Published in El Pais, 27 November 2021.
When you think about quality of life, you usually look at your health and life situation in the present. The horizon of many is the short term. This can generate some problems in the overall quality of life and health.
- Indulge or reward yourself. This is good, but many do it regularly by increasing unnecessary consumption that puts pressure on our planet.
- Eat or drink something to kill stress.
- Watch TV or play games to relax.
All of this is leading to:
- Difficulties to maintain weight
- A complex situation to eliminate depressive states or make friends
- Complications to save money for the future
Psychologist Walter Mischel and his colleagues at Stanford University studied the effect of delayed gratification in the marshmallow experiment. He concluded that people who learn to control their impulses for instant gratification as children have a better chance of studying, have less body fat, and use less drugs or alcohol in adult life. So I think it is worth experimenting with delaying our gratification and that of our children and adolescents in order to improve their overall quality of life in the long run.
We try so hard to eliminate stress, but we just can’t seem to eliminate it from our lives. What did people do before? Perhaps we could learn something from them:
- Cooking as a mode of therapy
- Read a book for some hours to forget about the problem
- Go out for sports or jogging. Oxygenation and tiredness help to forget everything and focus on recovering makes us relax in addition to thinking that we are doing something good for our body.
- Call a friend or family member to chat. The talk helps us relax and connect with people by talking about our personal problems or inquiring about the lives of our friends.
- Order things in our home. Giving a new order to things and throwing away or giving away things that one does not use helps to empty our mind and motivate ourselves with a new project gives us new energy.
Many activities to incorporate long-term thinking into our lives.