The simple act of meditation can stimulate the release endorphins as well as many other healing neurotransmitters. This includes neurotransmitters melatonin, GABA, and serotonin. You may be wondering how you can create this natural high for yourself. Well, let’s get into it!
The Effects of Endorphins
Commonly associated with a runner’s high endorphins are known for their feel-good effects. They released by both your central nervous system and your pituitary gland.
Endorphins increase mood levels and create a sense of euphoria. They do not stop there, they can even work to reduce blood pressure and help you fight disease.
When exercising endorphins are released to block pain receptors. In one theory endorphins were adapted to release when running due to our primal roots. When we hunted for our own food running was a vital aspect of us surviving.
If we were not able to keep up or challenge our prey while running due to sore leg muscles and blaring foot pain then we would not have been able to feed ourselves.
Although this theory was disproved with this study. Which compared the aftereffect of running and meditation between 11 experienced runners and 12 avid meditators. It was found that the main hormone related to the positive effect felt is the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).
CRH is significantly associated with circulating beta-endorphins. Within the study, each group practiced their skills and were then tested for their hormone levels.
The CRH levels after the practice and compared to the pre-test showed a definite increase. There was no significant between the runners and meditators, which concludes that physical activity is not necessary in order to produce the “runners high”.
Meditation Techniques To Boost Endorphins
If you have only ever chanted “OM” once at the end of a yoga class, then you may not fully grasp the power of chanting. The University of California, Los Angeles, studied the benefits of yogic chanting. The physical results showed an increase in cognitive function as well as increased telomerase activity.
You may chant a specific mantra in order to activate a specific aspect of healing. Such as Aham Prema for unconditional love or Ravaye Hum to activate your inner light and motivation. Research shows the increased effect of chanting by releasing healing chemicals in the brain when we are intentionally attaching a meaning or understanding to a mantra. This is called the Psycholinguistic effect [PLE].
You can set a timer on your phone in order to keep track of how long you are chanting for. This will keep your mind focused and take away the distraction of time. You may find with the simplicity of this practice you are able to immerse yourself in it more,
We recommend you commit for the full fifteen minutes of this practice even if you find it difficult. Once the fifteen minutes are up, take at least a couple of moments to sit there and scan your body. What is the state of your mind like? How does your body feel?
This chanting will also clear your chakra system by using the vibrational medicine that is your voice. It will especially open the throat chakra, the chakra related to our voice and expression.
To produce your inner zen and runners high you can practice this ancient yogic technique, pranayama. Pranayama means to extend the breath. This is because ancient yogis understood that the breath capacity and rhythm is directly linked to our mental and physical states.
When we practice pranayama we bring in prana or chi, nourishing life force energy. Pranayama activates the parasympathetic system which is responsible for our bodies “rest and digest response” To learn pranayama techniques to help sleep click here.