My Favorite Ways to Catch A Natural High

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I don’t think its a secret that I enjoy the occasional proper high. Most often from weed but I also keep an open mind when it comes to drugs. And while I believe a sporadic dabble with some mind altering substances can be fun on occasion.. it’s not something that we want to lean on to help us to feel “good”. Fortunately for us, there are heaps of ways to catch a natural high as a human! A natural high is when you experience a state of euphoria, similar to a drug induced high, without the use of drugs or mind altering substances. A natural high occurs when we partake in an activity that helps to release the “happy hormones” in the brain (such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, or oxytocin). These “happy hormones” are known to produce feelings of relaxation, pleasure, and joy. Some of my favorite ways to catch a natural high actually make me feel higher than smoking weed. In this article, I’m wrapping up some of my favorite ways to catch a natural high.

A natural high can have positive effects on our mind, body, and soul. However, I believe that a natural high has the most positive effects on our mind. Natural highs have a direct effect on the positive feelings in our mind. When we have a positive mindset – its easiest to choose to do what we need to do to support our mind, body, and soul. Supporting our positive mindset, supports our mind, body, and soul balance. Here are my favorite ways to catch a natural high:

As a reminder: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be! Any claims in this article are based on my personal experience and research. Please read my full medical disclaimer before engaging with my content, suggestions, or anecdotes. Also, as a reminder, this post may contain affiliate links to certain products, and I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase based off my suggestions.

Breathwork

Breathwork is simply that: working with your breath. Controlled breathing is a popular practice in different cultures, religious/spiritual practices, yoga practices and more. The concept of Breathwork is that our breath is a powerful tool that can be manipulated to positively effect our mental (mind), physical (body), and emotional (soul) states.

Breathwork has super powerful and positive effects on both our physical and mental states. So, it’s no surprise that after even just 10 minutes of Breathwork I can find myself with a natural high. There are heaps of different types of Breathwork practices, all with different goals and objectives. Some of the benefits of Breathwork have been known to be stress and anxiety reduction, enhanced digestion, improved physical health, increased happiness, healthier self-esteem, better sleep, and even assistance with pain management. With benefits such as those – the natural high from Breathwork is just a bonus.

Spending Time in the Sun

Spending time in the sun is one of my FAVORITE THINGS IN THE WORLD. I love the way that the sun feels on my face and body. Scientifically, seasonal increases in sunlight duration are associated with decreases in mental health distress. On top of supporting our mental health, time in the sun also has heaps of different physical body benefits for us, as well. Sun exposure even improves the quality of sleep, state of sleep, and sleep patterns. This makes sense to me because the natural high from the sun often carries into the night and translates into a good nights sleep.

Face Paced Movement

I believe that the concept that “exercise releases endorphins” is well known. Many of us are familiar with the term, “runners high”. This “runners high” is also scientifically backed. When it comes to a natural high from faced-paced movement – I’m not really a runner. However, I can get a nice, natural high, from workouts like a fast paced heated flow yoga class, a strength training or H.I.I.T workout.

Slow Paced Movement

When it comes to a natural high from movement – my favorite way to catch a natural high is through yin yoga. Yin yoga is a meditative yoga practice that also involves Breathwork. I pair the slow paced stretching of the yoga practice with slow, deep Breathwork. These two combined leave me feeling mentally, physically and emotionally high as hell. Often, after yin yoga, my natural high is so high that I have to sit for 15-20 minutes before I feel that I’m okay to drive home.

LAUGHING

Laughing is one of my favorite ways to catch a natural high! It’s no surprise that there’s science that backs “laughter therapy” as a hormonal intervention to reduce stress and anxiety. From memes to movies to little jokey jokes with my friends and family – who doesn’t love a good laugh?

Being Romantic or Intimate

I mean, lets be adults here, who doesn’t feel good after sex? I’m not ashamed to admit that being romantic or intimate with someone is one of my favorite ways to catch a natural high. It turns out that frequency of sexual activity is related to lower psychological distress and better relational and sexual health. There’s now science that implies sexual health, physical health, mental health, and overall well-being are all positively associated with sexual satisfaction, sexual self-esteem, and sexual pleasure. 

Do it, for science.

Swimming in the Ocean

I spent my summers as a child in the country at my grandparents Lakehouse so swimming is something I’ve always been personally attached to. After falling into a deep depression at the end of 2020 I decided to spend a few months in Miami where I could spend time in the sun and ocean. I just knew I couldn’t pull myself out of that hole from cold, grey, New York.

I spent nearly everyday between January and May of 2021 swimming in the ocean in Miami. The water was so soothing to me. There’s now even studies that showcase how the blue/green therapy of open water swimming, combined with the exercise, can be a treatment for major depressive disorder.

While the natural high from swimming in the ocean isn’t as apparent as the natural high from Breathwork or yin yoga… the long term effects definitely make it one of my favorite ways to catch a natural high.

Learning Something New

Learning something new, especially as we get older, is a great way to catch a natural high. Learning something new gives us a natural confidence boost as well as helping us to cope better with stress. Overall, this makes us feel better about ourselves with a heightened sense of hope and purpose.

Not only does learning something new have positive effects on our inner being but our outer being, as well. Learning a new skill can increase our brain health and memory, keep our social skills sharpened as well as make us an overall more interesting person to be around.

Traveling Someplace New

This one is a bit controversial because it does require us to lean on something external (“traveling”) in order to experience that natural high. However, I’m including it here because I don’t believe that it’s a natural high we can acquire at home. The exploration, the unknown, the adventure, the cultural experiences… everything we can gain from traveling someplace new is a natural high.

In the past I found myself escaping through travel, living off of that natural high. Finding a proper balance with not escaping through traveling for me has been a boundary with myself that I’ve had to enforce the last few years.

Having a Healthy Relationship with Myself

Individuals with high self-esteem, scientifically, are proven to lead healthier lives than those with low self-esteem. However, I don’t need science to prove what I know I feel. When I’m more confident within myself (mentally, physically and spiritually) – it shines. There’s truly no better natural high than being confident in yourself and who you are.

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