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Life is a Beach - Mood elevators

This column is dedicated to making your life abeach. No matter how frustrating, sad or terribleyou find your life right now, there are several simplethings that you can start doing to improve yourlife.

This column is dedicated to making your life abeach. No matter how frustrating, sad or terribleyou find your life right now, there are several simplethings that you can start doing to improve yourlife. This stuff works, it is time tested and simple todo. All you have to do is do it.

Few are aware that endorphins are naturally producedby a wide range of activities and items? A brisk30-minute walk, loving sex, chocolate and chili peppersfor example. Even fewer are aware that, if youget a regular fix of endorphins you mood will elevateand you will be on a natural high all the time withoutthe chemical side effects of Zoloft or Prozac, themost popular prescribed mood elevating drugs.

Now here is another easy choice to get a regularendorphin dose. One of the first to document thehealing power of laughter was Norman Cousins in hisbook "Anatomy of an Illness." Later research showedthat powerful, ribald laughter triggered endorphinrelease which not only can relieve acute pain but canenhance the healing process. The manifold implicationsof this research highlight the body's psychosomaticnetwork and its potential for healing. If youstart to laugh on a regular basis, watch those comedyshows or tell great jokes you will feel better. Hey,did you hear the one about...?

Pain clinics use creative visualization and relaxationplus the creative use of placebos. Different types ofmusic are also associated with endorphin production classical baroque music being the best. Also, theregular practice of meditation, yoga and Tai Chi producea feeling of well-being. Notice that it requires"regular" practice? Once every month wont getresults.

Dr. Leo Busgalia was known as "Doctor HUG" andhe would prescribe at least four hugs a day to hispatients. That simple physical act triggers a deeppositive primal reaction and endorphins are releasedfour or more times a day. Italians, French, Latino culturesall realize the benefit of a really generous hugover a cold-fish handshake. That warm pat on theback will lighten your heart and you can't do a darnthing about it!

Recent studies have shown that chronic stress,anger and depression cause the body to manufacturechemicals that can inhibit the healing process, weakenimmunity and shorten life expectancy, whileendorphins do the exact opposite. Although I'veemphasized certain easy to-do methods to get thoseendorphins flowing, an endorphin overview may help:enjoyable exercise, pointless recreational activities commonly known as "FUN", guiltless goofing off,affection and loving sex and lots of laughter and ofcourse, chocolate!

It's hard to believe, but your own brain can putyou on a natural high any time that you let it. Nexttime, you'll learn about the scientific study that ratesendorphins more effective than Zoloft as a mood elevator.Do you want to be on Zoloft for life or endorphins?Tough choice life is a beach!