I’ve written about this concept by DW Winnicott on past posts – ‘the capacity to be alone in the presence of another’ – one that underlies many aspects of our developmental journey – our capacity for solitude, for good reading and attention, love in relationships, and self respect, inter alia…
This excerpt is from a write up that details an interview with Adam Phillips on this topic. Both links are included below:
PHILLIPS: That idea was one of Winnicott’s most radical, because what he was saying was that solitude was prior to the wish to transgress. That there’s something deeply important about the early experience of being in the presence of somebody without being impinged upon by their demands, and without them needing you to make a demand on them. And that this creates a space internally into which one can be absorbed. In order to be absorbed one has to feel sufficiently safe, as though there is some shield, or somebody guarding you against dangers such that you can “forget yourself ” and absorb yourself, in a book, say. Or, for the child, in a game. It must be one of the precursors of reading, I suppose. I think for Winnicott it would be the definition of a good relationship if, in the relationship, you would be free to be absorbed in something else.
“Side by side with the exigencies of life, love is the great educator.”
Challenges…and the ‘love of your fate’…
“Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life,the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.
“Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.”
Joseph Campbell – Reflections on the Art of Living
Here’s a short article talking of some research that may be helpful to talk about with patients and clients
“Having a hot temper may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to researchers.
…[R]age often precedes an attack and may be the trigger, say the US researchers who trawled medical literature.They identified a dangerous period of about two hours following an outburst when people were at heightened risk.
…[E]xperts know that chronic stress can contribute to heart disease, partly because it can raise blood pressure but also because people may deal with stress in unhealthy ways – by smoking or drinking too much alcohol, for example.”
See the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26416153
A study out of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) recently came out that showed how a two week mindfulness training improved students GRE reading-comprehension scores and working memory, while reducing mind wandering among students prone to distraction.
…the adolescent brain (as does the adult brain) defaults to certain ways to cope with this high level of stress. These unhealthy habits include, but are not limited to: Procrastination, over-eating, under-eating, isolating, self-harm, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, working harder into the night at the expense of health, worrying and at times, the extreme attempt of suicide. (Author – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D)
See link below:
“…psychology and healthcare experts are turning to a strategy developed in a much earlier age. Mindfulness meditation has been around for over 2000 years, and courses which teach it are springing up everywhere. As we describe in our book The Mindful Manifesto, this is largely because a growing body of scientific research shows that mindfulness can make a real difference to people’s quality of life. Studies have found that mindfulness training can protect people from depression, reduce their stress levels, help them manage chronic pain, let go of compulsive behaviours like smoking and over-eating, and even enable them to cope better with cancer and other serious illnesses. Mindfulness has also been shown to boost the immune system, and induce changes in the brain that are linked to better moods. Academic papers detailing its benefits are now published in their hundreds every year.”
“[Scientists] found that emotionally charged writing activated areas of the brain which are known to respond to music. Predominantly on the right side, these regions had previously been shown to give rise to the “shivers down the spine” feeling caused by an emotional response to music. The researchers found that when study participants read one of their favorite passages of poetry, regions of the brain associated with memory were stimulated more strongly than “reading areas.” This suggests that reading a favorite passage is like a recollection. When the team specifically compared poetry to prose, they found evidence that poetry activates brain regions associated with introspection – such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes.” See links below: