What is the Science Behind Getting High?

Drugs are known for the purpose of getting individuals high. Even though a sense of euphoria is induced upon the individual, it is not a natural sensation. Because the high is artificial, people feel the need to keep using the drug they are inclining towards. Due to this reason, outpatient and inpatient care facilities such as Sana Lake offer resources to help that individual to recover oneself. There is a way to enjoy yourself without drugs, ultimately reaching natural happiness that can sustain throughout life. 

How Can Other Activities Produce Those Same Chemicals?

There isn’t a reason to deny that drugs are an exhilarating force and able to assist in the high process, but futuristically speaking, it is not worth it. The benefits aren’t greater than the costs. Rather than engaging in a stimulant that will ultimately bring an individual down, there are many other ways to naturally boost “feel-good” hormones. In the early stages of recovery, the body is still adapting. The body will need time to adjust to these boosts of serotonin. The main goal of this alternative lifestyle is to prevent relapses and fill a void. 

Exercise-Induced Euphoria

The issue is having so much free time and not knowing how to utilize it constructively. Exercising eases this dilemma because it strengthens the individual’s ‘no’ to going back to the high they were accumulated to. There will be numerous challenges that will present themselves upon recovering from a substance or alcohol addiction. The two biggest hurdles to look out for are intense cravings and a sequence of withdrawal symptoms. Ironically enough, the biggest problem the person faces after quitting their high from drugs and alcohol is boredom. 

Exercise-induced euphoria will require patience and an adjustment period to grow accustomed to. If an individual isn’t used to engaging in exercise, it is naturally normal to dismiss the idea and not see the benefits immediately. The biggest takeaway from exercising is the chemical that is released during the process called endorphins. This chemical presents an enjoyable feeling and reduces pain, all while stimulating “feel-good” hormones. After the initial process of getting used to exercising is completed, it can present a high that was being sought all along. 


The sense of euphoria is experienced during a term known as a runner’s high. The feeling of euphoria helps individuals feel calm and relaxed. Another bonus of experiencing endorphins while running is the shield against pain and the moment of bliss. One of the best forms of exercise is running. 

hiking for a natural high

The term a runner’s high is a fleeting intensely calming state of euphoria. While engaging in euphoria, the individual reaches an altitude of extreme delight and joy. It has been reported that after participating in an extended and fierce exercise, people will undergo less discomfort and anxiety. Not everyone running encounters euphoria because it is rare and subjective. The distance expected to reach this heightened state is not always effortless or attainable due to the individual having to run several miles.

Aerobic exercise and running will go hand in hand in the releasing of endorphins, also known as “feel good” chemicals into the body. A recognition of pleasure and happiness will begin to surface. These feelings will help you handle a prolonged duration of exercise because they act as a natural pain reliever. 

There are many other benefits to running such as:

  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved response to insulin
  • Improved mobility
  • Increased focus and memory
  • Increased immune system
  • Increased flexibility
  • Weight loss or maintenance


Meditation is known to assist with individuals feeling better and the releasing of endorphins as well. A recent poll disclosed that the United States is actually one of the most stressed-out countries in the world. Incorporating meditation into a daily routine can heighten the probability of experiencing a feel-good effect and releasing hard-to-handle stress. 

The first thought that comes to mind when considering other options for ways to boost serotonin is geared towards adrenaline-pumping events and active endeavors. Most alternatives will be high-energy activities such as exercising, but there are other ways to reach euphoria. 

Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are linked to departing after a person engages in exercise. When an individual engages in yoga as a type of meditation, their mind and body are strengthened. Each person will feel inclined to participate in their own personal stress buster, therefore working wonders on their overall well-being. 

Thrilling Activities 

Some of these activities include extreme sports that can resort to possible injuries, such as:

  • Ziplining
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Cage Diving
  • Rafting
  • Skydiving
  • Hiking
  • Paragliding
  • Canyoning

There are plenty of immediate pursuits to get involved in that will rapidly boost your serotonin. 


This is a pleasurable and healthy form of exercise. When an individual struggles with addiction, the need to take care of the body is not a priority at the time. A reversal of the damage done to the body as a result of drug use can be reversed through utilizing these forms of exercise. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a recommendation that people get at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity” or 75 minutes of “vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.” By engrossing in dance, there are a few benefits that can be gained.

  • Increase overall strength
  • Rebuild muscles
  • Increased balance and coordination
  • Boosts cognitive performance
  • Better aerobic fitness

Dancing will boost moods, increase dopamine and release endorphins. Great support for exercising is making sure to maintain a well-balanced diet that incorporates minerals, vitamins, and many other nutrients. The most beneficial aspect of dance is there are many different categories to explore. There isn’t a set place to dance either so whether that be with a class or in the comfort of a home, enjoy the experience of movement. 


There is a particular rush that is experienced on stage. By joining a dance performance team, church choir, community theatre, or audition for an orchestra or band, one can be around like-minded individuals. The purpose of striving for a better life operates better when similar personalities are engaging together. The main objective of participating in an activity that is enjoyed can contribute to a less chance of going back to drugs or alcohol. The individual can then discover a newfound passion and learn how to feel good without drugs. Take trying new things in stride and keep in mind that Sana Lake offers many services geared to assist with this journey.

Journaling and Painting 

When an individual can be expressive through writing, it summons mindfulness. Some individuals aren’t as active and relate better to introverted activities such as journaling their thoughts and painting. Journaling can be enjoyed independently or can be used as an interactive tool to further engage with family, friends, or even a licensed therapist. The best part about journaling is aspirations prompt purpose. 

Another way to engage in expression is through painting. The stand-out factor for this form of therapy is being able to communicate without words. When a person is dealing with shame, anxiety, depression, or guilt, painting can enhance positive results. The most beneficial part of painting is when a person can lose themselves, it heightens concentration skills which in turn can lead to employment opportunities.  

how to get a natural high

How Can These Activities Help Long-Lasting Recovery?

To replace a drug high with a natural one, an individual must be surrounded by positive supporters. Walking into a new lifestyle with a high-spirited, non-judgemental personality is the best way to go about it. It isn’t always going to be easy warding off cravings and fighting off temptations. 

An important part to remember when stepping into the scary unknown is feelings are a valid part of life and it’s okay when the strength feels unattainable. As vulnerability is expressed, more opportunities to connect will be opened. 

  • Exercise will increase energy
  • Exercise will improve sleep
  • Provides a sense of purpose
  • Exercise will solidify overall well-being

Exercise is considered the essential missing piece of the puzzle for individuals struggling with addiction recovery. The more a person exercises, the greater the likelihood is of preventing relapse. To have a smoother recovery process, it is important to seek addiction treatment. The tools are necessary and there to assist. The key to long-term success is making sure to maintain a strong support system during life challenges.

Places and People

Avoiding triggers that will only deter or set back is key to staying clear-minded. It is important to realize that outside factors play a big role in staying on track. Being around old family members and friends that use isn’t the wisest choice to follow. The music being played in social settings also has the potential to set an individual back to the life they were once accustomed to living. 

First starting on recovery, a phenomenon known as “a pink cloud” will occur. Though being clean is indeed a magical feeling, it is important to stay diligent in being resilient and aware of obstacles that might arise. The road to recovery is not an easy one but maintaining powerful friendships can make freedom less bothersome.

Learn How to Have Fun in Recovery with Sana Lake

Sana Lake Recovery is happy to help with the road to recovery. The journey can be tedious and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. We offer numerous resources of specialized treatment and endless support. Contact us today to get started.