Keeping A Growth Mindset in Trauma!

Coy Boggs
3 min readNov 3, 2023

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Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Think back to a time when you were in emotional pain. Did you stay the same as you were before? Odds are you did not. As Warren Zevon sang in “Accidentally Like A Martyr” “The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder” , but does this equate to growth? Going through emotional pain is normal. What matters is how we handle and come out of it.

In 1995 Richard Tedshcei(Phd) and Lawrence Calhon(Phd) theorized Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). This is The term they used to describe positive growth after psychological stress. The growth seen can be self-awareness, interpersonal relations, and philosophy of life. Growth usually happens after a lengthy challenging situation. The core relation between PTG and PTSD is that PTG is the positive effects of trauma while PTSD is the negative. Perspective is key to come out with PTG and not PTSD. A survey done by Dr. Qiuyan Chen from the Indiana School Of Medicine on the survivors of the 2009 earthquake shows that people who did not lose someone in the earthquake showed more growth potential than someone who did.

Another cause of results in growth is the people that surround you. In 2019 Professor David S. Yager conducted research that showed schools that give proper support for their students got better results than schools that didn’t. The results show that schools that give support have a better GPA of 15% over the schools that don’t. This goes for growth in trauma as well. The people that we surround ourselves with will impact our growth. People that have positive minded people in their lives are more likely to have a growth mindset over people that do not.

You may be thinking, what do the two research articles do with each other? They both have to deal with what affects our mindsets. First, how we go through trauma and the results of that trauma affects the mindset. It also shows whether or not we lost something in the trauma. It is possible to have a growth mindset during this. While in the second research shows that the people that we surround ourselves with also affects our mindset. People with a good support system are more likely to have a growth mindset. This is also a way to help if we go through trauma. The proper people in our life will help us attain PTG and not PTSD. There is more than this to trauma. The reason for this article is to give an example of why our mindset is important when dealing with trauma. So, yes hurt and pain can equal growth.

Citations

Martina de Witte, Anouk Spruit, Susan van Hooren, Xavier Moonen & Geert-Jan Stams (2020) Effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes: a systematic review and two meta-analyses, Health Psychology Review, 14:2, 294–324, DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2019.1627897

Yeager, D.S., Hanselman, P., Walton, G.M. et al. A national experiment reveals where a growth mindset improves achievement. Nature 573, 364–369 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1466-y

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Coy Boggs

I'm a man that is just doing his best to figure out how he fits in to this crazy world.