The other day I was writing a post that included a gif I made from Legally Blonde. I had been searching for a clip of Elle Woods saying, “it’s a completely brilliant plan!” and I came across another classic clip about endorphins.
I’ve been thinking about endorphins ever since.
I know I mention the fact that I fractured my tailbone quite a bit on this blog. It happened 7 months ago, and tailbones take a LONG time to heal. In fact, most people I’ve asked who have broken their tailbones say it took a year for them to not feel the pain anymore.
The thing about tailbone fractures is that you can’t really do anything to fix them. You don’t wear a tailbone cast or anything like that. You simply try not to aggravate it — which means, generally, don’t sit directly on it (at least not for too long) and don’t do strenuous exercise that involves your tailbone (almost every exercise imaginable).
So for the last 7 months, I haven’t done a blood-pumping, sweat-pouring workout. I’ve gone on a few very short jogs, and lots of long walks, and a bit of body weight exercise, but nothing like what I had been doing last summer, when I was training for a half marathon (hello runner’s high!!) and doing the BBG workout (putting the body under physical stress during a workout = endorphin production as a natural painkiller). I was instructed to not even do yoga classes while it was healing, because of all the tucking of the tailbone. Those cat-cows, they will really get you…
I realized today that I’m probably producing such a small amount of endorphins compared to what I used to produce before my tailbone fracture. This worried me quite a bit. I decided to research endorphins.
The name endorphin consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin; short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean “a morphine-like substance originating from within the body.”
Morphine-like substance originating from the body….
Morphine is a pain killer.
Endorphins are natural pain killers. Endorphins (produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland) help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria.
Endorphins are not something I want to be short on.
According to Julia Ross in The Mood Cure,
If you’re high in endorphins – you’re full of cozy feelings of comfort, pleasure, and euphoria.
If you’re near the end of your endorphins – you’ll be crying during commercials and overly sensitive to hurt.
According to WiseGeek,
“Endorphins help people feel joy, contentment, and general well-being. A deficiency causes depression, chronic unexplained pain, and a low tolerance for pain.”
It became clear to me that Mission: Endorphin needed to be underway.
According to Reader’s Digest (who knew they had an online version? I’ve only ever seen Reader’s Digest as a paper booklet in bathrooms…), here are 8 Ways To Naturally Increase Endorphins.
This article in Huffington Post says:
“Along with regular exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release.
The smell of vanilla and lavender has been linked with the production of endorphins. Studies have shown that dark chocolate and spicy foods can lead the brain to release endorphins.”
Other common recommendations for endorphin production are music, meditation, being in the sunlight, sex/physical touch, deep breathing, and acupuncture.
Apparently you can even get a “helper’s high” by being generous!!!
Alright, endorphins, it’s ON.
It’s about time that I try doing some tailbone-exerting exercises anyway to see where I’m at. Might even try a full 1-miler soon.
If you have any favorite endorphin boosters, please share. :)
Love & other drugs,