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Trick Your Brain into Releasing More Feel Good Hormones

woman smiling

I bet shorter days and long chilly cold months are not on your favorites list. Not on mine either! Many people dread winter because of the dull, less motivated and depressed feeling.

If you are human, you sure have felt this way at some point. In fact, you could feel this way any time of the year. It isn't exclusive to the winter months. So don't beat yourself up!

About 5% of us experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during winter.

SAD is the official term for the symptoms that go with winter blues.

Less daylight affects your body's biological clock which alters your alertness and hormone production. I follow a few techniques that help me stay sharp and peppy in the winter months but these tricks work any time of the year. The trick is to up your endorphin levels.

The good news is that these tricks will work for you any time of the year too!

What are endorphins?

They are the “feel good” chemicals that keep you focused and feel better. Your brain, spinal cord, and the nervous system make these chemicals.

It results in feelings of blissfulness, pleasure, pain relief and a sense of wellbeing. Several factors influence the release of these “feel good” chemicals.

5 Ways to Increase Endorphin Release

1. Exercise woman exercising release feel good hormones endorphins

Studies show that exercise reduces the risk of anxiety and depression. It is a key endorphin booster.

Plus, it is good for your health and helps you sleep better as well. It leaves you motivated and optimistic, hence the name “runner's high.”

2. Show gratitude

Being thankful and showing gratitude helps release the brain chemical that calms you.

Volunteer, reach out to your community and foster healthy relationships and you will notice the difference.

3. Spend time in the sun woman sunbathing release feel good hormones endorphins

Lack of sunlight is the chief reason for feeling low in winter months. Sunlight helps your body make vitamin D, which in turn helps produce dopamine. Dopamine and serotonin are two well-known endorphin chemicals.

Sunshine helps your sleep cycle and regulates the release of happy chemicals.

4. Meditate

Studies show that meditation stimulates endorphin production. It helps reduce cortisol, the stress hormone and improves melatonin levels.

5. Choose the right foods cacao powder release feel good hormones endorphins

Endorphin is a peptide chemical, and you need healthy proteins to make it. Eating the right type of foods can help increase its production.

Here are the ones that encourage endorphins:

Get more Tryptophan: Grass-fed meat, chicken, eggs; milk products are high in tryptophan. They help make endorphin.

Include antioxidants: Include plenty of nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, buckwheat, lentils, and beans too. They are good protein sources with plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect your brain.

Omega-3's: Choose healthy omega-3 fats from wild-caught salmon and fatty cold water fish. Seeds like hemp, flax, chia, and walnuts are high in omega-3. They help stimulate the activity of endorphins.

Eat Raw Cacao: Cacao is the natural form of chocolate that contains theobromine. Theobromine is a mild stimulant that helps release serotonin, anandamide, and PEA. A cocktail of these stimulants helps improve your mood levels.

Be sure to laugh more too; laughter is an instant trigger for endorphin release. Endorphins build your immunity, are good for your heart and they're natural pain relievers too.

So what are you waiting on? Fight off your winter blues with these tips and let me know how you do.

Yours in health and happiness,

Danette

P.S. Please feel free to share these brain tricks with your friends and I welcome your comments below. Could you use more feel-good hormones in your day?