People who have or are experiencing PTG commonly report positive transformations after a tragedy. PTG can transform peoples’ lives for the better. PTG brings a sense of self, deeper/stronger relationships with others, a greater appreciation for life that will provide new opportunities and higher spiritual growth.
The person who is flowing with PTG usually benefits from confidence, courage, motivation, creativity, success and a “new lease” on life.
The opposite of PTG is PTSD post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a serious consequence of war, bereavement, bone marrow transplant, a diagnosis and treatment of cancer, combat, chronic illness, heart attacks, natural disasters, PTSD can be anything that one deems as a tragic experience and the outcome/aftermath of that experience. The aftermath of that experience can manifest itself into PTSD, but research has been found that a traumatic experience can bring about positive growth (PTG) in many (Calhoun and Tedeschi 2006).
I am sure you have heard this saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” Do you believe this?
Have you experienced a tragic event in your life and you are now in living in the wake of PTG?
Sadly, not everyone that has gone through a tragic experience life event will experience positive traumatic growth. The reason-Positive MINDSET– Mindset is how one copes with the tragic experience, there are many factors that play a huge part in copying with a tragedy, optimism, acceptance of the tragedy, the perception of the tragedy, the coping mechanisms that are in place prior, during and after the tragic experience.
Focus also plays an integral part of PTG. Individuals that can dwell in the realm of PTG are those that focus on the realization that the tragic event does not define who they are but rather what positive experience can that individual glean from the tragedy.
“Some things do not necessarily happen for the best but some people are able to make the best out of things that happen.” Tal Ben-Shahar
Research has been done on breast cancer survivors (Calhoun and Tedeschi), and the survivors have experienced and reported positive growth. Growth and development in spirituality, compassion, a deeper understanding for others, openness, self confidence and a heightened appreciation for life and relationships.
Speaking from my own traumatic life experience being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer after my first ever routine mammogram in 2013, the treatment of multiple surgeries, treatments of chemotherapy- 18 months of it, radiation, countless medicines and toxins that have wrecked havoc on my body. Fast forward to now, I am alive and thriving! I have never felt more alive and more intentional with my life than NOW!
Knowing that the horrible disease of cancer does not define me and I will never give that disease the satisfaction of keeping me down. MINDSET- GOD brought me out of the dark place, where I could have very easily wallowed for the rest of life in the tragedy and the loss I had experienced. I chose to fall, but I fell UP! I bounced back higher and in more significant ways I have ever thought were possible. I am dwelling in the PTG mode. I am striving every day to live a life that is intentional, full of purpose, my relationship are stronger than ever before. I am striving every day to build a healthy relationship with God- my relationship with Him has never been as strong as it is now.
So out of tragedy comes a blessing(s).
The process of PTG does not eliminate the pain or the loss that is felt, but out of loss there is often gain, changing people for the better, the tragedy doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a dysfunctional life.
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
Resources you can use:
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
What doesn’t Kill Us: the New Psychology of Positive Traumatic Growth by Stephen Joseph Ph.D.
Post Traumatic Growth in Clinical Practice by L.G. Calhoun. & R.G. Tedeschi,