The world has been buzzing about Oprah in the past few days, ever since her – now infamous – interview with Prince Harry and Meghan
Growing From Trauma: How To Find Meaning, Clarity and Change your Life For The Better!
Post traumatic growth (PTG) refers to the positive psychological changes that individuals experience through a struggle with traumatic events or situations. In addition, stress-related growth, benefit-finding, perceived benefit, changes in outlook, and psychological thriving can also represent the above mentioned positive psychological changes. A variety of stress events, including diseases, loss of a loved one, job insecurity or major life changes can trigger PTG.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease has posed great challenges to people’s daily lives and their mental health status and is considered one of the current main triggers for PTG. How can you turn your experience into positivity, creativity and find opportunities for growth?
COVID and PTSD
It has been a year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. It has been a year of loss, separation, anxiety and uncertainty. It has been a year of changes, in profound ways and in small ways. We have seen how our communities can come together, how we can help one another, and how selfless we can be during such hardship. But we’ve also seen how trying it has been on our mental health—and that’s okay to admit.
“Everyone responds to these experiences differently,” says Philip Lanzisera, Ph.D., a psychologist with Henry Ford Health System. “Being a frontline worker during the COVID-19 crisis, seeing loved ones pass away from COVID-19, having COVID-19 yourself—these are all traumatic experiences that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.”
While many people experience symptoms similar to PTSD after a traumatic event, they usually heal on their own after a period of time. Those who have PTSD get stuck and aren’t able to move past their trauma.
“The brain takes over, you become anxious, and it’s terrifying,” says Dr. Lanzisera. “Your ability to think logically gets wiped out. If this is happening to you, it’s important to realize you are going through it and ask for help. The sooner you do something about it, the more likely it is that you can prevent it from getting worse.”
How can we boost our emotional resilience during COVID19?
There are a number of things that we can all do to help boost our emotional resilience at this time. These are simple things like making sure that we sleep well, have a varied and healthy diet, exercise regularly and importantly, that we connect with family and friends.
In the late 1990s of XX century it has been researched and confirmed that trauma and negative experiences can spur positive change, including a recognition of personal strength, the exploration of new possibilities, improved relationships, a greater appreciation for life, and spiritual growth. We see this in people who have endured war, natural disasters, bereavement, job loss and economic stress, serious illnesses and injuries. So despite the misery resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, many of us can expect to develop in beneficial ways in its aftermath.
Adversity shakes up our world. It makes us question everything we had understood to be true about what makes us tick — and what makes others tick, as well. It’s up to us: We can choose to be resilient and grow from our pain, or we can wallow as we wait for the next storm to hit, because trauma, obstacles and adversity are a fact of life, and another storm will hit us at some point in the future.
Here are tips on how to be resilient and grow from your trauma
1. It’s a matter of perspective. Reframe your situation in positive terms and look for ways you can grow and learn from the experience. Take the time to examine what the pain and discomfort is there to teach you. People often learn something about themselves in the midst of struggle. Trauma and adversity can give you a heightened appreciation for life. You become resilient when you use obstacles and adversity to clarify what actually matters to you.
2. Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in good and bad times. Establish other important connections by volunteering or joining a faith or spiritual community.
3. Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.
4. Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work at it.
If you need guidance and support, Our Programs serve as your flashlight. Have a look at one of our most popular programs, the ‘Balance & Ground” program that will help you become conscious, strong and emotionally balanced to build resilience in stressful times to build the life you want. Click here to learn more!
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