How to restore 4 Happy Hormones when you have Persistent Pain
Yes, there are happy hormones and you may be missing out.
I have observed people in persistent pain change over the years because they are not receiving their fair share of happy hormones regularly throughout their body.
Let me explain.
There are hormones that mask physical pain, these are called endorphins. The release of endorphins within someone with persistent pain is rare.
Because people in pain rarely reach an exercise intensity to warrant the release of endorphins, because of the fear of increasing their pain levels.
This is fair, but consider this.
Endorphins are extremely important to your overall health. When you exercise or move more, endorphins are released. These hormones keep you exercising to mask your discomfort thereby enabling you to do more, and therefore increase your health and fitness.
Are you sore after the exercise? Of course, but this is a different sore, a good sore if you will.
Without endorphins, we would not have survived as a species. When hunting back in the day of cavemen, endorphins would kick in to keep pushing our bodies as much as possible to bring back food for our community, and then back up the next day. Humans have more endurance than any other mammal on Earth.
People in persistent pain have lost their endorphins, but a more pressing aspect of this is their loss of endurance as well as their community.
Another happy hormone is dopamine. Dopamine is addictive, it makes you feel so good, so good. Dopamine is released in the body organically when you find something you are looking for, you accomplish something, you complete your to do list, or when you hit a particular goal.
Do people in persistent pain have a to-do-list or regularly accomplish tasks to enable a release of dopamine?
I would say that most people in persistent pain don’t hit regular goals. So how do they get their dopamine release?
Well, let’s see. Alcohol, smoking, drugs, gambling and even the use of a mobile phone are all addictive by nature, thereby giving you the hit of dopamine that you need.
Dopamine is dangerous. When received as a result of accomplishing something, this is good, but when received from the above mentioned addictive substances and behaviors then your life can spiral out of control.
Both Endorphins and Dopamine are selfish hormones, meaning you don’t need anyone else to activate them within your body. There is no connection or love with the production of these two hormones.
Serotonin, on the other hand, is the feel good leadership hormone. At work, when you get promoted you feel good, it increases your status amongst your peers. This is serotonin. People who lose their status at work because they are injured, don’t receive this good release. People are often shuffled off to a side job to which rewards and the increase of status are few and far between.
You can achieve a pseudo serotonin release by buying new clothes or paying for something to increase your status. But the problem is, there is no real connection to another person or community, rather a selfish feeling of satisfaction. This feeling will be short lived.
Serotonin requires people which means you need a community. People in persistent pain often don’t have a reliable, genuine community.
The last feel good drug is Oxytocin. Seeing a friend, embracing a family member or just sitting down next to someone you know at a conference releases oxytocin. It is a secure bond between you and another person. Oxytocin can overcome the addiction of dopamine, but of course, it requires other people.
For those in persistent pain, as discussed earlier, will have limited interaction with people and their community.
This article, of course, is an overgeneralisation of hormones and their interaction with the body, but, in the next part of this article, I will give you the methods for regular happy hormone release.