Can’t Quiet Your Mind? Take your Prefrontal Cortex Offline with Five Minutes of Exercise.

Jumping in the air

Our prefrontal cortex does some pretty amazing things! It helps us plan, organize, and think abstractly, among other things. However, it’s also responsible for that seemingly endless chatter that’s in our brains. And usually that chatter is negative. Thoughts about how you are going to get a project done, how you are going to pay the bills, or when the other shoe is going to drop are just some examples of the unproductive, negative chatter that goes through our head.  Wouldn’t it be a relief to be able to quiet your mind?

How to Quiet your Mind

When this happens, it’s time to take your prefrontal cortex offline. A great way to do this is through physical movement. Jumping jacks, hiking, dancing, whatever. Get your body moving and the energy in your brain will shift from your prefrontal cortex to the motor areas of your brain. Have you ever tried to solve a complex math problem in your head during a hard workout? Try it – you’ll find it nearly impossible. That’s because your brain’s energy is devoted to the exercise, and there’s not enough for that prefrontal cortex.

But What if I Don’t Have Time?

I know, sometimes it feels that we don’t have time to take a break. But if that chatter in your mind won’t quiet, how productive are you being anyway? Best to reboot your brain so when you get back to work or a project, you can actually focus. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes while you crank some music and dance, your brain will get a desperately needed reset.


Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash



Amy Palmer

Amy Palmer

I am a neuropsychologist who is passionate about brain health and your ability to create the life you want to live. I specialize in helping others achieve their goals through brain-based coaching, neurofeedback, and neuropsychological assessments.