28 Aug The Stress Reset
Endorphins: The Anti-Stress Chemical | Part Four in the D.O.S.E. chemicals series: (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins)
By Business Motivational Speaker and Smile Expert Darryl Davis
Endorphins are the chemicals that are responsible for what we call a “runner’s high.” When released, they act on the same receptors in the brain as opiate drugs do and produce a euphoric feeling just as morphine does. They are our body’s natural way to mask pain. So, whenever we need a little extra boost of energy (Endorphins = Energy) to deal with physical or emotional stress, or to overcome an obstacle, our body asks for more endorphins.
For example, endorphins are released during sex and when eating certain foods, such as chili peppers and chocolate. When it comes to the peppers, the spicier, the better. More pain means more chemical. Now, chocolate doesn’t cause any pain whatsoever, but research has shown that it also triggers endorphins, probably because of the surge of energy that we get from eating sugar. This may also explain the comforting feelings that many people associate with it, and the craving for chocolate in times of stress. (By the way, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, smiling is equivalent to eating 2,000 bars of chocolate . . . without the calories [and the cavities]! I know this makes some readers very happy.)
What’s important for you to recognize is that your brain needs a fix of these chemicals—and in a serious way! And because our brains are automatic, chemically controlled goal-seeking devices, they’ll find a way to get a D.O.S.E., whether it’s a productive way (winning a game, finishing a major project, going out on a date, or landing a sale) or a destructive way (drugs, bad relationships, addictions, acting out to get attention, or constant complaining). Both good and bad activities can release a D.O.S.E.; wouldn’t it be far better to simply smile?
Our brains have become trained through our life experiences, like a well-worn path through a forest. We continue to follow the same trail—even if it’s not particularly good for us—because it’s literally the path of least resistance and leads us back to our comfort zone and our chemical D.O.S.E. “reward.”
To learn more about transforming your life and accomplishing extraordinary things, check out my book How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About, or invite me in for your next event to get the skinny on bringing a #SMILEDOSE into your business! I’d love to hear from you! #SMILEDOSE