Our endocrine system decides when we eat when we will reach puberty and when we need endorphins and other hormonal secretions from various glands.
Endorphins are triggered by the hypothalamus in our bodies when we are in stress, in pain or are doing:
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Endorphins are our own personal drugs supplied to us by our body, without the addiction part. Opiates (the artificial, addictive drug) are not as effective or safe as endorphins, which provide us with a sense of well-being and pleasure simply by belief and anticipation, called the Placebo Effect.
Opiates are addictive while endorphins are completely non-addictive, due to the fact that endorphins are more easily broken down and digested by our body’s receptors, leading to non-dependence.
Endorphins are secreted during stress or pain to block out the bad sensations, and are also responsible for pleasurable sensations that we get from eating our favourite food or having sex. Our brain generates emotions from an area called the limbic system, which has a specific region called hypothalamus, responsible for functions like breathing, hunger and emotional response.
Problems with the endorphin binding process result in clinical depression or sudden changes in emotions.
It is essential for mood, digestion, sleep, brain function, and circadian rhythm. It seems to be “involved in everything but responsible for nothing”: Low serotonin has been noted in depression, but increasing serotonin levels in depressed people doesn’t reliably work.
Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in the gut where it can act as a hormone or a neurotransmitter. This means that you can make yourself happier by eating better.
There are four main hormones that trigger the feelings of happiness: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Understanding these chemicals and how they work can help you figure out ways to feel better during a stressful time.
Also known as the ‘reward’ high, it is a happy chemical released in the brain as a reward for anything that is pleasurable. It is a short-lived feeling that goes as soon as it comes.
The plus side is that it is also felt when we achieve any goal, or even when we simply tick a box in our to-do list.
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