700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Endorphins: Boosting Your Mood the Natural Way

Jan 12, 2023
blog endorphins

Endorphins function as natural pain relievers; they are known as “feel-good” chemicals because your body produces them to block pain or stress, which puts you in a more positive state of mind. Endorphins are released every time you participate in any activity that brings you pleasure. They help battle depression and anxiety and can even help boost your self-image.

What Are Endorphins and Why Are They Important?

Endorphins are a kind of hormone- chemicals that send messages throughout your body. They are created in the brain and carry signals across the nervous system. When your body feels pain or stress, endorphins are released to block those unpleasant feelings. Since your body naturally wants to avoid pain, endorphins rush in and help improve your sense of well-being. Studies show that endorphins can help reduce stress and anxiety, ease symptoms of depression and improve self-confidence. Endorphins help your body heal and can help get you through tough situations! Think about a time when you’ve felt stressed at a gathering; was there a moment when someone cracked a joke and you laughed so hard that you had tears in your eyes? Think about how you felt after laughing—happy, joyful, relaxed. Those are endorphins working their natural magic!

How Can I Create Endorphins?

Endorphins are released when you do something pleasurable. The next time your child is overwhelmed with homework or feels stressed when rehearing lines for the musical, encourage them to take a break and do something they enjoy. After their time is up, do a quick feelings check-in. You might notice that their mood is elevated, or that they feel more motivated to finish homework or run lines.

Try any of the following types of activities to help release endorphins, or come up with your own:

  • Active: jogging, swimming, dancing
  • Creative: journaling, coloring, cooking
  • Musical: playing an instrument, listening to favorite songs
  • Social: chatting with a friend, laughing out loud, eating a meal together
  • Quiet: reading a book or a magazine, assembling a puzzle

If your child’s mood does not consistently improve when they take these breaks, or they struggle with severe anxiety or depression, it might be time to speak with your pediatrician.

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Amit Lahoti
Amit Lahoti, MD

Amit Lahoti, MD, is an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. He is also the Program Director for Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship program.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.