We tell you what we need it for, what types there are, and how it affects social relationships.
Emotional intelligence is the way we respond to emotions.
American journalist and writer Daniel Goleman defines it as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to empathize and to hope.
It isn’t something we’re born with, but we develop it throughout our lives, allowing us to have a social conscience and to establish healthy bonds.
How can you develop it? Mario Carvajal, a psychologist at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, recommends that his patients observe their behaviors and patterns, identify their emotions, describe them, and discover their origins and how they respond when they experience them.
Patients question themselves and look at whether or not their reactions are appropriate and –from there– can modify their responses in the future.
According to Howard Gardner, a psychologist at Harvard University, at least eight types of intelligence have been identified in humans, which are:
Carlos Ardila, a member of the International Bureau of Applied Cognitive Neuroscience, agrees with Daniel Goleman in that emotional intelligence responds to a combination of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, the latter being fundamental to social life, in relationships, or at work.
Situations that are out of our control, such as the pandemic, can give rise to thoughts of hopelessness.
Matías Bertone, the academic director of the Board of Cognitive Neuroscience at CIFAL Argentina, recommends identifying and changing them.
People who are experiencing sadness in their lives tend to isolate themselves, but if they modify their behavior and decide to exercise or do activities they enjoy, that feeling will change.
When those thoughts persist, it’s important to seek professional help to find someone who’ll listen and give guidance.
Carlos Ardila adds that governments should invest in training professionals to help people develop emotional intelligence from an early age, since stress, anxiety, and depression affect people’s performance and impact their activities. To that end, therapy should be seen as an investment.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. In addition, mental health helps us face difficulties and form healthy interpersonal relationships.
“Mental health is present in everything we do, so our emotional well-being will affect everything, from how we function at work to how we interact with our friends, partners, or acquaintances,” highlights Augusto Martínez Ruvalcaba, a clinical psychologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
During confinement due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in cases of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress. That’s why programs such as Covid Mental Health and Covid Grief have been created for the general population.
How can you improve your mental health? By establishing fixed working, lunch, rest, and sleeping hours, eating healthily, not overloading yourself with news, keeping goals and objectives in mind, and holding virtual get-togethers with loved ones until we’re able to have physical contact again.
2020 left 300 million people diagnosed with depression, according to the WHO, which predicts that its effects will persist in the mental health of the population.
Mariana Núñez, a psychologist at the Metropolitan Autonomous University, gives some warning signs that can help identify this disease, which has become the main cause of disability and can lead to suicide in extreme cases:
There are people who are having a hard time with the pandemic, such as female victims of violence, the elderly who live far away from family and friends, people grieving over a financial or material loss, and those with a genetic predisposition who require medication to regulate dopamine and serotonin secretion.
According to Marcos Vicuña, Western Region Director of Wellbeing and Counseling at Tec de Monterrey, there’s another factor that predisposes a person to depression: living surrounded by toxic people, especially if they’re family, because they don’t allow for the development of autonomy and there’s emotional dependence between members; they override personal decisions; and they don’t allow relationships with other people, among other factors.
Another aspect to consider for emotional balance is the way in which we form relationships.
It’s important to understand that there are different types of romantic relationships. Sexologists like Farith Zambrano, a Tec de Monterrey graduate, say that configurations guided by stereotypes which are often heteronormative must be broken.
He says there should be good communication and a sense of “us”, in which they can express common interests and why they have chosen a certain configuration.