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White January



Who takes care of the mind? Life calls for mental health and balance.

We start another year, a new cycle. During the first month of the year, people are more inspired to reflect on life, their goals and resolutions for the whole year, in search of giving meaning to their relationships and experiences, wanting more balance.

The month of January is quite significant, representing a new opportunity to start and close cycles, and thus, symbolically, as in a “blank sheet or canvas”, we have the chance to design, write new stories, dreams and perspectives about the future, about life!


So why not talk about mental health in such a symbolic month?

We need to speak and make the world's population aware of the importance of building a culture for mental health, without taboos, aiming for a healthier humanity, and respecting everyone's psychological condition.


What is White January?

Janeiro Branco is a social movement, developed by a group of Brazilian psychologists, in 2014. Since then, the movement has grown and spread to various parts of Brazil and the world, mainly through actions such as: lectures, workshops and public policies whose main objective is to promote awareness about mental health, from January to January, with the motto “Who takes care of the mind, takes care of life!”

To talk about mental health, we need to talk about emotional health and understand the impact it has on our behaviors, family and professional relationships.


Do you know your emotions? Do you allow yourself to feel them?

How do your emotions vary throughout the day?

And how has it influenced your behaviors and feelings?

Human beings have various emotions, and each person can feel them in a peculiar way, and with a particular intensity. Some emotions also trigger physical reactions, such as crying, shaking, panting.

Author Robert Plutchik, presents eight emotions: confidence, joy, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, aversion and anticipation, and considers them as basic and common emotions for human beings.


Which of these emotions do you feel most often?

Do you consider any of them to be more pleasant or unpleasant to feel?

Did you know that all emotions are important to us, and that each one has its function? Many of us have been taught that there are good and bad emotions to feel. And we seek to repress negative emotions, which causes suffering and illness.

We need to express our emotions, as well as the meaning of the word emotion, which comes from the Latin, in the word ex movere, which means "to move out" or "to move away". This meaning demonstrates the natural sense of emotions and allows us to reflect on how much we can give fluidity to each one of them, not in the negative aspect, trying to escape, but in an assertive way.


It is extremely important to be able to name the emotions we feel, and identify our emotional state, as well as the physiological changes that occur in our body. Understand that they are temporary, that they come and go, like a wave in the sea.

And above all, understand that feelings are consequences of our interpretations, based on the emotion experienced.

Knowing and managing emotions is important to maintain mental health, check out some tips:

  • Respect your limits, say no!

  • Get away from toxic people or situations;

  • Maintain a healthy sleep, diet, and regular exercise routine;

  • Avoid or limit the use of social media;

  • Celebrate small wins, set real goals;

  • Smile more and enjoy being in your own company;

  • Be inspired, but avoid comparisons with others;

  • Do therapy.

And now, just put it into practice!

Happy 2023! And you know it, right? Who takes care of the mind, takes care of life!


References

Goleman, D. (2012). Inteligência emocional: A teoria revolucionária que redefine o que é ser inteligente, 2ª ed. Objetiva.

Fordham, B., Sugavanam, T., Edwards, K., Stallard, P., Howard, R., Das Nair, R., . . . Lamb, S. (2021). The evidence for cognitive behavioural therapy in any condition, population or context: A meta-review of systematic reviews and panoramic meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 51(1), 21-29. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720005292

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