Group of diverse people are joining a yoga class


Exercise and physical activity are vital parts of any healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has many benefits that can minimize symptoms of stress and PTSI for people who experience chronic stress or mental health challenges, including:

  • Improved mood: Exercise increases dopamine and serotonin, the chemicals in the brain that make us feel good
  • Improved cognition: Exercise stimulates growth of new brain cells and reduces harmful chemicals in the brain
  • Improved sleep and restfulness
  • Increased feelings of strength and self-esteem
  • An outlet for intense emotions (e.g., anger or anxiety)
  • Stronger mind-body connection
  • An opportunity to set goals and develop new healthier routines
  • Opportunities to connect with others and form a community around a shared interest or hobby
  • Reduced stress and increased opportunities for play and fun

There are many lifestyle factors that can impact our ability to tolerate stress and recover after traumatic experiences. This resource is not an extensive list. Remember: everything that affects you and your body also affects your mental health.