The Endorphin Button

Over the past ten years, there have been dozens of clinical studies conducted on the effect of laughter on our physical and mental health. More and more evidence is showing that laughing for 15 – 20 min a day, even if for no reason, has a number of beneficial effects. Here are just a few:

  • Laughter increases the level of endorphins in your body. Endorphins are natural chemicals that promote a sense of well-being & reduce stress.
  • Along with reducing stress, laughter also increases our energy levels – allowing us to stay focused more easily.
  • Humor promotes creative thinking. It allows you to see a problem from multiple perspectives and generate more potential solutions.
  • Laughter mitigates depression and can reduce anxiety – even more than exercise does.

How to release endorphins on demand:

Here’s an exercise I learned from Paul McKenna, an internationally acclaimed hypno-therapist, behavioural scientist and author of more than six books. This exercise helps you create a kinesthetic anchor (training your mind to trigger a happy memory every time you squeeze your thumb and index finger together) so that you can easily ask your body to relax and release endorphins on demand.

The Endorphin Button

Each time you do this exercise, you will find it easier to relax, let go, and laugh at many of the things in your life that used to bother you. By taking things a little bit more lightly, you will find better solutions when you need to and find it easier to let go when you don’t.

  1. Remember a time you had a release of endorphins (I.e. making love, laughing, or another moment of euphoria when your body tingled with pleasure).

  2. Use your imagination to return to that time like you are back there again now, see what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel how good you felt.

  3. As you recall this memory, make the colours in the memory brighter, the sounds louder.

  4. Now squeeze your thumb and index finger together 5 times in a row on your right hand as you recall the memory.

  5. You will know that you successfully created an Endorphin Button when all you have to do is to squeeze your thumb and index finger and recall the memory and you sense your nervous system flooding with endorphins.


The more you practice this exercise, the more effective it becomes. If you find it difficult to practice, you might prefer listening to Paul’s Happy Trance hypnotic audios on YouTube.

Have a smarter day, a smarter week and a smarter life,
Ginny Santos, your holistic coach.

PS: If you like getting these reminders and you know someone who could also benefit from them, please invite them to sign up.

A love note from your future self:

I’m so proud to report that the wrinkles on my face reflect a life filled with laughter. Thank you for your frequent smiles and for turning your attention towards countless happy moments.

Love, from your future self

Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog is for educational and inspirational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice because of something you may have read on this blog.

Dr. Anke Verlinden is an award-winning clinical haematologist at the University Hospital of Antwerp in Belgium. As a senior staff member, she specializes in treating patients with acute leukemia, guiding them through the process of stem cell transplantation. She initiated a project on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the immune system function and quality of life of cancer patients in 2019 while also deepening her understanding of the role that food plays in our health and wellbeing.

Anke is the mother of three kids, one of whom was born with severe heart disease. This, combined with the increasing number of questions from patients on the possible effects of nutrition and lifestyle on their healing process, gave rise to several years of study and experimentation in areas that are not covered in medical school, plus a nutrition science degree from Stanford Medical School and a certification in Functional Medicine. She is now also a WILDFIT certified coach as part of her effort to help patients recover better and more quickly from cancer treatment.