It took me a long time to realize that many experiences in my life qualify as traumatic.
That’s because I believed what qualified as trauma could only be the result of horrific things happening on a grand scale. Seeing combat, being raped, suddenly losing your home and your loved ones to natural or man-made disasters. Trauma, to my mind, were horrors that happened beyond the realm of day-to-day upsets like difficult relatives, being verbally bullied or struggling at work or school.
Despite the dramatic ring of that word, trauma is really quite ordinary.
Trauma is actually anything of an upsetting nature (which is quite subjective) that goes beyond one’s capacity to cope. Now, our capacity to cope is developed over time, so if this capacity is challenged too early, which it so easily is, such challenges damage the mind. Ergo, trauma. I’m pretty certain everybody’s got some.
But here’s the thing: just how irreparably damaged our minds become, is relative to our ability to work on our mindset. Most of us start out with a ‘stress is harmful’ mindset. This cultivates fragility.
On the other hand, a ‘stress is enhancing’ mindset can turn PTSD: (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), into PTSG (Post-Traumatic Stress Growth). This allows us to cultivate what is called ‘anti-fragility’, as referred to in my previous posts and videos.
My man Brian Johnson has done a fantastic job of summarizing the great work of Kelly McGonigal in her book The Upside of Stress.
If you want to learn some life-changing ‘mindset interventions’ for leveraging stress, (and I know you do ‘cause you’re reading this), I suggest you click the link above right now!