The Brain and Stress

The healthier your brain is, the better you’ll be able to handle stress. Since the brain is a muscle, it needs exercise and nutrition to perform optimally. Following are some suggestions for increasing your brain power:


Exercise can improve the brain’s executive functions of planning, organizing, and multi-switching to name a few. Exercise is also well known for its mood-boosting effects, and people who exercise are less likely to develop dementia as they age.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which also increases the delivery of oxygen, fuel, and nutrients that encourage growth, communication, and survival of neurons. Exercise also improves sleep quality and immune functions. Senior citizens have shown that as little as 20 minutes of walking a day can do the trick.


Omega-3 fats found in fish, nuts, and seeds—along with fruits and vegetables—appear to be brain superfoods. Some of the best food for your mind are walnuts, blueberries, and spinach.


The auditory cortex analyzes many components of music’s volume, pitch, timbre, melody and rhythm. However, there is more to music’s interaction with the brain than just the raw sound. Music can also activate the brain’s reward centers and depress activity in the amygdala, thereby reducing fear and other negative emotions.

Three More Considerations

Of course, I would add the following three principles to practice: POSITIVITY prompts good feelings and promotes healthy neural connections, CHOICE empowers and reduces the disempowering and negative emotions of victimhood thinking, and REFLECTION prompts thinking that activates and creates new neural connections.

The more you take care of all aspects of your body, the less stress you’ll experience and the happier you’ll be.