Exercise the Atomic Bomb in the War Against the Limbic System

Atomic Bomb ExplosionExercise has been mentioned in other parts of this website (read: Buy Yourself Some Time). However, it certainly deserves its own post dedicated just to exercise. It can be a significant factor in speeding up your recovery. Can you recover without exercise? Most likely you can still have success. Will exercise help speed up the process and make it more likely that you will succeed? Also, most likely yes.

Exercise is your friend in your recovery. If you cannot think of an appropriate Modifying behavior (the “M” in the RAMP Solution) then you always have exercise.

Why is exercise so effective in helping you rewire your brain? Because it helps oxygenate the brain and an oxygenated brain is a healthy and high functioning brain. And a healthy brain will be better able to shift molecules around and rewire itself to be compulsion free. Also, blood flow helps clean out the brain from chemicals produced by the Limbic System and without chemicals the Limbic System losses its mechanism of control over the other parts of the brain. The frontal lobe dominates an oxygenated brain.

The brain that needs the most oxygen is the frontal lobe. This is the part of the brain that will help you control your overactive Limbic System. The Limbic System, however, does not need as much oxygen. If someone is not able to breathe the frontal lobe will be one of the first parts of the brain to suffer from the lack of oxygen. However, the Limbic System will still function for a time without oxygen. With the brain stem often being the last part of the brain to suffer from lack of oxygen.

Supercharge the part of the brain, the frontal lobe, that will help you most in your recovery by oxygenating your blood. After deep full breathes (the “A” or Action in the RAMP solution); you should consider exercise to be your next step as a means of oxygenating your blood.

Exercise can always be combined with modifying activities to make them more acceptable to the Limbic System as adequate solutions to TROUBLED feelings.

Exercise does not need to be some complex ordeal. You don’t need to run a marathon or even a half marathon. Your minimum should be somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes of exercise that causes increased breathing and heart rate. Consult your physician if you are new to exercising and if you have physical limitations.

Anyone can exercise; just find a way to move your body. Your goal is not to lose weight or gain muscle, although those things are satisfying and encouraging. The goal is just to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. Gyms are great, but jogging on the side walk works too. Anything works and later down the road if you want to focus on cardio or muscle toning, great, but right now just get moving.

ACTIVITY: Buy three songs that have an up tempo beat that gets you moving. Close the door to your room and close the blinds to your window and start maniac. Go crazy for the length of three songs and you’ll get your blood flowing and your brain cleaned up. Try Amazon MP3.

Exercise is your atomic bomb in the war against the Limbic System. Exercise calms the Limbic System and flushes out its chemicals from the brain. Exercise renders the Limbic System virtual useless for a while, but only for a while. Just keep in mind that sometimes you will still need to complete a Modifying behavior on top of exercise. It will feel great to get the Limbic Systems chemicals out of the brain but if you don’t take care of your TROUBLED feeling that TROUBLED feeling will return and cause another trigger. So tailor a Modifying activity to your TROUBLED feeling.

Go exercise and start living like never before!030910-N-0000X-002


  1. Hey man,

    Let me know what you think about this.

    I’ve always been an avid exerciser/soccer player my entire life. I stopped about 4 months ago and then quit porn 2 months ago. For the last 2 months, and right now I have not been exercising at all.

    My thought were that porn fucks up your dopamine levels. It is to my understanding that Its raises them to unnatural levels causing you brain to produce less naturally. When you quit porn your dopamine levels drop because your brain is not producing any naturally, hence withdrawal stages. I know that exercise raises your dopamine levels. My theory was that if I didn’t watch porn or exercise my brain would have to heal the dopamine to natural, or stock levels, by itself.

    I was and am worried that if I exercise to ease the no porn I will end up trading one addiction for another. The exercise will raise my dopamine for a short period of time leaving no need for my body to create its own naturally again.

    Essentially I don’t want to have to rely on exercise to feel good. I want to feel good naturally, with naturally high dopamine levels without any external stimulus, and eventually exercise to get a “boost” of dopamine and that amazing feeling your supposed to get from exercise. Instead of just feeling normal after exercise because of a dopamine rise from low to normal.

    So I don’t want to be stuck going for low dopamine to normal levels after exercise only to drop down to low levels again 4 hours or so later. But I want to go from normal levels of dopamine to super high levels after exercise, like when I was younger, then back down to normal levels after 4 hours or so.

    Sorry that was hard for me to explain lol.

    My theory may be completely off I just wanted to see what you thought about it ; )

    • I think you are giving to much thought into the recovery. The brain suffers from porn because of the unnatural levels of dopamine. The brain heals during natural levels of dopamine.

      The high from exercise would fall in the natural levels of dopamine. Exercise would also be beneficial because it would turn on the receptors of dopamine and keep them active. During the addiction these receptors have been trying to turn themselves off because of the unnaturally high levels of dopamine. It would be good for them to receive a natural fluctuation of dopamine. That natural fluctuation would happen with exercise.

      If you are a car buff I would make an analogy like this:

      Porn would be like running an every day car on nitrous oxide and gas. Drive it around town on this type of fuel will destroy the engine in no time.

      However, exercise would be like running your car on 90-91 octane rated gasoline. And when not exercising your running 87 octane rated gasoline. Running the higher octane would keep you running faster and cleaner and will not cause an unnatural breakdown of the engine.

      That’s just a simple analogy and I hope it helps. I would not be scared of exercising messing up your recovery or messing up your dopamine levels. Actually I think exercise is hugely beneficial because it allows for a fluctuation of dopamine levels which is what your receptors need during healing.

      Congrats on your accomplishments so far. You are doing great. Soon you’ll be on fire and loving life!

      • Thanks for the answer man,

        You are probably right and I actually went for a long run today before I read this because some anxiety was getting to me pretty bad.

        You are right tho, I will be on fire soon because I am only 2 months out from a 15 year daily addiction and I am starting to really see differences. Life is a lot more clear at times, and it almost feels weird and uneasy to me because I am simply not used to it lol.

        Sometime I get discouraged with it, but lately I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. My addiction was so deep and to only be 2 months out I shouldn’t expect drastic results yet. There’s no way I will ever go back tho. That is a fact. So when i’m 6 or so months out I will let you know how I feel. 1 day at a time!

        • Fantastic!

          Determination is a key element if not “the element” that determines if you succeed or not. Focus on your wins! If you have a slip don’t let it bring you down emotionally. Learn what the trigger was and how you can create a Modifying Behavior to satisfy that trigger and keep moving forward. Always focus on winning and your wins.

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