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Posttraumatic Growth

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How Trauma can make you stronger

 

Monique is in a very difficult situation. 8 months ago her husband left her. Kids. New beginning. Self-esteem close to non-existent. The full movie.
Posttraumatic Growth
A very suboptimal situation. It makes your heart bleed. You don´t have power, nearly no hope. You´re trapped in limbo. You are waiting for someone to save you and for the pain to stop.
Monique, trust me. I feel you. I was at this point myself more than one time.

How to deal with crisis

There are two different ways to handle a crisis. The typical way: Crawling under your blanket, hiding and keeping a low profile until the wounds have healed. Which usually will happen after a while. Often it leaves scars and our emotional quotient takes a hit.
But after a few months or sometimes years you can laugh again and enjoy life.

Psychologists have a name for that: Posttraumatic Growth.

The idea behind it: Trauma can be a source of growth if you handle it in a clever way.
It goes like this: You take your damn crisis and tell yourself. Yes, currently it´s hurting like nothing good. But I am still alive (swearing can be helpful in situations like this).
And, yes, I am still confused. But that will go away.
Currently, I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. That´s normal and will get better. And I will use this crisis to grow.
I don´t know how but I will be better than before. Somehow this … will help me to take the next logical step in creating my ideal life.
And when it´s over I will say: This really sucked. But it was necessary. It was a wake-up call. A rocket for my self-development.

But the mindset has to be accompanied by action.

You have to do things. Things that energize you. In situations like this, you have to reactivate your power. That is why small energy boosters are necessary and so important. Little things that you do several times a day. Again and again. Small doses of fuel for your engine. Until it runs stronger and smoother than before.
A few super simple energy booster:
  • Jump on the spot (10 x)
  • 3 deep breath
  • Gently punch your breastbone (like orangutans do) and tell yourself: “I love myself and I accept myself just the way I am”
  • Stand tall and proud, close your eyes and count to 20.
  • Go out into the sun and fill your battery with light
  • Call someone who´s presence is good for you
  • Think about something you´re grateful for
  • Snap your fingers 50 times
  • Get a small chore done and tell yourself “well done!”
  • Get in front of your mirror, look into your eyes and tell yourself. “It´s your and only your job to take care of yourself and make that you are well again”
The best energy boosters are the ones you think up yourself. Nobody knows you better than you. And as soon as you recovered a little bit you can set small, realistic and doable goals.
Goals that further pull you out of the dark hole. Goals that challenge you a little bit. Can’t you do it? No problem! Ask your friends to give you small tasks that will make you feel better. Friends know what´s good for you most of the time. Listen to them.
You will reach these goals. You will prove to yourself that you can do it. You create small wins that will help you recover and regrow your self-esteem.
These are the first steps of posttraumatic growth.
Once you are in movement the process will get its own dynamic.
If you are facing a crisis right now I am wishing you the braveness to turn it around and come out happier than before.

 

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