Post-Traumatic Growth: Finding Meaning and Creativity in Adversity
When the foundational structure of the self is shaken, we are in the best position to pursue new opportunities is our lives.
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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.
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Logotherapy originated in the 1930s as a counter-response to the prevalent theories of the time, and examines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of individuals. .
Its premise is that the strongest motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life and it was devised by Prof Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist.
Humans normally function on primal reactions like negative self-talk, emotional outbursts and irrational actions based on outside events and circumstances. The lost ‘spiritual’ dimension of meaning is brought forward by Logotherapy.
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PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:
Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms. Symptom categories:
If you're diagnosed with PTSD, you will likely be prescribed therapy, medication, or both.
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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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