Do we actually grow from adversity?
It can be problematic to embrace the idea that personal growth and resilience are typical outcomes of adversity.
Not everyone is stronger after a traumatic event. However, the support of family, friends, and communities in the wake of a traumatic event, plays a significant role in growing from it.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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In our culture, there's this idea that going through a disaster can be good for you and make you stronger.
After experiencing loss or trauma, people usually report feeling a greater appreciation for life, closer relationships; they feel stronger, more spiritual and more inspired.
The narrative of growth from adversity might sound convincing, but it's difficult to collect reliable data on people before and after they've experienced trauma.
Studies found that people are not very good at accurately remembering what they were like before a traumatic event. When they think they have experienced growth, it might just be a coping mechanism. Those who reported personal growth after a tragedy were more likely to continue to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
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With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.
Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.
Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.
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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.
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See life as it is, without all the ideals and fantasies you’ve been preoccupied with.
The vast majority of our struggles are self-created, and we can choose to overcome them in an instant.
Tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality because people judge us based on a pool of influences in their own lives that have absolutely nothing to do with us.
We need to learn from the past, but also to be ready to update what we learned based on how our circumstances have changed.
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