It is almost entirely impossible to deny that one of the best feelings in the world is receiving a present. We all wait in anticipation for events such as birthdays and Christmas, eager to see what we have been lucky enough to receive from our close friends and family. We feel this way due to the flood of endorphins that we get every time we open a present. However, you may have noticed that you don’t just experience this feeling when you have received a present. You will also experience this exact same feeling when you watch a loved one open up a present you have gotten them. You may not have noticed this before and instead, put it down to the nerves or anxiety caused by the fear of your loved ones not enjoying their gift.
What you are in fact feeling is a rush of endorphins, but what exactly are endorphins?
What are endorphins
Endorphins are actually produced naturally by your nervous system as a way of combating anxiety or pain. If you have been in a situation where you have accidentally hurt yourself, you may have noticed a sudden rush of ‘adrenaline’ that made the pain feel less severe, this is in fact endorphins. Though endorphins can be produced from several parts of your body, the main source of endorphins is your pituitary glands. Everyone produces a differing amount of endorphins naturally and those of us that produce a lower amount of endorphins are more susceptible to conditions such as depression and anxiety. However, there are activities that you can do that will make you produce more endorphins.
Activities that lead to the production of endorphins
Though I’m sure a lot of you dread the idea of having to do exercise to receive more endorphins, exercise is arguably one of the most effective ways you can trigger the production of them. If you have ever been running, you may be familiar with a feeling that is referred to as ‘runner’s high’. This is an immense feeling of euphoria after completing a long run which is caused by the fast release of a lot of endorphins. Exercise is so effective that if you are someone that suffers from low-level anxiety, doctors may prescribe that you complete some moderate exercise.
A really simple and effective way to release endorphins actually comes through laughing. If you are in a position where you feel as though your endorphin levels are low, a quick fix will be watching a funny video you like or even reading a few bad jokes. The more you laugh, the more endorphins you release so why not settle in and watch a full comedy special?
Even having a small taste of the food that you love will encourage your brain to produce more endorphins. This is because as humans we have naturally positive associations with certain foods, especially those that we enjoy the taste of. Eating these foods will boost your endorphin levels and make you feel much more energized.
The main focus of this article is how giving can be an extremely effective way of boosting your endorphins. There have been dozens of scientific experiments carried out to test which activities can lead to a boost in endorphins and giving a gift came up as one of the most effective ways of doing so. Being able to measure endorphin levels has only been possible during the last decade and one of the ways they are measured is through the use of an MRI scan.
An experiment was carried out consisting of a man in an MRI machine, giving a gift to another person. Scientists found that there was increased activity in the reward center of the brain and endorphin levels skyrocketed much more than when the man had received a gift. Scientists labeled this increase in endorphins as the ‘helper’s high’ and can be compared to the feeling that you get after doing a long run.
If you are someone that suffers from low endorphin levels, it would be recommended that you don’t try and skimp out on the gifts this year. If you have the money, why not get your parents a nice bottle of wine and your nieces and nephews some spielzeug für kleinkinder. Not only will they be grateful for the nice gift, but you will also benefit too.
The benefits of increasing your endorphin levels
You may be wondering why it is even worth trying to improve your endorphin levels, here are some of the many benefits of increasing your endorphin levels.
Reducing stress and anxiety
If you are someone that finds themselves easily overwhelmed and anxious, then you will benefit from completing activities that increase your endorphin levels. When your endorphin levels increase, you usually feel a flood of happiness and calm. This can be very useful when dealing with stress and anxiety.
Something that a lot of people don’t know is that boosting your endorphin levels can actually help to reduce weight gain. When you are stressed and upset, your appetite is often negatively affected. This can cause you to either overeat or not eat enough, which can lead to weight gain. Endorphins help to regulate your appetite and can prevent you from gaining weight. Endorphins are also released through exercise, which when done enough can prevent weight gain.