Move Your Body and Brain into Joy and Power: Neuroscience Explains the Link between Movement and Mental Health

Optimism. Hope. Joy. Purpose. Connection.

How is it that exercise creates these feelings? We now know that it’s more than endorphins and blood flow to the brain.

It’s a blissful mix of neurotransmitters including dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoids too. Exercise stimulates not only immediate elevations in mood and decreased pain, but leads to long term structural changes in the brain and nervous system, resulting in more resilience to stress and receptivity to joy over a lifetime.

Endocannabinoids are the wonder drugs our own bodies make in response to exercise. They decrease anxiety, depression, and pain. Exercise leads to an increase in endocannabinoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, resulting in greater feelings of joy, bliss, connection to nature and to others. We feel more connected, eager to share and to cooperate. We sense greater meaning and purpose in life.

Each decade we lose approximately 13% of dopamine receptors in our brain; exercise helps reverse this trend. More receptors means more sensitivity to feelings of joy and freedom from pain physically and mentally over a lifetime.

Enjoy moving and feeling better fast! It’s empowering to know the effect that our movement has on our neurotransmitter balance, and thus our long term brain structure, function, and health. Bonus points for walking in nature, going with a friend, or listening to music.

Move yourself into joy, and share it forward. We need it now more than ever.

Realize your power to create healthy change. I’m cheering you on!

Best to all,


Disclaimer; Coaching services and information on this site include education, guidance and tips on primal living and generally healthy movement.  I am not a medical doctor and services are not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription that a physician, licensed dietitian, physical therapist or health care professional might recommend.

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