Tag Archive: benefits

  1. What Are the Benefits of Endorphins?

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    runner

    Endorphins may play a key role in addiction but evidence is not always specific about how it works or whether it helps much at all. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the body to help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. Sometimes referred to as the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemicals, it is a natural painkiller. Learn more about potential benefits of endorphins.

    Exercise

    The body will produce endorphins in response to intense physical exercise. Endorphins play a role in ‘runner’s high. The feelings of euphoria long distance runners experience after prolonged bouts of exercise helps to fuel a better run. Release of endorphins varies from each person to another which means the same amount of exercise does not produce the same amount of endorphins for every person. Research suggests exercise helps improve mood and may aid in depression treatment so exercise makes sense to help kick up the ‘feel good’ attributes.

    Addiction

    Endorphins play a role in the brain’s reward system. Some scientists and doctors have suggested ‘feel good’ chemicals play a role in exercise addiction or drug dependence. Exercise addiction may occur in people who exercise excessively. It is characterized by symptoms of withdrawal, feeling depressed, anxious or restless after not exercising. The same is true of other substances as well. Endorphins a play a major role in addiction in fueling the desire to continue drinking, using drugs or having promiscuous sex as the brain chemicals flood the body and create cravings for the substance. Increased levels of endorphins have been linked to vigorous exercise but also to dependence or addiction, with some negative but some positive benefits.

    Pain Relief

    One of endorphins’ main functions is to moderate pain. A part of the brain called the hypothalamus sets off a chain of events which increases production of endorphins. This higher level of endorphins helps individuals deal more effectively with chronic pain management. People with high levels of endorphins following surgery have a better response to the pain.

    Laughter

    Laughter provides an easy way to enjoy life and forget about stress. The body releases endorphins when a person laughs and makes the experience enjoyable. Even expecting to laugh can increase levels of endorphins in the body. During a study published in 2006, endorphins were highest in individuals to expected to laugh than people who did not. Stress can be reduced and mood can become elevated when a person is able to laugh or anticipate laughter as a benefit of the feel good chemicals flooding the system.

    Overall, endorphins provide a gateway to some important health benefits but also come with risks when involved with addictions. The power of the brain’s chemicals in the body should not be underestimated but it is important to realize the benefits are greater often than the challenges, which can be overcome with the right support network and system in place to guide an individual through recovery and thus to enjoy the benefits of the positive side effects of endorphins, and life itself.

    Call Sustain Recovery to find out more about our adolescent care programs. We are here to support your journey to recovery with our individualized programs and services.

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

Megan
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