In light of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon and the massive numbers of individuals returning from war, our culture has become all too familiar with the term "post traumatic stress". What most people are not as familiar with is the concept of
"Post Traumatic Growth"
Research involving individuals and their relationship to stress, pain, fear, and trauma have been around for thousands of years but the interest in Post Traumatic Growth began to steal some of the limelight in the 1990's.
Post Traumatic Growth involves an individual's path in adapting to sets of negative experiences that would normally cause psychological distress or harm. These events could include experiences with death, abuse, serious injury, natural disasters, relationships, accidents, and other potentially traumatic events.
Simply looking at this list you can understand why some individuals experience post traumatic stress.
What if there were a way to experience growth following traumatic events like those mentioned above?
Post Traumatic Growth Characteristics:
- Greater appreciation for life
- Shift in sense of priorities
- More genuine connections and relationships
- Increase sense of personal strength
- Recognition of new life paths and possibilities
Are you sold yet?
How can I get some Post Traumatic Growth?
1. First, you must have a belief system that supports growth.
Spirituality is a characteristic that has been closely linked to experiencing post traumatic growth, but the core concept behind this connection are the empowering beliefs a spiritual individual may possess.
Keep these in mind:
BELIEVE that you can grow from this
You are capable of this change.
2. You must have support
Support systems have been linked in post traumatic growth on many levels. Therapists, counselors, and life coaches (with proper training) can have great impacts on your ability to experience this growth, post traumatic event.
Surround yourself with genuine, insightful, and caring individuals that you feel comfortable sharing your life with. This could be the difference between growth and stress.
- Be confident and open to being able to grow
- Develop a belief system that empowers and supports you in experiencing growth.
- Seek out opportunity to develop new genuine relationships and connections.
- Sniff out your most precious support systems and use them.
During the Boston Marathon I was watching the race in Kenmore Square (15 minute walk to the finish line), when I had heard what happened followed by a massive number of text messages, phone calls, and emails making sure I was okay. I want to thank those individuals and extend my heart and support to the families that were affected by these horrible events.
There is hope and there is strength within you to grow from this. Never loose sight of that.
All the best,
Jonathan B. Wolf, Ed.M.
Vitality, Performance, and Parent Coach
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