These neurotransmitters are electric signals within the nervous system that interact with our opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain. They act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. At least 20 different types of endorphins have been identified in humans according to a website – MedicineNet.com (7-25-2017).
When our bodies sense stress and/or pain these endorphins are released to interact with the targeted receptors to decrease our perception of distress. This natural process does not lead to addiction. We feel euphoric, calm, satisfied, healthy and comfortable. Studies show that activities such as acupuncture, massage, eating certain foods, i.e. chili peppers and chocolate, can also stimulate these endorphins. Additionally, healthy sexual activity with a loving partner and meditation has proven to release these helpful chemicals.
It may be a good idea to engage in activities that help us to feel good on a regular basis, especially since we have found some that aren’t addictive and don’t seem to have adverse side effects. So, the next time you are feeling stressed or angry or lonely or are over come by a general feeling of dread, try engaging in an enjoyable act. Go out and release some endorphins.