This Rich Habit Helps Keep Stress Away

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Exercise has many beneficial health effects. Aerobic exercise, in particular, increases the volume of oxygen and glucose delivered to the brain, helping nourish brain cells. It also helps keep the weight off, improves muscle performance and improves digestion.

But, perhaps even more important, aerobic exercise has a profound effect on your mental outlook. Studies have shown that daily aerobic exercise fosters a positive mental outlook. It increases positivity, optimism, confidence, cheerfulness and has a calming effect on the amygdala.

The amygdala is the seat of the negative emotions. Those negative emotions: worry, anger, fear and anxiety, have served humans well.

Negative emotions have been around since the dawn of man. They act like a radar system, looking out for environmental dangers that could imperil our very existence. They are part of our fight or flight response system, alerting us to threats from our environment. 

In our modern world, however, those threats – tigers, lions and bears – are practically nonexistent. These triggers, however, have been replaced by modern day threats to our survival: supervisors, deadlines, monthly bills, upcoming college costs for our kids or the reckless driver on the road.

There are actually far more fight or flight triggers in modern society than there were when humans were hunting and foraging in the cave man days.

As a result, our amygdala is constantly turned on. And this manifests itself in the form of constant stress.

When our amygdala is perpetually turned on, our brains are consumed with negative thoughts. We become negative about everything – our job, our families, our friends and our lives.

Exercise calms down the amygdala. It, along with sleep, re-sets your emotional baseline. And because these triggers are set off every day, it is of paramount importance that you exercise daily, in order to calm your emotional brain.



  1. Michele McCarthy on January 5, 2022 at 10:44 AM

    Great reminder especially in these dark and cold days and all the bad news circulating! Thanks

  2. Aline on January 5, 2022 at 2:14 PM

    I couldn’t agree more!!! I can’t function with daily rigorous exercise:)

    Happy New Year Tom!!