7 Ways to Use the Current Crisis for Personal Growth

7 Ways to Use the Current Crisis for Personal Growth

Despite what many think, Positive Psychology isn’t just about happiness and feeling good and positive thinking.

Happiness can be and is important; for many reasons. But a more accurate description of Positive Psychology would focus more on thriving and flourishing. Or making the most of life with what you have from where you are.

So given that we’re all facing an obviously distressing and disruptive situation with the Corona Virus and all its associated issues, happiness might not be the most relevant goal. If you can feel joy and experience pleasure then great; but maybe this time is more about learning and growing…

via Psychology Today by Jim Taylor

Let me begin with a question: Could the COVID-19 crisis be seen as a personal growth opportunity? At first blush, you would probably say, “Absolutely no way!”

The current pandemic has created crises of health and financial markets that are disrupting the lives of almost everyone on our planet. People the world over are getting sick and dying, global economies are facing a recession, and the financial futures of many people are at risk.article continues after advertisement

COVID-19 has taken a world that, for many people, was safe and secure, and forced us to confront a new world that is ever-changing, unfamiliar, unpredictable, uncertain, ambiguous, uncomfortable, and uncontrollable. It elicits a wide range of unpleasant emotions including fear, worry, doubt, frustration, and anger.

COVID-19 unsettles our confidence in ourselves, our communities, our governments, and the many institutions that we have taken for granted and relied on in the past. COVID-19 tests our resolve, resilience, and ability to deal with a deluge of daily bad news we read about and listen to every day, both locally and globally. You add up all of these above hardships and challenges and you get a unique “perfect storm” of a crisis.

How can I say that the COVID-19 crisis can be used as a way to grow as a person? Let me explain.

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis is adversity many multiples more severe and challenging that most adversity that we face in our normal daily lives. And therein lies an incredible opportunity for us to use the current crisis to grow as people.article continues after advertisement

Before I dive deeper, I want to acknowledge that using the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity for personal growth is, in many ways, a luxury that many people don’t have available to them. For example, the elderly, the infirm, and the immunocompromised are faced with a crisis that is truly life-threatening. For those who lose their jobs and are unable to support their families, the crisis will be catastrophic. This article isn’t intended to minimize the seriousness of the consequences many people will face.

Given my view that the COVID-19 crisis is an extreme form of adversity that all of us are confronted with to varying degrees, it’s not the objective reality of the adversity that matters. Instead, what matters is how we interpret and respond to the difficulties and challenges that we face. And it is our attitude toward and response to the COVID-19 crisis that can either make or break our experience of it. Gosh, if we can respond positively to this current emergency, the “crises” that we face as part of our normal daily lives should be a walk in the park.

So, what lessons can you learn from the COVID-19 crisis that will help you grow as a person and serve you well when you are confronted with future crises in your life?

#1: Allow Yourself to Feel Bad

The emotions we are all experiencing in response to the COVID-19 crisis are the most powerful and immediate discomfort we feel in reaction to this destabilizing situation. Sadness, disappointment, grief, devastation, despair, stressanxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, frustration, and anger are just a few of the emotions we feel in response to this unprecedented disruption of our lives.article continues after advertisement

A few thoughts on how to react if you are feeling any or all of the above emotions. First, allow yourself to feel bad. Don’t try to assuage, placate, or distract yourself from your feelings. A part of having a healthy emotional life involves being able to fully experience all emotions (you can’t cherry-pick the feel-good ones).

Don’t try to minimize (“Oh, it’s not a big deal”), rationalize, or place blame for the COVID-19 crisis; it is a big deal and it can’t be made smaller than it is or explained away. Rather than resisting negative emotions, be kind and empathetic to yourself and others; listen to and reflect back the feelings that are there. Allow yourself to go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE