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Old 11-15-2004, 03:16 PM
Alastair Alastair is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,391

Endorphin Time - getting a natural 'high'

I think we can all do with a boost to our systems from time to time. So, why not join me in my Endorphin Time and get a 'natural high'?

You get a natural high when endorphins, your body�s own �feel-good�, pain-reducing chemicals, are released. Endorphins are produced when you laugh, have fun, relax, breathe correctly and when you are feeling happy and positive.

Endorphins appear to affect the body and mind in at least five ways. Endorphins can...
Lift your spirits and make you feel happier and more alive
Enhance the immune system
Reduce stress
Postpone the aging process - and, best of all
Relieve pain

When we have chronic (longterm) pain in our lives it's all too easy to slip down into 'merely coping' or 'barely coping' and sometimes life can seem like hard work. When we concentrate on our pain it stops the production of endorphins and we can all too easily go along with pain dominating our lives - and forget that the answer lies within us.

Yes, we can actively encourage the production of those wonderful pain-relieving endorphins ourselves. To do this we need deliberately to distract ourselves away from thinking about the pain and into activities which will produce endorphins for us so they flood our body and mind, giving us a 'natural high'. We can all find ways to do this, no matter what our situation and no matter how many difficulties we need to overcome.

There are many ways to encourage your 'happy hormones' to allow you to experience a greater sense of joy and well-being in your life. But first of all we need to DECIDE to do this, it won't often happen by itself! We need deliberately to set outselves some Endorphin Time - time set apart for special activities to give ourselves a shot of endorphins!

So, if you've decided that, like me, you'd like some extra pain relief (an easy decision, I think!), let's get started! As a result we will hopefully have more fun, laugh more, relax more, pace our activities better and enjoy life even more � and, as a result, feel less pain. Our job is to find and enjoy activities that produce endorphins, so reducing the pain.

First of all - smile!
If you don't feel like smiling - do it anyway - 'Fake it until you make it'!
This could be your motto!

This idea works because your subconscious mind doesn't know whether your smile is genuine or not - but it responds as though it IS and sends 'happy and relaxed' messages to your mind and body. Now that is what I call good news, isn't it!

Or, for an even stronger effect, laugh more. Research has found that powerful, whole-body laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which not only may relieve the pain of accident or illness, but also has the potential to enhance the healing process by helping us develop greater optimism and joy.

Here are some more ideas to start you off:
Feeling joyful (take your attention to things that uplift you)
Being enthusiastic
Enjoyable exercise
Diaphragmatic Breathing
Stroking a pet
Distraction - recreational activities that you enjoy - anything at all,
- anything that takes your mind away from the pain
Enjoying music
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractice, massage, etc.
Greater laughter and merriment
Hugs all round!
Appreciating nature
Singing, chanting, humming
Having fun with your friends
Watching funny films and videos
Experiencing pleasure in the little things in life

Probably the most important of all is:
Distracting your attention away from the pain � getting involved in an interesting project or task.

Remember - you don�t have to attempt ALL of the ideas at once! Just start in a small way with one or two of the suggestions and build from there. The important thing is that you focus on how to care for yourself by setting aside time especially to enjoy yourself - and the more often, the better.

If you don't have a hobby or interest already, do think about starting one - perhaps start today by making a shortlist and plan each day so you set aside some Endorphin Time each day!

TOOL KIT - If you liked this technique why not write it in your Tool Kit notebook of self-help pain relief methods. If you haven't started one yet, why not keep a special notebook as your Tool Kit to remind you of techniques and skills for coping with pain. Your Tool Kit is especially useful when pain flares up. It will help prevent panic and fear and give you constructive ideas to focus upon.

The Ripple Effect

If I throw a stone into a pond, the ripples come straight back to me.

- - Unknown

- so keep smiling! And see how many smiles you receive back.

What's the difference between a physician, a surgeon, a psychiatrist, and a pathologist ?

The physician knows everything and does nothing.
The surgeon knows nothing and does everything.
The psychiatrist knows nothing and does nothing.
The pathologist knows everything, but always a week too late.

- - Unknown

Keep smiling! Get those endorphins going.

I hope you find the above ideas useful. If you would like more information on any of the items above plus more ideas for pain relief, please go to the website below or contact me for details of my CDs, tapes and books which contains many more methods for relaxation, pain and stress relief.

Jan at PainSupport

You may print the above article for your own private use but if you wish to use all or part of it for any other reason, please ask first. Copyright belongs to Jan Sadler.
ADR Munich 26th July 2002 L5/S1. Aged 82 now
Your best asset is your health
My story is here
Thank goodness for Dr Zeegers I am painfree
I am here to help,I live in the UK

I now run the UK spine site and can be contacted at
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