endorphin: any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.ORIGIN 1970s: blend of endogenous and morphine. (online dictionary)
Now that's something i didn't know, that endorphin is a portmanteau word (Lewis Carroll's term for blended, made-up words). I thought of it this morning as I was swimming - outdoors, at last - and felt the endorphins swim into me, like dolphins, no relation . I knew the word, knew that an endorphin (only one?) is supposed to make you feel euphoric - well - more cheerful, anyway. Exercise is good for you, that's the message. I wonder: can you have too many endorphins? Sure, they're the antidote to stress. Feeling good kind of reduces the stress level, but too much? What if you relax so much and your stress level drops so low that you stop making the effort?
Most of what we do, so I am told, is motivated by fear. We are afraid of what will happen if we don't meet the deadline, fulfill our obligations to others, or observe the rules, whatever they are. When someone is really stressed out about a possible consequence, the reassuring (?) question is "What's the worst could happen?" That's supposed to make you feel better? Just losing your job or your partner or your life savings or an arm or a leg , but not your life? I guess such considerations help you to put your qualms in perspective so you don't stress out. And endorphins calm you down.
So there I was, swimming outdoors on a summer morning and feeling better in spite of concrete dust in my lungs (from the balcony renovation) and a writer's block about a new outline for the book I then must re-write after I figure it out, and I felt good. Almost good enough to play hooky. But not today.
Later: I did, though. I did play hookey -alternate spelling.