People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They are able to cope with life changes, and more importantly, keep their problems in perspective and recover from major setbacks. Did you know that our emotional health is an important part of our overall health? When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body can be negatively affected as well.
At Gasol Foundation, we always work under the approach that a “healthy life” does not only consists of a balanced diet. It takes a combination of other components as well- participating in regular physical activity, resting and sleeping the necessary hours, and practicing certain behaviors for good mental health. Our metaphoric healthy galaxy conveys this message quite clearly due to the fact that it cannot function if all 4 of the healthy planets (physical activity and sport, healthy eating, rest and emotional well-being) are not interacting and working with one another.
In short, a person with higher self-esteem is more predisposed to participate in physical activity and sports. At the same time, this helps he/she to experience a sense of calm and a healthy mind, which contributes to improving sleep conciliation and the regulation of food intake. In turn, we must also remember that what we eat can influence our emotions, our daily physical activity, and the quality of our sleep. Being able to fully comprehend how certain healthy habits affect one another is our main message we try to convey to families. Having a clear understanding of this concept is the first step in helping reduce the figures of childhood obesity.
With regards to children’s emotional wellbeing, it is important to dedicate quality time with them in order to help with their emotional development. When we spend quality time with them, we grow closer and connect with them more, therefore creating an emotional bond that will be the basis for their self-esteem. Habits such as these should be implemented and practiced in the home during childhood so the child can learn and develop the appropriate patterns of behaviour, values and attitudes early.
Below are recommendations we promote through the Gasol Foundation for the mental welfare of minors and their families:
- Establish limits: An important part of positive discipline involves setting effective limits for children’s behavior. Setting clear and effective limits can support children’s development drastically. Establishing limits means containing, caring and protecting. Knowing that an adult is in change helps children feel safe and protected. In this context, the word limit does not mean punishment, but containment. This does not mean that adults have to have too many rules or rules that are complicated; rather, it means providing children with clear directions for what you expect from them. Providing reasons and direction for the limits you set also helps children respect and accept them without being defensive.
- Promote social and emotional development: A unique way to strengthen the emotional development of children is to build strong bonds with them. This can be accomplished by them sharing their feelings and emotions. They just be taught them how to manage and express their emotions, both positive and negative, in an effective and productive manner. Knowing how to understand emotions and cope with them can positively influence reflective capacity, attention span and cognitive flexibility, which can also translate with better performance in school.
- Understand and show empathy towards the emotional changes they suffer during puberty: The transition from childhood to adult life is a stage of profound changes. The emotional bases of this transition develops during early childhood. Parents should accompany their children in this stage, providing them with confidence, establishing limits, and fostering an environment of mutual respect.
- Use communicative techniques in the family: The majority of day-to-day problems of family coexistence can be resolved by having good communication between all family members. It is essential to understand our children, what worries them, what they need. Communication between adults and children is vital. It is the responsibility of the adult to always be empathetic and supportive during this time in order to reach solutions for any emotional problems or issues the child may be dealing with.
Through Gasol Foundation, Pau and Marc encourage all children, young people and their families to internalize the importance of the emotional well-being of the entire family. Including such practices in their daily routines can guarantee an optimal state of health.