Word Of the Week #541: Endorphins

December 18, 2014 by  

Endorphins: hormones in the brain that reduce the sensation of pain and affect emotions.

Have you ever experienced the “runners high?” Would you like to have greater feelings of happiness and well-being? Can you imagine having a natural pain killer, like a narcotic, with no harmful side effects anytime day or night?

This week’s WOW comes from feedback from long time reader Joe when my response to his email on WOW # 535 on smiling wrote, Even when things are not going great in our lives, it makes us feel better if we just smile.” To which I wrote back and said, “And when you smile it increases your endorphins and that makes you feel even better!”

Then I went to my favorite on line source for definitions, TheFreeDictionary.com which read, “Endorphins are long chains of amino acids, or polypeptides, that are able to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain and are capable of relieving pain in a manner similar to that of morphine.

There are three major types of endorphins: beta-endorphins are found almost entirely in the pituitary gland, while Mexico Cruise 2.08 (8)enkephalins and dynorphins are both distributed throughout the nervous system. Scientists had suspected that analgesic opiates, such as morphine and heroin, worked effectively against pain because the body had receptors that were activated by such drugs. They reasoned that these receptors probably existed because the body itself had natural painkilling compounds that also bonded to those receptors.

When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties, Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin, meaning “the morphine within.” Besides behaving as a pain reducer, endorphins are also thought to be connected to euphoric feelings, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones. Prolonged, continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of endorphins and, in some people, the subsequent “runner’s high.”

 And long time friend Joe wrote back, “I had forgotten about the endorphins part. I know when I am on the phone and smiling, I feel good talking.”

And lastly, this on smiling from the obituary of John Shields, who was the CEO of Trader Joe’s and was responsible for making it a national powerhouse chain, “When he interviewed someone for retail, he wouldn’t hire them if they didn’t smile within 30 seconds.”

This week is all about endorphins! How often do you smile in the course of the day? How about your staff or co-workers? Have you ever put much thought on the importance of hiring people who smile?

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