Crises and traumas change our lives. We talk about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, but did you know they can also change us for the better? There is also a Post traumatic Stress Growth Syndrome. Many people come out of crises stronger and more resilient, and have learned many new life skills.

When people talk about a crisis they’ve weathered here are some of the things they say have resulted.

1. Change in priorities.

It’s common after you go through a crisis to look at things differently. One thing it often does is show us how fragile life is. If we have lost someone, or nearly lost our own life, or something important, we take a look at our lives and figure out what really matters. You also have a different relationship with time.

2. Dealing with emotions differently.

You tend to come out of a crisis being more willing to express your motions, and to understand those of others, and relate with more compassion. Crises often extend our awareness of our emotions because we’re flooded with so many, and trying to sort through them all teaches us new levels. It raises our tolerance threshold.

At the same time, we understand the importance of listening to others. To know pain and suffering means you can understand these in others better. Many counselors, coaches and therapists have gone through some sort of trauma. This is one way in which they become such a good listeners.

3. Resilience.

Weathering a storm teaches you a lot about weathering storms. The next time something comes along, you can look back on the skills you used to get you through the last one. You can also learn from your mistakes. Just as a sailor’s skills aren’t really tested in the harbor, we learn new things when we’re tested. You find out you are stronger than you ever thought possible.

4. Draw closer to people and understand community.

You find in a crisis how wonderful people can be. Some people may let you down, but others will come forward.

5. New interests.

Because we change through a crisis, we often take up new interests. You may become interested in a different sort of career, for instance, or decide you want to marry and have a fulfilling relationship, where you didn’t before, or to give more back to your community in means of volunteer service.
Very often it amounts to a “new you” and you extend your boundaries.

6. Less willing to compromise.

Often we find after a crisis, we’re more willing to change things that need changing, and to take action when it’s necessary. The strength you discover in a crisis leads to a great sense of personal power; your ability to effect what’s going on around you.

7. Not taking anything for granted.

Once you discover what really matters, you are much more willing to put the work in. This could include meaningful relationships or work. Losing something important, or almost losing it, brings thing into a new perspective. You don’t take things for granted you used to.

8. An appreciation for the now.

There is nothing like going through a trauma or crisis to make you appreciate a quiet, “normal” day. Suddenly a day that formerly might have seemed boring to you is full of wonderful things – among them, just the fact that there’s nothing awful going on.

9. Handle stress better.

Your toleration of stress will have become elevated, and you can handle everyday stress better.

10. Spiritual growth.

Going through a crisis is being where the rubber hits the road. You question many things, including your faith, and can come out much stronger. Questions arise that wouldn’t have arisen otherwise, and so you grow.

All of these things are possible when you go through a crisis or trauma. One of the most important things is not to stay in isolation. Many people understand after going through a crisis how helpful other people can be, and how much we need one another.

Coaching and counseling can also help you in time of need. Resilience means being able to bounce back after loss, failure, and misfortune being able to retain you hope and enthusiasm for the future.

While no one wants to have a crisis or trauma occur in their life, it can be a tremendous growth opportunity. Studies have shown that isolation, which means emotional isolation, is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Reach out for the help you need and stay connected, and work on your emotional intelligence skills. It’s the emotionally intelligent thing to do.

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA Psychology, Emotional Intelligence Coach, . Coaching and Internet courses for your personal and professional development. Transitions, career, relationships, resilience. Susan is the author of "How to Live Your Life with Emotional Intelligence," and other EQ ebooks - . for FREE ezine.