The emotional intelligence is the way how we respond to emotions.
Daniel Goleman, American journalist and writer, he defines it as the ability to self-motivate, resist disappointments, control impulses and delay gratification, show empathy and hope.
It is not something you are born with but it develops throughout your life and allows you to have a social conscience and establish healthy links.
Emotional intelligence and mental health
How to develop it? Mario Carvajal placeholder image, psychologist from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, recommends his patients to observe their behaviors and patterns, to identify their emotions, describe them, locate the origin and how they respond when they experience them.
The patient does the exercise of questioning himself and seeing whether or not his reactions are adequate and –from there– they can modify their responses in the future.
What types of emotional intelligence are there?
At least eight types of emotional intelligence have been characterized in humans, according to Howard Gardner, a psychologist at the Harvard University and they are:
Naturalist: that helps us to distinguish and use elements of the environment
Kinesthetic body: the ability to unite body and mind to achieve physical improvement
Musical: when we get our creativity stimulated by music
Mathematical logician: ease of calculating or perceiving geometry
Space: that helps us process information in three dimensions
Linguistics: express our thoughts through words
Interpersonal: the ability we have to be empathetic and adapt to the environment
Intrapersonal: to meet our needs
The member of the International Bureau of Applied Cognitive Neurosciences, Carlos Ardila, agrees with Daniel Goleman that emotional intelligence responds to a combination of Interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal, the latter being fundamental in social life, with a partner or in our work.
Identify thoughts and change them
Situations that get out of our control like the pandemic can generate thoughts like hopelessness.
Matias Bertone, academic director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Council of Cifal Argentina, recommends identifying and changing them.
A person who experiences sadness in his life tends to isolate himself, but if he modifies his behavior and decides to exercise or do activities that he likes, that feeling will change.
When those thoughts persist, seek professional help to find listening and guidance.
Carlos Ardila adds that the State should invest in the training of professionals who help people to develop emotional intelligence from an early age since stress, anxiety and depression affect people’s performance and activities and, in that sense, therapy It should be seen as an investment.
Mental health is important today, tomorrow and always
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines as a state of complete well-being: physical, mental and social In addition, the mental health It serves to face difficulties and establish healthy interpersonal relationships.
“Mental health is present in everything we do, so our emotional well-being will affect everything, from how you function at work to how we interact with our friends, partner or acquaintances”, highlights the clinical psychologist of the University Autonomous National of Mexico (UNAM), Augusto Martínez Ruvalcaba.
During isolation from the pandemic, there has been an increase in cases of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress. That is why programs such as Covid Mental Health and Covid Grief have been created for the general population.
How to improve mental health? Establishing fixed hours of work, food, rest and sleep, eating healthy, not saturating with news, keeping goals and objectives in mind, and holding virtual meetings with loved ones until the conditions exist to be in physical contact again.
Depression, a common illness
The 2020 left a balance of 300 million people diagnosed with depression, the WHO reported, and predicts that its effects will persist on the mental health of the population.
Mariana Nunez, a psychologist from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, offers some warning signs that can help identify this disease that has become the main cause of disability and in extreme cases can lead to suicide:
Lack of energy Lack of appetite Effects on the relationship with others Abandonment of life projects, lack of activities Neglect of personal image
There are people who are having a hard time in the pandemic such as women victims of violence, the elderly who live far from family and friends, people in mourning for some financial or material loss, and those with a genetic predisposition who require medication to regulate dopamine and serotonin secretion.
There is another factor that predisposes to depression: living surrounded by toxic people, especially if it is the family, because they do not allow the development of autonomy and there is an emotional dependence between the members; they override personal decisions; do not allow links with other people, among other factors, according to Marcos Vicuña, Director of Welfare and Counseling, Western Region of the Tec de Monterrey.
The importance of couple relationships
Another aspect to consider for emotional balance is the way in which we relate.
It is important to know that there are different types of relationships. Sexologists like Farith zambrano, graduated from Tec de Monterrey, says that configurations guided by stereotypes, often heteronormed, must be broken.
He says that there must be good communication and a sense of “we”, where common interests are expressed and why they have chosen a certain configuration.
We explain some of them:
They are traditional couple relationships, they are generally monogamous, heteronormed, with three main sexual orientations: heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. A sentimental and sexual exclusivity agreement is established between the two.
Each couple defines the rules of what is allowed and what is not. They can be open to sexual experiences with others, reserving love for the relationship or establishing sentimental ties with others such as swingers.
They assume that monogamy is not natural and that you can love more than one person. They become systems of three and more members up to hexagons or more. The dynamics is variable, individuals can include someone else, in some cases they must like both, and in others, each one gets involved with another person on their own.
Zambrano Medina comments that in this modality jealousy does not exist because it is a construction of monogamy, it is not allowed to lie either, everyone involved should know about the others.
There is also interaction between systems, if, for example, a member of a hexagon is linked in turn to another hexagon.
There are very good emotional relationships but there are no erotic exchanges.
Also read: Why is mental health important?