One of the worst traps we can fall into when deciding how we want to live is to assume that we alone influence our own well-being. This is why the concept of socio-emotional well-being is so important.
Throughout this article, we will examine what socio-emotional well-being is and why it is a central concept in both psychology and the social sciences.
What is socio-emotional well-being?
Socio-emotional well-being is the set of biological, contextual and relational factors that make us feel good, In a comprehensive and holistic sense. In short, it’s about feeling good about yourself and in the material and social context in which you live.
It is important to note, for example, that people with all basic needs covered (That is, those who have to do with maintaining good health in real time, or in the very short term) may feel very bad for several reasons: a work environment in which punishment prevails, poor social life, etc.
Therefore, just as mental disorders are not experienced simply “from the inside out”, but the environment also influences our way of life, our well-being too.
The concept of socio-emotional well-being means that happiness and health move from phenomena to be treated individually to much more complex phenomena, for which public and collective management of the environment also matters. Therefore, the public administration also has a duty to care about this issue.
- Article by psychologist Bertrand Regader: “metacognition: what is it, concept and theories”
Contextual elements that influence this
To help you better understand what socio-emotional well-being is, it is good to review some examples of aspects of our environment that influence this. Let’s see.
1. Presence or absence of abuse
This is a very important element, especially since violence is not always physical or results in injuryBut it can get psychological and very subtle.
2. Amount of social and environmental stimuli
Living in a place with a very rich variety of novelties and stimuli is not the same as living in a lonely cabin in the middle of a desert. Finally, the monotony and the scarcity of novelties mark mental health.
3. Presence or absence of discrimination
Discrimination is still a very present social problem and is suffered by various groups in vulnerable situations. Therefore, it has an impact on the socio-emotional well-being of people who suffer in their own flesh from this discrimination and, to a lesser extent, on that of other citizens, who have evidence of discrimination. the fragility of the social fabric in which they live.
4. Presence of a culture of solidarity
Solidarity enables disadvantaged people to receive help from those in a better situation. Consequently, it is a logic that goes in the opposite direction to individualism, And starts from a collectivist conception of society in which socio-emotional well-being is of great importance.
Socio-emotional well-being at vital stages
The needs to which socio-emotional well-being must meet evolve over the stages of life. Let’s look at several examples of this.
During childhood, physical contact with the father or mother is particularly important the existence of a rich communication both in the content and in the emotional charge that is expressed through gestures and language.
In addition, it is important to have a rich environment that promotes learning and the development of curiosity.
In adolescence, having is particularly important healthy relationships with peer group members (Friends and classmates). Self-identity and self-esteem develop, in large part, based on how others treat us.
From around 15 to 20 years old, the need to develop an independent life and perceive its own effectiveness. Knowing how to do everything that adults do makes you feel part of society.
From around 20 to 45 years old, social problems and intellectual concerns become more important. Access to cultureIn order to be able to learn in a self-taught way, they gain strength, as they seek to cultivate their own knowledge. In turn, one ceases to give so much importance to the opinions of others about oneself, because the concept of self is much more established than before.
At this point, we tend to value stability more based on what has been achieved over the years. In the same way, the risk of isolation due to a frequent drop in the number of friendships it is also worrying and can endanger socio-emotional well-being.