Sometimes in life, when the going gets tough, our minds do something funny. Instead of trying to confront our problems head on, it tries to mentally twist and turn the situations that happen around us and build completely different scenarios in our minds. These scenarios are far from the truth, but we accept them because they feel more acceptable and within our control. There is a name for this habit of the brain in psychology – defense mechanisms.
Defense mechanisms in psychology are unconscious strategies or behaviors that people use to protect themselves from stress, anxiety, and discomfort associated with various life circumstances. They help a person deal with and deal with overwhelming feelings and emotions.
Most of the time, people are not aware that they are using these self-protection methods. This is because defense mechanisms have been internalized into our lives as survival adaptations. It helps the person to move away from reality and unwanted feelings of fear, shame, or guilt.
However, despite their ability to provide temporary relief, defense mechanisms are not a healthy way to deal with life’s circumstances. They tend to cloud your awareness of situations, create unnecessary tensions in your body, and make it difficult for you to accept your weaknesses both internally and with others.
This is why a basic understanding of the types of defense mechanisms in psychology is important to avoid using them in your life. On that note, here are the most common defense mechanisms that are likely to cloud your view of the world and hinder your understanding of the present.
In the projection defense mechanism, the person feels intense guilt and shame for the type of behavior they are exhibiting. To avoid shame, they try to project a scenario in which another person exhibits the behavior they are committing. For example, a person with anger issues might yell at their friend because they are so angry.
Denial is a person’s inability or refusal to accept that a certain life event has occurred. While using denial as a self-defense mechanism, the person denies the existence of a particular traumatic life event in order to protect themselves from the pain associated with it. It is common for people with substance use disorders to remain in denial about their behavior and its consequences.
In the repression defense mechanism, instead of accepting uncomfortable thoughts and painful memories, people try to suppress them in hopes of eventually forgetting them. However, this does not mean that such memories will disappear. It continues to exist beneath the surface and ultimately affects every aspect of a person’s life.
Rationalization as a defense mechanism means creating acceptable but incorrect versions and interpretations of a particular life event. By using rationality, a person justifies unacceptable behavior by using faulty reasoning rather than accepting facts.
According to popular belief, procrastination is described as lazy. However, procrastination is resistance, more so than laziness. This does not mean that a person cannot collect his energy to start his work. In fact, the person is not clear about what he wants to do or how he wants to do it.
People use various defense mechanisms to protect themselves from the uncomfortable feelings and emotional pain associated with certain events. It is practically wrong to classify defense mechanisms as right or wrong. Defense mechanisms have played a huge role in helping us survive difficult circumstances. However, despite this, they can ultimately contribute to relationships, work, life, and emotional issues.
Now that you know the defense mechanisms, let’s move on to another interesting brain feature. Heuristics are small mental processes that help humans learn new concepts, make judgments, and solve problems quickly. to know more about it, click here.
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