Anyone who has ever gone into the gym cranky and left in a better mood already knows that exercise can make you happy. This is because of hormones and natural body chemicals (endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine) are released when you get your body moving and they all directly affect your mood and outlook on life.
Too little seratonin leads to irritability, anxiety, restlessness and even weight gain. Reduced dopamine can cause lack of concentration, depression, and loss of pleasure. Endorphins are essentially morphine produced naturally by your body. When you workout, those three chemicals are elevated making you happier, more productive, and less prone to mood swings.
Many lifestyle factors contribute to lower levels of these chemicals – lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress, and lack of exercise. Given that exercise reduces stress, helps you sleep, lowers your stress levels and may inspire you to eat healthier, you get the most bang for your buck if you just start moving.
Here are 10 more ways to raise your endorphins and get happy.
In the immortal words of Sheryl Crow – “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.”