Research has shown that post-traumatic stress disorder can result in changes to the brain structure. For instance, the hippocampus, which plays a role in regulating stress hormones and is responsible for storing and retrieving memories, can actually shrink.
One of the things that can happen when you experience trauma is that your nervous system becomes less able to regulate itself. Ordinarily, when you encounter a stressor, your sympathetic nervous system readies your body to respond—you’ve probably heard of this as the ‘Fight, Flight, or Freeze’ response.
There are multiple different therapeutic approaches to healing from trauma. Regardless of the approach, your therapist will work with you to create a space where you can safely revisit the trauma you’ve experienced, understand and process what’s happened in your past, and learn the skills to begin to move forward in your journey.
As human beings, we evolved to move. Physical movement has consistently been shown to promote mental well-being. When we exercise, our bodies are flooded with endorphins—the “happy” hormone. Physical movement creates new neural pathways. Even just going for a walk literally changes our brains for the better. Working out decreases stress, improves mood and memory, and helps us sleep better.