Then give your body a burst of endorphins - those are the feel-good brain chemicals that reduce pain, boost your mood, increase your immunity, and make you more resistant to disease. So, here’s how to give your endorphin levels a boost, courtesy of iVillage.com:
- First, eat a chili pepper. The rush you get after biting into a hot pepper is the blast of pain-reducing endorphins flooding your bloodstream.
- Exercise. Regular joggers often mention the “runner’s high” – the happy feeling they get after reaching a certain point in their workout. Our experts say you’ll get the best effects from prolonged activities, like swimming, tennis, or a long cardio workout.
- Get moved. We’re not talking about packing up a U-Haul here. We’re talking emotion. Like, watching a touching movie, a beautiful sunset, or hearing an inspiring piece of music.
- Chow down some chocolate. You don’t even have to wolf down 3 chocolate bars in one sitting to get the effect. A bite or two’ll do it!
- Also, be afraid. Whether you’re watching a horror movie with your hand over your eyes, or feeling the rush of a roller coaster, fear triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals. Which is part of the reason extreme sports are so popular.
- And have a laugh. Whether it’s a quick joke that tickles your funny bone, or a hilarious comedy movie, laughter triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals.
- Finally, get a little sunshine. Researchers at Wake Forest University found that ultraviolet light can trigger endorphin production, which is why some people hate to give up their sunbathing time. In fact, just knowing that it’s sunny and beautiful outside can be enough to boost your endorphin production – and your mood.