Living well and for many years is a common goal for most people. But on this journey, there are several pillars that deserve special attention, such as physical, mental and emotional well-being, in addition to common needs such as health and education. When these pillars work in harmony this is what is called ‘quality of life’.
For the World Health Organization – WHO, the concept of quality of life indicates the harmony of people in their life context, considering their values and culture in relation to their personal objectives and concerns.
In practice, this means that the pillars of life move well, in balance and in harmony. Furthermore, the analysis is individual.
“Quality of life, in a simple analysis, is having balance and well-being in various aspects of our life. “It’s about having physical and mental health, feeling fulfilled in your professional field, having healthy relationships and enjoying your free time”, adds psychologist Rosângela Casseano.Pillars
Quality of life is not restricted to a specific area. In fact, it is made up of a series of fundamental pillars for individual well-being. See some of them below:
- Health, which includes healthy eating habits and physical exercise
- Emotional balance, taking care of our mind and controlling stress
- Social interaction, establishing good relationships with the people around us
- Personal fulfilment, seeking activities and hobbies that give us pleasure
But beyond that, we must consider the most basic issues, such as guaranteeing and satisfying the most basic needs of human life: food, access to drinking water, housing, work, health and leisure.How to measure quality of life?
One of the ways to measure quality of life in a generalised way is using the HDI – human development index. With this data, specific to each region, it is possible to analyse the quality and availability of access to education, income and health.
However, it is important to consider that this index is general, each person must evaluate aspects of their own life. In general, quality of life is a difficult issue to measure, as it depends on individual factors and can fluctuate over time. But the main way to evaluate it is through reflection on how we feel about different aspects of our life.
“Several factors can contribute to increasing quality of life. Our professional area, for example, is important, as we spend a lot of our time at work. A healthy and satisfying environment can positively impact our quality of life. Furthermore, having healthy family and friendship relationships is also fundamental to our happiness”, says various psychological researchers.The importance of lifestyle
The habits we cultivate throughout our lives also have a great impact on our quality of life. This means that having a balanced diet, exercising regularly and sleeping well are examples of good habits that can significantly improve your quality of life. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
For endocrinologist Yago Fernandes, physical activity, diet, sleep and spirituality play an essential role in quality of life:
“Physical exercise increases the release of serotonin, which regulates mood and is the best antidepressant. They fight depression much better than antidepressants.”Sleep and nutrition
Poor diet can lead to serious emotional problems, memory loss, difficulty moving, such as B2, vitamin D, so nutritional deficiency can be a factor that reduces quality of life. “Laughing, having humour, trying to extract humour from small things is a way to improve life expectancy, laughter also increases the release of dopamine, making us feel better.”
On the other hand, sleep is essential for the body’s recovery. “Sleep is where our entire day begins. So a good night's sleep improves our day and this enters a vicious cycle of good that leaves us with more energy during the day”, adds doctor Fernandes.Spirituality
According to renowned medical institutions, spirituality presents itself as a structuring element of the human experience.
“Spirituality is linked to maintaining and strengthening physical, mental and social health, with studies, increasingly qualified in the last three to four decades, pointing out direct benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression, substance use and suicide attempts, in addition to better quality of life and psychiatric prognosis, as well as an increase in global life expectancy by up to 7 additional years and a reduction in oxidative stress, contributing to combating neoplasms and degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's”.
Golden tips to have a better quality of life
- Take time to relax and take care of yourself, practising activities that give you pleasure
- Look for a motivating job and take annual vacation periods
- Prioritise at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day
- Cultivate healthy, supportive relationships
- Eat healthily with at least 5 meals a day
- When exposing yourself to the sun, use sunscreen
- Seek to be in contact with nature
- Finally, set goals and objectives to stay motivated
Quality of life is not something we achieve all at once. It is a search, a constant challenge, a balance between different aspects of our life. If we take care of ourselves, paying attention to our physical and mental health and seek satisfaction in the different areas of our lives, we will move towards a life with greater quality and well-being.
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