Intermountain Health logo

Please enter the city or town where you'd like to find care.

Get care nowMake an appointmentSign in

Health news and blog

Post-Pandemic Growth: Emerge Better Than Before

Post-Pandemic Growth: Emerge Better Than Before

By Author Name

Aug 26, 2021

Updated Oct 25, 2023

5 min read

Post-Pandemic Growth: Emerge Better Than Before

Learn more about SCL Health's Behavioral Health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. Millions of people lost jobs. And despite being social creatures, we were forced to isolate ourselves from one another. The result of all of this has left many people with a feeling of post-traumatic stress disorder, whether they were directly affected by the pandemic or not. 80% of people will recover from the trauma within a few short months. 10% of people are likely to suffer from long-term PTSD. And another 10% are likely to emerge from the pandemic with “post-traumatic growth.”

What is post-traumatic growth?

Post-traumatic growth is when an individual emerges from a traumatic event with a new outlook on life. The trauma acts as a springboard for positive transformation. Perhaps they quit the job they hated and are pursuing new passions. Or they become closer to others and develop a greater level of compassion. There are five main ways that people are affected by post-traumatic growth.

1. Spiritual Enlightenment

Sometimes going through a traumatic event can cause an individual to look for life’s deeper meaning. When that happens, people turn towards spirituality or religion. With a newfound purpose in life, people can find new ways to grow and appreciate their time on Earth.

2. Optimism

Despite the traumatic experience, some people emerge with newfound optimism about the possibilities of the future. When the world gets put on pause, some people can view society in a new light. Perhaps they’re starting a new business or finally pursuing their dream of living in a mountain town and working remotely.

3. Appreciation

It can be tough to realize how blessed you are when dealing with the stress of day-to-day life. Catching up on emails, running errands, and dealing with housework can all leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. However, after seeing how people struggled after losing their jobs during the pandemic, you might be inspired to be more appreciative of what they have. 

4. Relationships

Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we’re with our people. So experiencing the trauma of dealing with isolation might give you a new appreciation for the relationships in your life. While some of your friends and family might have been dealing with extreme loneliness, it might have improved your outlook on your relationship to have someone to talk with and be around.

5. Self-confidence

After going through a traumatic event, such as a pandemic, you’ve accomplished something. You made it to the other side. Life is full of struggles, and getting some wins under your belt is excellent for your self-confidence. By viewing surviving the pandemic as an achievement, some people can gain more confidence in themselves.