All you Need to Know About Endorphins

20th October 2019
The right amount of endorphins is key to both physical and mental well-being. What exactly does this hormone do?

You’ve probably heard on more than one occasion about endorphins? However, do you know what they really are? In this article, we’ll share all you need to know about endorphins.

What are endorphins?

To put it simply, endorphins are a type of hormone. Its secretion depends on the body itself and it consists of protein chains. These protein chains can stimulate certain areas of the brain which are responsible for the sensation of pleasure.

What role does it play in the body?

Endorphins are also called the “happiness hormone” because they are closely related to well-being and feelings of pleasure.

That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to them; otherwise, it’ll be impossible to feel good about ourselves. Endorphins fulfill the following functions:

  • Creating a feeling of well-being.
  • Releasing stress.
  • Improving sex life.
  • Reducing the sensation of pain.
  • Reducing worries.
Woman workout

Relationship between endorphin levels and well-being

The level of endorphins in the body varies depending on the specific person and situations that they are going through. Its absence or shortage produces a series of symptoms that can be perceived immediately. Broadly speaking, it can be said that the relationship is as follows:

Low levels of endorphins

Low levels of endorphins are directly related to mental health issuesOne way to know if your endorphin level is low is to reflect. If you don’t feel pleasure when being with friends and family, partying or having sex, low levels of endorphins may be the cause.

If the body does not secrete enough endorphins, sensations such as sadness, melancholy or even depression may appearWe have all experienced a least a few of these feelings before. It’s normal to feel down sometimes, however, the issue arises when it becomes commonplace.

A state of prolonged sadness can lead to depression. Keep in mind that these types of ailments require attention from a trained health professional.

How to increase endorphin levels

If you have identified with the previous paragraphs, you may have low levels of this hormone. It’s no cause for alarm. The first step to progress is to identify the problem. Once you have done so, try out the following steps:

  • Eat healthily: nutrition is the fundamental pillar of well-being. If you eat poor quality foods in excess, it’ll end up affecting your health. Nutritional supplements can be a great ally in this area. However, keep in mind that they should be consumed only after consulting a professional.
Healthy woman

  • Avoid stressful situations: sometimes, we don’t realize when we’re surrounded by stressful situations. Work, studies and family conflicts can be huge sources of stress. Stress prevents the secretion of endorphins. That’s why you should try to avoid stress as much as possible.
  • Practice sports: exercise will help you forget about your problems and release stress. In addition, sports can provide numerous health benefits.
  • Do what you like: yes, it’s that simple. Hang out with your friends, spend time with your partner and do all the activities that make you happy. This is the best way to release endorphins.

Finally, it’s always wise to seek the help of a professional. Going to therapy or visiting a psychologist is more routine than most people think.

You shouldn’t feel weak or ashamed, if you experience prolonged or recurring states of sadness, it’s best to consult a professional.

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  • Werneck, F. Z., Filho, M. G. B., & Ribeiro, L. C. S. (2005). Mecanismos de Melhoria do Humor após o Exercício: Revisitando a Hipótese das Endorfinas. Rev Bras Cienc e Mov13(2), 135–144. Retrieved from http://portalrevistas.ucb.br/index.php/RBCM/article/view/634/645
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