How do endorphins affect our emotions?
They are brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system.
They relieve stress and enhance pleasure and are often called the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters.
The level of pain felt by a person can be reduced by the release of endorphins and enkephalins within the CNS just as if an opioid was given. (Opioids are neuromodulators that bind to the same receptors as opium or morphine, and function to relieve pain).
Endorphins bind to the presynaptic membrane of neurons and prevent the release of substance P, which reduces the conscious perception of pain even when the painful stimulus remains.
Certain foods, such as chocolate or chili peppers, can also lead to enhanced secretion of endorphins.