“There is no doubt that human beings are living longer and longer. How can we ensure that this longevity is not an accumulation of ailments and illnesses, but a vital stage full of experiences and personal development?

For Dr. Juan Hitzig, emotional management is key. That is why he developed the “emotional alphabet” that helps us to be aware of our own emotions and to understand what happens in our brain when we do “bad blood”. For example, some emotions begin with “s”, such as serenity, which helps us release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calmness, improves mood, enhances quality of life, drives away illness and slows the speed of cellular aging.

To understand Dr. Hitzig’s ideas, you can watch the video below.

Understanding the emotional alphabet

This week, the team of the Mensalus Institute for Psychological and Psychiatric Assistance helps us understand the importance of emotion management and what the emotional alphabet means.

How can the “emotional alphabet” help us?

Dr. Hitzig’s work is an intelligent way of summarizing information beneficial to the individual’s physical and emotional balance. The speed and clarity of the explanation helps the viewer to remember the value/cost of his or her management of thoughts and emotions.

Actually, we all know the behaviors and attitudes described in the video, we know which ones are good for us and which ones are not. Still, it’s not always easy to get away from the “R’s” to soak up the “S’s”. To increase awareness of our approach to life, we can ask ourselves questions that work as a “meter”. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Today, how much time have I spent on the S’s?
  • And, in the “R’s”?
  • Are there any S’s or derivatives that I miss? Since when?
  • What are the thoughts that trap me in the “R’s”? Do I associate them with any particular situation(s)?
  • When this happens, how do I feel?

The video highlights a phrase from the Hindu poet Rabindranath Tagore: “If it is remedied, what do you complain about? And if it is not remedied, what do you complain about?” How can we apply it?

First of all, reflection reminds us that, if we leave complaints and negative thoughts aside, it will be easier to direct our attention to those positive aspects that we are not considering; from any situation, we can always take advantage.

The complaint has a finite function: to express the discomfort. Once expressed, what does the complaint lead to? The problem appears when we feed it back and move away from its first objective. Getting caught up in the complaint translates, as we have seen, into a well of stress. This leads to an increase in cortisol levels and a decrease in serotonin levels (we stop investing vital energy in that which produces our well-being). This is what the video presents as the “recipe” for “bad blood”.

Thus, the “S’s” are those that increase serotonin through attitudes that promote positive thinking. How can we strengthen the connection with such behaviors?

That’s right. The video presents the “S” behaviors (serenity, silence, wisdom, taste, sex, sleep, smile, sociability and seduction) as the engine of love, encouragement and rapprochement among others. If we review our own “emotional alphabet”, we are sure to find a multitude of behaviors that we associate with the “S” types, behaviors that generate positive thoughts.

Still, we often tend to think “what went wrong” since “what went right” is taken for granted. Well, the famous “taken for granted” is the one that deprives us of recognition from ourselves and others. Without recognition it is difficult to generate thoughts related to what works, what we do daily and what others do well. In short, it is difficult for us to increase the levels of this neurotransmitter which, for many scientists, is one of the basic hormones of well-being.

Specifically, serotonin as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system plays an important role in inhibiting various depression-related conditions. It is precisely the antidepressants that are responsible for modifying the levels of serotonin in the individual.

What are the other “welfare hormones”?

Dopamine and endorphins play a major role. Dopamine is the pleasure hormone. Dopamine’s role in the experience of pleasure has been associated with anticipatory desire and motivation (commonly referred to as “wanting”). Endorphins are the hormones that promote calmness, reduce pain and improve mood among others. They also counteract the high levels of adrenaline associated with anxiety and delay aging.

Today we opened this article with a sentence by Dr. Hitzig associated with aging…

Yes. The Doctor throws out a big question:

“There is no doubt that human beings are living longer and longer. How can we ensure that this longevity is not an accumulation of ailments and illnesses, but a vital stage, full of experiences and personal development?”

Reflection encourages us to review our levels of “wellness” hormones or discomfort (as is the case with cortisol) through increased self-awareness about our behavior and attitude. We are what we think. Therefore, the more flexible our thinking is, the more we will reflect on our faces and modes of action, and the more opportunity we will have to connect with positive thinking.

It is the flexibility of thought that makes us decisive. This opens the door to the world in a safe way; the more resolute we are, the less alert and stressed we will be.

Having said that, we end the article with the question of the principle: “R” or “S”… And you, whose are you?