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How do we keep ourselves from becoming really anxious?

The+Roman+helmet+worn+by+Hasaan+Alston+is+meant+to+represent+how+defense+mechanisms+act+as+a+shield+for+the+mind.
The Roman helmet worn by Hasaan Alston is meant to represent how defense mechanisms act as a shield for the mind.

The Roman helmet worn by Hasaan Alston is meant to represent how defense mechanisms act as a shield for the mind.

The Roman helmet worn by Hasaan Alston is meant to represent how defense mechanisms act as a shield for the mind.

by Carnell Lyon, Staff Writer

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Since beginning of human learning, people have thought about the complexities, intricacies, and structures of the human mind. One of the most beneficial and necessary components of the human mind are our handy-dandy defense mechanisms–the first thing to act when your feeling anxious.

The idea came from the famous Father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. From a Freudian perspective, the need for defense mechanisms arises from the presentation of an internal conflict between the moral conscience and a person’s pleasure-seeking impulses. We will instead look at a different definition on defense mechanisms. In my opinion, as innovative and creative as he was, we’ll just say that he was a bit of freak.

Defense mechanisms are unconscious structures that act to protect the mind and body from stress and anxiety. Now, there are tons of recognized defense mechanisms, but we will go over the ones that are more frequently used.

The first one is repression, which according to Britannica: “Repression is the withdrawal from the consciousness of an unwanted idea, effect, or desire by pushing it down or repressing it.” Say you’re on a diet; you have gone an astounding six weeks without eating, touching, or even seeing junk food and then one day, you see that one item which you used to crave for so much. For some, they attempt to keep the tempting item out of their mind. “Empty your mind.”

A reaction formation occurs as a result of you projecting an action that opposes your internal feelings. For example, the feeling you get when do horrible on an exam. To justify your academic prowess, you begin to study extra hours and take extra classes; so on and so forth, even though on the inside you know for a fact that test was still an L.

Projection is a “defense mechanism where you project your feelings onto another person.” Another person becomes a screen for your internal, emotional issues. This is mainly to share the stress-inducing reality with another person. This defense mechanism somewhat speaks for itself: when you shout about your struggles to another person, is an example.

Regression is the process of returning to earlier developmental stages and the gratification belonging to them, usually as a result of the dangers of the later stages of life. The classic mid-life existential crisis may be an example. One may be in a state of constant nostalgia and resort to super-childish behavior at times (borderline man baby-ish).

“I really want those cookies, but I can’t. Man, I need to take a walk.” This is sublimation, the defense mechanism where desire is converted into productivity.

Denial is the constant refusal to admit that painful facts exists. If you have heard of the seven stages of grief, then you would probably know that, according to this theory, that this is the first defense mechanism that goes into action when someone learns of the death of a loved one. When my hamster died, I just didn’t want to accept that she was gone.

Finally, we’ve arrived at rationalization, the use of logic to arrive at the “truth”. Now, “truth” is dependent on the individual, because there isn’t a true universal truth when it comes to your actions, aside from social morals. You make a leap of logic and could potentially arrive at an answer that disparages your actions or arrive at an answer that promotes them.

Defense mechanisms are our way of keeping our minds safe and sound.

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The student news site of McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia
How do we keep ourselves from becoming really anxious?