There’s no doubt about it! Certain foods we eat do make us feel good.
That’s because certain foods release specific chemicals in the brain, like the neurotransmitter endorphin which is associated with well-being. Endorphins attach to opiate receptors in the brain which block pain receptors and cause “feel good” sensations.
We often turn to certain fattening foods to experience the pleasure, rewards and feel good sensations that come with increased endorphins.
You can create these same “feel good” sensations by eating non-fattening foods like hot peppers, cayenne pepper, horseradish and wasabi, chocolate, and healthy fats like nuts and avocados.
Create Your Own Feel Good Sensations
But there are many other ways to increase your endorphins and boost your mood. We call these things Core Foods– those things other than food that make us feel good! Here are some examples:
Laughter – The deeper you laugh, the more endorphins are released.
Exercise – Your body loves to exercise and releases endorphins when you engage in it.
Experience positive thoughts – Being truly happy can physically alter your body’s chemistry. Find ways to become optimistic.
Excitement – When our body experiences positive stress, it produces more endorphins. Sexual activity also produces endorphins.
Music – Music that produces emotions releases endorphins.
Acupuncture & Massage – Research shows that stimulating energy in the body through acupuncture releases endorphins.
Sunshine – The feel-good factor of a sunny day also produces endorphins in the body.
We are created to experience and enjoy life. Get outside. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Laugh with friends. Do something new.
Get Outside to Boost Your Mood!
Now that the months are turning cooler and the kids are back in school, it’s a good time to get outside to boost those endorphins and your mood! Go to that football or soccer game and feel your sense of excitement bolster your mood. Take advantage of those fall festivals and free community concerts. Connect with nature through outdoor exercise, meditative walks, or quiet moments in your backyard.
Create your own “feel good” sensations without turning to food. What does it feel like to walk in the rain or jump in a puddle? What does it feel like to smell the salt of the ocean or feel the crunch of leaves under your feet? How do you feel when you just close your eyes and feel the breeze on your face?
I’d love to hear from you. What have you found that boosts your mood?