Consciousness & Mental Health

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger? Really?

* I thank you for your tolerance. English is not my native language. But I can feel the improvement*
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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

I have heard this sentence my entire life : “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And each time, it makes me feel skeptical. Don’t you know people who have been through very hard times which didn’t kill them, but who were not able to recover? Do you really think they are stronger? What about those who become bitter or extremely resentful after a difficult break-up? Or those who develop trust issues, lose faith, lose hope, but are still alive?! Here is the thing. We go through life, we experience joyful and painful situations, we smile, cry, laugh, get hurt, etc. There are difficult events which don’t kill us (at least directly), but which will make us stronger ONLY IF WE HEAL FROM THEM. Luckily, there are many ways to heal from traumas and actually get stronger. This is what I’ve tried:

  • Acknowledge your pain.

Trying to avoid the pain or acting as it doesn’t exist is not a good idea. This is often the root cause of addictions. Even though it is often very difficult, it is important to face that pain.

  • Get the feelings out

You can run, sing, dance, write, etc. The aim is to express your feelings in a constructive way. Your feelings are energy. Like any other form of energy, it can be channeled to get positive outcomes. Running and dancing are the activities which work best for me.

  • Gently integrate the lessons

This one is tricky mainly because there are different kinds of traumas. In case of a break-up for instance, maybe the relationship didn’t work because you (or your partner) were too self-centered, or because you’ve figured out that your core values were far different from those of your partner. Rather than saying things like: “I will never love again; Love is dead”…take the time to reflect on what happened. Take responsibility for your actions, and set the intention to learn and grow from this experience.

  • Practice Art Therapy

Art has always been very effective in the process of transmuting feelings and emotions. Art therapy is defined as the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. I have seen the benefits of art therapy as I started creating music. Being immersed in this creative process has helped me to live in the NOW, without thinking and rethinking about past events. The more I do it, the better I feel.

  • Get help from professionals

There are countless professionals in fields like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness-based Therapy, Family Therapy etc. If dealing with your emotional issues becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to contact professionals.

I am sharing tips that have worked for me. I don’t assume it will automatically work for you. Get informed and educate yourself on the subject. Below are a few resources to help you on this path. Best of luck.

Emotional and Psychological Trauma | Healing from Trauma and Moving On

Psychology Today | Recovering from Trauma