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"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."
At this time in history, many people are wondering whether we will have a life again. Will we recover with dignity?
Science suggests that we will do more than recover: we will show immense capacity for resiliency and growth.
Resilience is the ability to maintain a relatively stable and healthy level of psychological and physical functioning during and after a very traumatic event.
Studies reveal that resilience is actually common and can be attained through multiple unexpected routes. Studies further show that the majority of trauma survivors do not develop PTSD, and most report unexpected growth from their experience.
To be sure, most people who experience posttraumatic growth would prefer to side-step the trauma.
Trauma shakes up our world and forces us to take a second look at our goals and dreams. When we realize that we cannot change a situation, we position ourselves for growth and new opportunities.
When the foundational structure of the self is shaken, we are in the best position to pursue new opportunities is our lives.
Emotions such as sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety are common responses to trauma.
Trying to "self-regulate" those emotions, or avoiding feared thoughts, feeling, and sensations, will make things worse and reinforce the belief that the world is not safe or void of opportunities and meaning. But acceptance and embracing psychological flexibility may enable you to face the world with exploration and openness.
Deliberate rumination leads to an increase in five domains of posttraumatic growth. Two of those domains - positive changes in relationships and increases in perceptions of new possibilities in one’s life—were associated with increased perceptions of creative growth.
Research supports the potential benefit of engaging in art therapy or expressive writing to help in the rebuilding process after trauma.
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