Experiencing a loss, stress or any emotion can lead you to feeling out of balance. Teaching children and youth to manage their emotions is key to addressing this.
Medical Advisor: Rosa Guevara – psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare / Juliana Torres – neuropsychologist.
According to neuropsychologist Juliana Torres, being emotionally balanced is the ability to, “…remain calm in any given situation. It is having the power to manage your emotions and be aware of them.” This does not mean that an individual cannot experience a roller coaster of emotions throughout their lives. The secret is to handle them in a way that helps avoid falling into drama or tension that blind you from understanding the perspectives of others, due to a lack of awareness of yourself and of reality.
This is why it is important to clarify that a balanced individual is not someone who does not suffer from stress, fear or depression; it is someone who has the strength to maintain harmony between what they want and what they are experiencing. This is what helps turn certain situations into learning opportunities, such as the loss of a loved one or not achieving what you want at school or at work, among other situations. Such learning opportunities help you to better manage these experiences as well as others. This is easier said than done, however. The following are five keys to help you achieve emotional balance.
- Accept yourself. This is about being at peace with what you have, both in regard to social and family relationships and in the physical and financial realm. This involves understanding that you are not perfect and that not everyone has what they want. Our neuropsychologist suggests doing exercise that require you to confront yourself and to get to know yourself, “The distorted views we have ourselves tend to be more emotional than physical, and sometimes we let others take charge of our own emotions. It is crucial to acknowledge who you are as a person and as someone that has strengths and weaknesses.”
- Identify what happens to your body when you experience an emotion. We experience many feelings when an emotion hits us: pain, weakness, mourning, euphoria, etc. When these emotions are not pleasant, think positively about the emotion and avoid expressing it in negative terms. “Words influence our emotions and our bodies,” our expert indicates.
- Manage your perception of body image. This comes from our need to see ourselves in others. “We perceive of ourselves as people, through personal body image. Because of our need to fit in and have a sense of belonging, we have a greater need to see ourselves in the eyes of others than in our own eyes. The message is one we hear time and time again: it doesn’t matter how you think others see you, but how you feel. Unconsciously, however, from our need to be accepted by others, we are always trying to determine whether we have the approval of those that surround us, or if we are being rejected,” states psychologist Rosa Guevara.
- Define your own image. Guevara explains that the information we receive from ourselves, “…is ingrained in us from the moment we are born: parents or those that are close to us describe us as beautiful, they make reference to our skin color, or the shape of our body, etc. We create a perspective of our image from these interactions and from the information that is stored in our cellular memory.” In order to achieve an adequate perception of ourselves, we must have self-awareness as well as filter what we are told about ourselves versus what we know we are like and what we can demonstrate to the world.
- Set limits. In this day in age, limiting the use of dominant social networks is necessary, as they do not always have a positive influence on us. For Guevara, the need to have an identity, to be accepted or to belong to the virtual world through a “like” does not need to be completely eradicated: “It should be a part of the knowledge of accepting others as free and autonomous. Youth seek to create their own image for the approval or perception of others, and then they take this image on.” Going too much to the gym so that you can “look good to others,” not eating to be the right size, or buying what is in fashion so that you can “be accepted” are other practices that should come to an end.
What makes us emotionally unbalanced? Reasons that lead us to becoming unbalanced. Catch them before it is too late.
- Poor self-image
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of self-control
- Biological disorders
- Irrational thoughts