“We have already realized that for girls and boys to be happy it is not enough to teach them mathematics, language or geography. In today’s world, they need to be equipped with something else: emotions, for better or for worse, they are always present, and learn to recognize, express and manage them it will make a big difference in their lives. “
The San Juan psychologist Lucas malaisi He is president of the Emotional Education Foundation and for 15 years he has been studying how to incorporate emotional education in schools, a work that translated into the Draft Law on Emotional Education, which was presented in the legislatures of Argentine provinces, and also in several Latin American countries.
While he is convinced that the pandemic will give people the opportunity to develop and work on new emotional resources, he says that we are still far from that moment, since “before we will have to live a ‘second pandemic’, which will be the ’emotional pandemic’, in which we will experience the consequences of this isolation. I think it will be a very difficult period marked by emotional disorders, such as depressions, anxiety disorders, phobias, learned helplessness (which is to believe that what we do does not generate any positive results so the person abandons themselves) and, also, violence”.
“Emotional education has a double objective: to improve people’s quality of life and reduce symptomatic behaviors,” says psychologist Lucas Malaisi. Photo: Shutterstock.
And he continues: “This ’emotional pandemic’ will be the one that will show us on a large scale that we are beings who feel and that the emotional deserves to be expressed and valued. After that emotional spasm of society, I believe that there will come a stage of growth in general, in which we can say that we positively capitalize on the pain and we will become a more resilient society. But I think this is far away in time and that it depends on how we manage the emotional and social situation that touches us in the present and immediate future ”.
About what he calls “second pandemic” he says that the advantage is that Can we do something about it and that its impact will depend on personal resources and how each one can manage your emotions.
Lucas Malaisi, psychologist, president of the Emotional Education Foundation and promoter of the national bill on emotional education. Photo: Courtesy Malaisi.
Learn to manage emotions
Malaisi is the academic director of the Diploma in Emotional Education at the University of Villa María (Córdoba) and author of books such as Creative mode. Emotional education of youth and adults, Y My emotions and abilities at school (both from Editorial Paidós). Assures that emotional intelligence “is 99% learned” and emphasizes it with emphasis because “it does not depend on the genetic or inherited and can be shaped”. That is where education takes center stage.
“We have already realized that for girls and boys to be happy it is not enough to teach them mathematics, language or geography. In today’s world, they need to be equipped with something else: emotions. “Photo: Illustration Shutterstock.
“I firmly believe in creating a space like the ESI in the classrooms, but exclusively so that children and adolescents learn to recognize, express and manage emotions. This will be the way to overcome the consequences of this pandemic, like many challenges that life imposes. I insist that we should have an Emotional Education Law that guarantees that these practices reach all classrooms in all schools in Argentina. I believe that listening to the emotions of all people, from childhood to old age, is the way that we can heal Argentina, in emotional terms ”.
With that expectation, in 2017, the TEDx speaker (Mendoza in 2012 and Justiano Posse in 2018) toured towns and cities on his motorbike from La Quiaca to Ushuaia, giving talks on emotional education, interviewing teachers and presenting the law in the Andean provinces, a trip that he captured in a documentary called “Healing Argentina”.
“Emotions are always present, and learning to recognize, express and manage them will make a big difference in their lives.” Photo: Illustration Shutterstock.
– From school to going out, the adolescent social world was turned upside down, at a time in life in which they begin to “move away” and distance themselves from their parents and exchanges with peers greatly contribute to their development as people . How can they develop without being able to take that distance from the mother / father’s opinion, inside the house?
– The lack of social contact It affects a lot, and even more so in that stage characterized by socializing and sharing with the peer group all the time, where from those conversations, rebellions and transgressions the construction of one’s own identity arises. So I think the way to develop will be through links with friends, less numerous, but perhaps deeper.
Likewise, through technologies they will satisfy, to some extent, the need to share and socialize. This will affect more those who were living a socialization without limits than those who went from being children to this stage in which they continue at home with their parents. Perhaps – we do not know – this can extend the childhood years, although in isolation-confinement.
The parental presence it may not have a negative effect; I think it could be a variable that generates habits of self-care and awareness of many things that parents see. In any case, each family is a world and it is really impossible to venture an answer that is sufficient and applicable for all families.
“The main obstacles we have to manage emotions? We do not know how to do it, we were not trained for that purpose”, says psychologist Lucas Malaisi. Photo: Shutterstock.
In an interview with this newspaper, Lucas explained that our main obstacle to managing emotions is that we don’t know how to do it: “We were not trained for that purpose, and we intend to do it with archaic and obsolete patterns. But faced with new challenges, we need New strategies. Twenty years ago we did not have the stress levels that we have today and, when the stress is higher, we need to have more emotional muscles to be able to face these situations that are more and more challenging ”.
Lucas Malaisi’s TEDx Talk – The recipe for healing society
Lucas Malaisi is a psychologist and chairs the Emotional Education Foundation. He is the author of books on Emotional Education.
– How to face this second year of pandemic? How to shore up children and adolescents?
– From my emotional education work we have many ways of doing it, the key is that children and adolescents have a space to be able to express what they feel. Assertive emotional expression, that is, careful and moderate, helps maintain health. It is like an emotional digestive system that allows us to digest the hard, sad and difficult that life imposes. But today we do not have that space in schools, unfortunately.
Politicians and decision makers do not understand the importance of dealing with the emotional aspect of the younger generations. We will have a society full of emotional disorders if we do not address this issue systemically, sustainably and scientifically. I think there are no magic solutions, the real ones need to be sustained over time, have a scientific basis and that they reach everyone if we really want to see an improvement.
That is why I insist so much that the Emotional Education Law be addressed, which will guarantee to address all these issues before children and young people fall ill. Hopefully this first pandemic teaches us that we have to consider the emotional in schools. If in schools we continue to give more importance to a math account or a correct answer than to an emotion, we will continue to be part of the problem.
5 daily emotional education exercises
1. Energy level.
Put a number from 1 to 10 to your level of desire and energy. Above 5 is motivation and below, demotivation.
2. Breathing / meditation exercise.
In the position you want but with the straight and erect spine, take 10 deep and slow breaths feeling the heartbeat.
3. Emotional journal.
What emotion do you feel now? Put the emotion you feel and, if the environment is school and if the teacher facilitates it, open a conversation about it.
4. Gratitude routine.
Look for 10 to 30 aspects or situations that you appreciate in your life and meditate on that.
5. Purpose of the day.
Positive affirmations about personal development; for example, “I am kind and I like to respect others.”
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