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5 ways to release the happy hormone
1. Gossip with friends
Evidence shows gossiping is the human equivalent to ape-bonding activity 'social grooming'. The Oxford-based Social Issues Research Council (SIRC) says that gossiping is a primitive social, physical and psychological need that gives us a natural high.
2. Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains a chemical our bodies converts into phenylethylamine (PEA) – the same chemical that is secreted when we fall in love. PEA has an amphetamine-like effect – hello, racing heartbeat.
3. Have sex
After orgasm, numerous substances are released into the brain, among them, beta-endorphins – natural painkillers that give us that warm, relaxed afterglow.
Cardiovascular exercise like running is a great way to release endorphins. Endorphins are your body's own natural feelgood hormones, which 'switch off' adrenaline, the chemical that leads to stress. Other uppers such as adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine are also secreted during exercise.
5. Try acupuncture
Don’t let the needles (or skeptics) scare you off – the 2,500-year-old practice of acupuncture is said to relax the nervous system around central pain pathways and promote the release of endorphins. Disbelieve at your peril – science shows that patients expecting good results are about 20 per cent more likely to get them than doubters.