I have two dogs of my own. Banjo and Rowdy. To look after dogs and keep them nice and healthy they should be walked at least once a day. What better motivation do you need than your four legged friend running up to you and asking to be walked??
They really are a great motivator but not only that, just by being around dogs makes you happier. They provide companionship and are extremely loyal. You always have a walking buddy and you often feel a sense of pride in looking after something and treating it well.
Obviously a pet is not for everyone and depending on peoples circumstances it might not be a viable option for motivation. However, if you have the space and time for a furry four legged companion, I highly recommend you invest in a natural high seeking buddy like Banjo and Rowdy!
So there is another way that your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream that I didn’t mention… Stress.
I didn’t mention before because I don’t want everyone running around getting stressed to achieve their natural high, that won’t work. But it is true, when we are stressed our body naturally excretes endorphins to try and counter the stressful emotion and put us back on the right path of happiness.
However, without the right levels of endorphins in our bloodstream and a highly stressful lifestyle or series of events, an almost permanent suppression of endorphin levels can occur, and it makes it hard to manage these stressful times of our lives.
Therefore, if you are stressed go back through the endorphin release post and try some of the tactics to pump endorphins into your body and get back on the positive side of life.
It has been said if you do exercise to release endorphins, a stressful person will need to do more than about 30 minutes which is what an unstressed person will need to do to achieve the same effects from the endorphin release, so bare that in mind.
In all seriousness, life is hard, it throws curve balls at us that we don’t see coming and it kicks us down to the ground. The truth is we can’t be happy all the time! It’s not realistic to think that we can. But in those times if we put a smile on our face, surround ourselves with what makes us happy, and release some of the mood altering drugs that our body naturally provides for us, we can come back from anything life puts in our way!
Everyone has heard the phrase, ‘No Pain, No Gain!’ Some may even have had it shouted in their face while pushing out that last set. It means that by pushing yourself in a workout session or working hard at anything in fact, without pain there will be no gain. If you don’t hurt you’re not working hard enough. But the phrase ‘No Pain, No Gain’ might not be as accurate as we think.
Ok, so we know Endorphins are chemicals in our body produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus that have the ability to suppress pain. So what does that mean for us?
When the body experiences pain the brain reacts by telling the hypothalamus to release endorphins so that the pain we are experiencing diminishes. Therefore, by working hard in a training session or doing physical activity so that you’re pushing your body to the limits, over the time of the session endorphins are released and the pain that you feel from that session starts to subside.
Have you ever heard the term, ‘hitting the wall’? Endorphins allow us to hit that wall and then leap over it to reach new heights and goals with its pain suppressing effects.
So when you’re next working out or trying to achieve your natural high and you feel like you won’t make it, never fear, because endorphins are there to give you that little push in your time of need!