There’s a reason why the runner's high is so powerful; it’s actually your body releasing serotonin, the happy hormone, that boosts your mood and lowers other stress-related hormones in your body. According to a scientific review from 2016, endurance exercises like running boost the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Both these hormones are important in regulating mood and stress in the body.
The review found that endurance runners have higher levels of serotonin in their brain than individuals who do not participate in aerobic exercise. This increased serotonin helps emotional processing and improves your ability to manage stress.
Another study from 2017 found the effects of running on the brain last long after your run ends. In a group of over 2,000 runners, researchers from the University of British Columbia concluded that the negative effects of stress were markedly diminished in individuals who participated in aerobic exercise every day compared to those who did not. Translation: running helps you de-stress and stay de-stressed. While everyone responds to stress differently, running can be a great way to conquer stress and get back your peace of mind, in addition to the many other health benefits that running offers.