The word endorphin is made up of two words endo which means made inside of and morphin or morphine. Endorphins are chemicals released by the body and are natural pain killers. Released by the pituitary gland in the brain, it helps your body deal with strenuous exercise, pain, and emotional stress. Think of it as opium for your body.
There are several ways to stimulate the release of endorphins in your body including eating chocolate, eating hot cayenne pepper, having ginseng or smelling vanilla extracts, laughing and smiling. Meditation gurus have been known to advocate laughter therapy and this is why.
One of the most enduring ways to release endorphins in your body is to engage in strenuous exercise. Not everyone is made the same and therefore the release of endorphins is not the same for everyone. It may therefore take a longer duration or a more vigorous effort to experience the same effect. Those who do, experience what is called the “runners high” or an addiction to weight lifting or equivalent. This is your body craving the feel good factor from the release of endorphins.
This is one of the important reasons to exercise when you are stressed. So to all the young kids out there who face peer pressure to do drugs, tell your friends “My body releases drugs naturally and its two hundred times as powerful as what you might indulge in. Do you have what it takes to do that?”