Posted: Fri, November 23, 2012 | By: Hank Pellissier
Our pituitary glands and hypothalamus contain 20 brain hormones, collectively called “endorphins.” Released into our blood stream they provide us with a euphoric feeling that annihilates stress, depression, and chronic pain, thereby delaying the aging process.
Several drugs (opium, morphine, and cocaine) are endorphin-releasers; “endorphin” actually means “internal morphine.” Luckily, there’s also numerous “natural” ways to release endorphins, with no dangerous side effects. Here’s a list:
1) Long, intense cardiovascular exercise, such as swimming or running
2) Laughter, smiling
3) Having a positive attitude, enthusiasm, cheerfulness
4) Spicy food, like chili peppers, horseradish, wasabi
5) Dark Chocolate
7) Listening to beautiful, calming music
8) Watching scary movies — the stress activates endorphin release
9) Getting yourself terrified on a roller coaster
13) Sex — orgasms release endorphins
14) Viewing beautiful art
16) Crying, expressing emotion
17) Going barefoot, being naked
18) Smelling flowers, cooking food, activities that incorporate smell
20) Walking in Nature
Performing several of these activities simultaneously should produce huge quantities of endorphins. Some are simple, easy and safe, for example:
1. Walking naked in nature, smelling flowers & nibbling dark chocolate
2. Having yogic sex while watching a horror movie
3. Gossiping on a roller coaster in the sunshine
4. Weeping during a massage while listening to Mozart
Other combinations are more challenging, but extremely time-efficient, such as:
Skinny-dipping in blazing heat, skewered with acupuncture needles, as you laugh-and-cry, chomp on horseradish & masturbate
My advice is to provide yourself with a healthy, hedonistic dose of endorphins twice a day – its fabulous for both the body and mind.
Additional advice from hplusmagazine readers, where this essay was first published:
casamurphy: I’ve often contemplated that if someone could synthesize the chemicals that rush through our bodies during orgasm and make them available in mini-injections they would be a good symptomatic local therapy for pain related to localized muscle tension.
joe quirk: How about revenge on my enemies? And let’s not forget the rush you experience when you con a stranger out of money. Are those endorphins or adrenaline or what? Age 15, I got in my first serious fight with a much larger kid who I was afraid of. When I emerged out the other side alive, it was the greatest high ever had, which I rode for a day while simultaneously realizing that this said something terrifying about human nature. I’ve read war veterans who describe similar joys.
Can I release my endorphins and extend my life through evil? Genghis Khan was supposed to have said: “The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”
His Y chromosome is in 16 million male descendants, so he combined killing and sex. And I think smelling flowers.
hank pellissier: thanks for writing in, Joe. The Mongols are a wonderful topic. Regarding endorphins, research suggests that “Victory” is certainly a good way to release endorphins, but the quest for victory is always a gamble, since it leads 50% of the time to Defeat, which is a depressant. Mongols provide good examples of combining Revenge and Evil, my favorite story is the destruction of Nishapur. After Ghengis Khan’s favorite son-in-law was killed by an arrow here, the widow (Ghengis’s daughter) presided over the massacre of the city. 1.7 million inhabitants were slaughtered and beheaded, and their skulls arranged into three separate pyramids, one for men, one for women, one for children. I do not know if this long and bloody spectacle of revenge filled the widow with an enormous quantity of endorphins, or not. I rather hope not. I am glad that you got an endorphin boost from your 15-year-old fight; I believe some of the rush was from left-over adrenaline. Boxing provides a nice high for the champions, but concussions for the losers. thanks again for writing in.
Termm: All opiates/opioids certainly release endorphins, but are you sure that Cocaine does? If I recall correctly, cocaine releases dopamine, and inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine also is a pleasure inducing neurotransmitter, but it’s seperate from endorphins.
hank pellissier: Termm - this website: http://www.ivillage.com/endorphins-101-your-guide-natural-euphoria/4-a-108211 cites a researcher who calls cocaine a “classic endorphin-releasing entity.” other researchers do not define it that way. Research is still being conducted on what exactly are the effects of cocaine. My own non-academic and unstructured “research” strongly suggests that cocaine provides us with a feeling similar to an endorphin rush. thank you for your interest and scrutiny
(Readers - If you know of other endorphin-producing activities or if you have successfully developed any ecstatic combinations that you wish to publicize, please leave in comments below)