Post-traumatic growth without the trauma

Post-traumatic growth without the trauma

Do you remember how you felt as a kid playing your favorite games? I do, and for me, it is like one of the best feelings I’ve experienced in my life. Somehow I’ve to a great deal, unlearned the skill to enjoy games as I did back then. I have a much better PC now which lets me play the newest games on high graphical specs. But It has become harder for myself to submerge so deeply in a game that I forget everything else. But I’m convinced this problem can be remedied. Especially after watching Jane McGonigal’s TED talks.

Jane McGonigal talks about how video games can help us to become superheroes not only in virtual worlds but for real. She talks about overcoming conditions like depression with games, check out her talks Gaming can make a better world and The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.

Today I want to talk about something she mentions in the latter one, post-traumatic growth. As the self-explanatory name coming from scientific circles tells, we now know that a traumatic event doesn’t have to doom us. Instead, it can be used as a springboard to unleash our best qualities and lead happier lives.

Here are the top 5 things that people with post-traumatic growth say:

  1. My priorities have changed – I’m not afraid to do what makes me happy.
  2. I feel closer to my friends and family.
  3. I understand myself better, I know who I really am now.
  4. I have a new sense of meaning and purpose.
  5. I’m better able to focus on my goals and dreams.

Those are essentially the opposite of the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed. But I think it would be great not to have a trauma to get these benefits wouldn’t you agree? Luckily it is possible, Jane devoured the scientific literature and found four types of strength that lead to post traumatic growth without needing the trauma in the first place.

Here is what you have to build up:

  1. Physical resilience
    1. Workout, even just going for a walk has great benefits to physical and mental health.
  2. Mental resilience (Willpower)
    1. Tackle little challenges.
  3. Emotional resilience (Curiosity, love)
    1. If you can manage to experience three positive emotions for every one negative emotion over the course of an hour, a day or whatever timespan, you unlock the three-to-one positive emotion ratio which will give you better health and the ability to tackle any problem you are facing.
  4. Social resilience

So I think you got the idea, small little steps will get you scoring high. Or as one of my lemmas go – step by step  you get ahead. What you need is some CONSISTENCY.

Also published on Medium.