PREVIOUS: Disorders #2a
1. NORMAL (Healthy – cont.)
REVIEW: tools that improve Mental Health
• Value yourself • Take care of your body (food, rest, exercise, sleep…)
• Learn how to deal with stress • Quiet your mind • Practice gratitude
• Surround yourself with good (healthy) people
• Set realistic goals • Look for ways to change routines (travel, learn….)
• Express kindness to some else (but NOT at your one expense!)
• Practice saying NO! • Get help when you need it! (MORE ideas….)
NOTE: ACoAs can achieve a large portions of mental health by getting the right help & consistency using all the tools available to us, throughout our life!
Our coping mechanisms develop organically in response to frustrating, difficult & painful situations / experiences. They function like a human firewall, a psychological immune system needed to defend against hurtful & abusive relationships, while hopefully allowing healthy / nurturing relationships to pass the protective walls. (Posts: Boundaries .… weak, rigid, healthy)
At their best: Defenses are important to know about because they strongly influence how easily people can form & maintain healthy relationships, while being able to reject unhealthy relationships. Knowing when to be defensive & when not to be – is key for health.
We need them to keep us safe from people who mess with us, but also need to be able to relax & let the wall open up, to keep the capacity for innocence, availability & healthy connections. (Posts: Trust …. over. under, healthy)
At worst: Defenses are harmful & debilitating when they turn into psychological armor solidified into stone or iron, not allowing trust & spontaneous interactions with positive PPT (people, places, things) in our life.
MATURE Defenses (Healthy)
• Altruism = You derive true pleasure from helping other people—and if you couldn’t, you’d get depressed
• Anticipation = When you know you’ll be faced with a challenging situation, you try to plan ahead so you won’t be overwhelmed
• Distraction = When something upsetting may happen or has already happened, consciously deciding to put off distressing thoughts (which add anxiety) by temporarily focusing your attention on something less threatening
• Humor (not humiliating, mean, sarcastic….) = You try to see the funny side of situations, even when they’re stressful or potentially upsetting
• Identification (healthy version) = When in new or scary situation, you temporarily use characteristics of an admired/respected person you don’t automatically/naturally have (EXP from the Enneagram: Picking up positive characteristics of the Number at the end of your Type’s “Security Point” arrow)
• Introjection (healthy version) = When you acknowledge a missing skill or trait you value – you can absorb inputs from the environment & make them a part of yourself
• Sublimation = when you’re feeling anxious, you do something constructive such as cooking or woodworking
• Suppression – If you’re bothered by something or someone, you keep the lid on your feelings if letting them show would interfere with your goals.
HERITABILITY (the likelihood of inheriting a trait) is a population-wide statistic which assesses the proportion of variation in the population one can attribute to heritable genetic variation.
— If heritability is 1.0, all of the variation is genetic – offspring are just a linear combination of their parents
— If heritability is ~0.0, then there’s basically no correlation between parents & offspring. While it’s a population-wide statistic, it can be informative on an individual level. EXP: the heritability of height is ~0.90 in the Western world. (More….)
See Survey CHART re. Genetic influence on human psychological Traits – which can give a rough sense of the “pull” that biological inheritance will have on an individual. Biology may not be destiny, but it is definitely probability.
• Altruism, Empathy, Nurturance, Well-being, Persistence (or stubbornness)
• Sociability, Social closeness, Traditionalism, Physicality (More….)
Article: “All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable” from studies in BioDiversity