MMMM: defence mechanisms

MMMM: Mindfulness, Meditation and Mental health May- is a month of quotes, books and (sometimes unexpected) resources to reflect on, to help have a happier, more mindful life.

Regular book reviews will continue on Fridays.


Quote of the day

“You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquillity of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are


 

Resource of the day:

We all have defence mechanisms- their purpose is to allow us to continue with life and to maintain a intact positive sense of self when stressful or negative situations occur, especially if we are unable to deal with the situation or emotions at the time. But I am sure you are aware, there are defence mechanisms that are more helpful than others, and some, particularly if used to extreme, can be harmful.

There are quite a lot of proposed defence mechanisms. I like the list at this website because it has both positive adaptive responses and the negative ones.  And this summary is helpful in how it categorises the defence mechanisms into the most adaptive ones, and then the less adaptive ones can be grouped into similar outcomes or processes.

So why is it helpful to learn about defence mechanisms? I think that people often believe when they are acting in an unhelpful or harmful way that this is a direct outcome of the original situation or trigger. But when we look at the range of ways that people can react, we see that it is generally not the fault of the trigger, but of your defence mechanisms. Once we acknowledge this, and are aware of the more positive ways that you can react, you can start working on changing our automatic responses to a more positive one.

 

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