"A mature defense mechanism is an ability that enables you to handle an unpleasant situation without driving yourself into a bigger trouble. Most of those who lead a happy and healthy life have it in common,” George Eman Vaillant wrote in his book “Aging Well.”
A defense mechanism is defined as a mental or cognitive strategy that you use unconsciously to protect yourself from emotional weakness and keep composure internally. Everyone has it in their mind and it primarily comes down to personal characteristics. “Projection” is a common way of expressing your anger at a situation, which you are in toward a third-party object. Venting your anger may calm you down for a while but your negative feelings and emotions may only get worse and end up with depression or alcoholism. “Self-regulation” works to keep your surroundings in tight control to prevent against such unpleasant events.
Even if you have made a detour around hardship, you may soon feel worse, more sentimental and worn out. Professor George E. Vaillant of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School launched a longitudinal study to track 814 people of diverse backgrounds from Harvard law school graduates to highly intelligent women to high school dropouts from large cities. Stressors per se did not affect how happy they were throughout their lifetime. The study turned out that a sense of happiness was higher among those who overcame stressful situations with a positive mindset than those who didn’t.
Although Anthony Pirelli in 1941 lived in a poorly heated house with his parents having drinking issues and showing violent behavior, he grew up to become a successful businessman 47 years later. He attributed his great success to “Serenity prayer,” which he recited for life to practice bravery and patience. It may also be a good choice for us to make to work on a mature defense mechanism. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”