BUENOS AIRES, 3(NA). – Health does not only have to do with the absence of illness or disease and, according to the WHO, it is defined as a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, for which the state of well-being -whole being is achieved when there is a balance between physical, biological, emotional, mental, spiritual and social factors.
“Emotional health is a dynamic experience, which is not defined by a state, but by the way in which everyone is able to bear internal tensions and go through the most diverse conflicts. A healthy person is not the one who does not suffer, but one who can do it from a non-reactive point of view, with the ability to integrate different emotions”, explained Luciano Lutereau, psychoanalyst, doctor of philosophy and doctor of psychology (UBA).
The body lives and reacts to what we feel and that is why it is very important to listen to ourselves, to pay attention to the sensations that develop daily and to ask for help when the person feels without tools or overwhelmed by the situation she is going through.
Negative emotions that are ignored are “accumulated” in the body and have a detrimental impact on the physical, mental and social spheres. For example, sustained anxiety and fear cause anxiety which, if left untreated, can lead to trouble sleeping, problems with digestion, concentration and/or performance at work, social isolation, or can also lead to other physical or mental health problems.
From a preventive point of view, here are some protective factors of emotional well-being:
– Physical activity is a good moderation of emotions, because it allows to have a distance between thought and elaboration (by imposing a break that avoids rumination and obstinacy). To practice a sport, one must have the ability to build a playful scene of relaxation that those who suffer from rigid affects cannot set up. Do physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
In addition, it is essential to prevent non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and even certain cancers, while protecting and promoting mental health. Many scientific studies have shown that it generates the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins, which produce the feeling of pleasure and well-being, counteracting stress and tension.
– Connections are also a central element of emotional stability, since healthy relationships allow those who feel it to do so in an empathetic way and including the gaze of others, which allows them to relativize their egocentric and unilateral vision.
Therefore, social relationships are a fundamental pillar in shaping who we are, how we think and what habits we acquire. Numerous scientific studies show that strong social connections are linked to a longer life, social isolation or loneliness, with health problems.
Hugs, kisses and affectionate conversations are the essential seasoning for well-being, bonding and self-esteem.
– Take care of yourself: it is essential that there is a routine. People need to organize their time, get organized and have a daily/weekly plan that is purposeful, consistent and possible. This not only optimizes your time, but also puts your mind in order.
– Adequate diet (eat plenty of water, fruits and vegetables and reduce the consumption of foods high in fat, alcohol, ultra-processed foods).
– Rest (achieve a restful sleep, if possible 8 hours a day): an emotionally healthy person has a correct rest, because as for a physical activity, he knows that a scene cannot be inhabited continuously and that it is sometimes necessary make a cut. The night and the dream are a privileged moment to rediscover this other scene daily. In addition, the immune system uses sleep time to regenerate itself, so sleeping well restores and strengthens it.
– Devote time to family, friends and hobbies; have a recreational and social time and connect with the links.
– Connecting with yourself allows you to have a moment of reflection and listening to the body, in addition to reducing stress (meditation, breathing exercises, yoga or others).
There is also an impact of emotional health on nutrition, in that anxious reactivity can lead to eating disorganization, or there are emotions (such as sadness) that when defined as states, can have a negative impact either because they lead to overeating or the opposite.
Poor nutrition (diets high in refined carbohydrates, ultra-processed foods, high in fat) implies a greater risk of mental illness. The truth is that proper brain nutrition maintains the structural and functional integrity of neurons, helping to maintain emotional balance.
As a general recommendation, Lutereau raises the need to give each emotion its time and magnitude, to be mindful of daily reactivity, as anxiety is the most common emotional short-circuit in societies, and to transcend vision who judges people on their emotions, because no one can choose how they feel, but can do personal work to feel in an elaborate and thoughtful way.