Feeling Good: The Science of Endorphins and Dopamine
Ever wonder why you feel so good after a workout? Or why you get a natural high from doing something you love? The answer lies in chemicals called endorphins and dopamine. Read on to learn more about how these amazing substances work and why they’re essential for a happy and healthy life.
What are Endorphins?
Endorphins are chemicals that are produced by the body in response to pain or stress. They work by binding to receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins also produce a feeling of euphoria, which is why they’re often referred to as “happy hormones.” Natural endorphin production can be enhanced by activities like exercise, laughter, and sex.
What is Dopamine?
Dopamine is another “happy hormone” that’s produced by the brain. It’s associated with feelings of pleasure and reward, and it plays an important role in motivation. Dopamine is released in response to activities that make us feel good, such as eating delicious food, spending time with loved ones, or achieving a goal.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in your brain. It plays a role as a “reward center” and in many body functions, including memory, movement, motivation, mood, attention and more.
Low dopamine levels are associated with diseases including Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How Do Endorphins and Dopamine Work Together?
Endorphins and dopamine often work together to produce feelings of happiness and well-being. For example, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins in response to the stress of physical activity. At the same time, dopamine is released in anticipation of the reward of completing your workout. These chemicals interact with each other to create an addictive loop that makes you want to keep coming back for more!
Endorphins and dopamine are two of the most important chemicals for maintaining a happy and healthy life. They work together to produce feelings of pleasure and well-being in response to activities like exercise, laughter, sex, and spending time with loved ones. If you ever find yourself feeling down, take some time to do something that will boost your endorphin or dopamine levels—you’ll be sure to feel better in no time!