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Topic Vocabulary: Health and modern life

16 años > Inglés > Health and Modern Life

1- The school newspaper

”Amazing Teens”, the students’ newspaper of a local school in Chile surveyed hundreds of students with the following question: If you can summarize the effects of the modern world today, what would you say in one word or expression?

The students came out with important key concepts that define today’s modern life, they also mentioned characteristics that apply to people today, and phrases that can help understand the pressure of modern life.

Here is a list of important concepts people mentioned:


Key concept Definition Example
Success A good result from an activity My new study method was a success
Work overload To have too many things to do for either work or school I have work overload. I can’t do much this weekend
Emotional management It refers to the ability to know and control your emotions Children under the age of 8 don’t have a strong emotional management
Wellbeing It refers to the state of being happy, healthy, and comfortable with oneself. Wellbeing is the most essential thing to live a good life.
Burnout syndrome It refers to a condition in which stress has not been controlled and causes extreme tiredness, mental distance, and negativism. Because she didn’t pay attention to what her body and mind communicated, she was diagnosed with burnout syndrome early in her career.
Mindfulness This means maintaining full awareness of our thoughts, body, sensations of the present, rather than focusing on the past. Some ways to practice mindfulness include breathing exercises so you get conscious of your whole body
Mantras A word, statement, or slogan that aids concentration or meditation “Don’t worry be happy” is a very popular mantra from the seventies.
Binge Working The act of doing a lot of work at once I regret not doing any homework this weekend. Now I have to complete everything by binge working
Procrastination The act of delaying or postponing something until the last minute Procrastination takes a lot of energy and causes anxiety. Organization is the best tool


They mentioned characteristics that define today’s people too:

These characteristics can have a positive, a negative or a neutral connotation that depends on the context of speaking. Connotation is the value that words have according to their meaning. Though these words are commonly used in Spanish as well, here is a diagram that organizes them according to connotation.


calmed hardworking overwhelmed stressed


Calmed has a positive connotation. It refers to the feeling of being at peace with oneself. Hardworking means to work a lot, so this can be positive or negative depending on the content. Overwhelmed refers to be taking up a lot. This can be emotionally enriching or draining, also depending on the content. Both of these words are neutral in terms of connotation. Finally, we have stressed. This is definitely negative in connotation as it refers to the fact of being exhausted because of physical and mental activities.

These are some phrases that students referred to in the survey:

Meet varied standards

This refers to live to society expectations. For example: get the best grades, be admitted in the best universities, graduate on time.

Taking more than you can chew

This refers to taking too much work and not do all of it successfully. For example: imagine you took too many responsibilities as a class president and didn’t delegate to the rest of your classmates. It means that you don’t know your limits. 

Don’t let yourself behind

This refers to devote time for fun and mental health: do yoga, play with friends, go to parties. Life your life as you are supposed to.

What do you think are the most difficult things to complete today? How can you organize yourself and stay sane?


Let’s read this expository text about modern life and the importance of health. An expository text provides factual information about a topic. Pay attention to the numbers in each word as they reflect the results of the survey.



2- Healthy bodies, healthy minds

It seems that being hardworking1 is the key for success2 in today’s society. But, what’s the price of work overload in teenagers and adults?

The pressure is on. Since you start school you are expected to meet varied standards3 related to academics4, to emotional management5, and to living a healthy lifestyle6. These, however, are difficult to achieve when you can’t find a healthy work and life balance7. This means that sometimes you are so attached to meet standards that you forget about your physical and/or emotional wellbeing8.

The above has brought up many issues to teenager today. It is estimated that thousands of people have been diagnosed with depression9 or burnout syndrome10

A good way to prevent mental health issues is not taking more than you can chew11, and to try some mindfulness12 daily exercises. These might consist on mediation13, yoga, using mantras14 to boost your confidence, etc.

Organization is also key not to fall in work overload, binge working15 or procrastination16. Using checklists17, reminders, and productivity18 applications can be useful.

The important thing is that you don’t let yourself behind19. Taking up work doesn’t mean you need to forget about the most important thing in your life: yourself.

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Fecha de publicación: 05/14/2024

Última edición: 06/05/2024

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