What are Endorphins?

The word Endorphin quite literally means body pain reliever, it is the combination of the word ‘endogenous’ which means from within the body, and ‘morphine,’ which is an opiate pain reliever. Endorphins are natural neurochemicals produced by the nervous system to fight pain, they are released when you get hurt to minimise and mask the shock and severity of the pain. Endorphins are also released during exercise, engagement in creative activities and laughter, which means as well as blocking pain, Endorphins can make you feel happy often euphoric.  Endorphins are released when we laugh and when we cry, which is why we are often told to let it all out when we cry, this boosts Endorphins and makes us feel happier. 


Why are Endorphins important?

Endorphins are an incredible part of our body’s survival processes as they enable us to accomplish amazing things in extreme conditions.  When we think about it in the context of our ancestor’s, Endorphins enabled them to survive adverse situations, by blocking pain long-enough for them to escape any danger they were in. Their main job is to interact with receptors in the cells found in areas of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling our emotion linked to that pain. Often our body goes into shock when we experience 

What happens if we have an Endorphins deficiency?

If we have low levels of Endorphins, we can feel emotionally sensitive and teary, we may experience chronic pain or have a low pain threshold. Often people with low Endorphins suffer from headaches and or migraines or feel intense levels of stress and fatigue. The impact can be significant as we can lose interest in those things that bring us joy and can leave us feeling lost and hopeless with a generally low mood. Long periods with low levels of happy hormones including Endorphones can lead to depression, low self-esteem and self-worth.

How are Endorphins triggered in the body?

Many things can trigger the release of Endorphins, however, the primary triggers are pain, stress and discomfort. When the part of your brain called the hypothalamus senses pain, it steps in to suppress and ultimately block the messages of pain. For example, when you fall over you do not feel the pain straight away, your hypothalamus is sensing your pain and trying to block the messages being sent around your body allowing time for your body to react appropriately and proportionately.  All forms of exercise especially those with high intensity flood your body with Endorphins which is where the term "runner's high" comes from, this makes you feel happy and encourages you to repeat the activity. 

Being creative makes you feel grounded and triggers the release of Endorphines which is why creatives and artists often feel calm and happy. 

Laughing is a great way to boost our Endorphins and the effects of laughter can spread across our whole body. Laughter is the safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones which means the body gets rest bite from the huge pressure stress causes. 

How can we boost our Endorphins?


Slowing down from our fast-paced lives enables our bodies to release more endorphins. When we’re rushing around feeling highly stressed it actually prevents and suppresses the production of Endorphins. Taking control, slowing down and learning to say no when appropriate frees up time to spend on those things which make us feel good. Mindfulness activities are great ways to help switch off our brains and ground us into the present moment, this relaxation will lead to a release of Endorphins.

Be Creative

The act of doing something that you love and find relaxing helps to boost Endorphins. Any activity which engages the front part of your brain and gets your creative juices flowing helps increase the production of Endorphins. This could include, creative writing, poetry, drawing, painting, knitting, sewing or baking.


Laughter is a great antidote to stress and gives you a big Endorphin rush. Laughter expels the irritations of daily life and lifts our overall mood. Regularly laughing helps maintain a brighter outlook on life, decreases anxiety-reducing depressive thoughts. laughter can be integrated into everyday life in so many ways, including watching comedy, reading jokes, making funny videos, surrounding ourselves with people who make us laugh. Intentionally putting ourselves in situations where we will experience laughter will lift our mood and gives us a better outlook on life. Have you taken our Laughing Yoga session with The Pamer Lounge?

Take our 'Laughing Yoga Session' arrow

Essential Oils

Essential oil aromas can lead to Endorphin release which is why spa's use essential oils to boost their relaxation experience. The essential oils which are linked to the release of our happy hormones include; Lavender, Rosemary, Citrus - orange, grapefruit or bergamot, Yylang Ylang and Frankincense. Use a diffuser in your home or add essential oils to a bath to boost Endorphins.


Exercise such as Pilates, yoga and any physical activity that requires controlled-breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system and boost Endorphins. These activities create a relaxed feeling in the body due to their mindful nature.

Eat foods that trigger Endorphins

Eating certain foods can help to promote the release of Endorphins in the body. There are some foods like chocolate that give you a quick burst of Endorphins which give us an emotional high like chocolate, but the effect is short-lived and can make you feel guilty and sluggish later. It’s much better to use healthy foods that give longer more positive results. Check out our 'Foods That Boost Your Endorphins Guide'

Foods That Boost Your Endorphins Guide arrow


Intense exercise such as running, weightlifting and boxing flood the body with Endorphins which is where the "runner's high" comes from. This makes you feel great and motivates you to repeat the activity. This explains why people feel the 'need' to go for a run not simply a wish to go out for a run. Research suggests optimum Endorphin release occurs after 30 minutes of exercise.



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