Health and Emotional Intelligence – Where’s the Connection?

 – Please, doctor, hurry, I can’t breathe, I’m dying?
– Other complaints?
– Yes, I often have a headache, and confusion, I have difficulty remembering, I am irritable.
– Something else?
     – I panic, I’m afraid I’m going to die, and I often cry and laugh at the same time.
– How good is the sleep? – asks the doctor.
– I haven’t been able to sleep for months. – answers the patient admitted for examination in the Emergency Department.

A clear picture of psychosomatic symptoms due to stress is the doctor’s conclusion! What is this? How often do we think that everything around us is collapsing and we are dying, without realizing that the basis is our emotional reactions to the assessments we make of the world around us.

Only when we are in front of the doctor’s office do we remember that our most valuable resource is our health! The most easily attainable wealth is health, only for people who have realized how significant a role their emotions have for the quality of life and their success! They know that emotional intelligence is the recipe for health, maintaining a healthy status, and a healthy relationship with the environment and people around us!

When we talk about emotional intelligence, the logical questions are: Do you know the emotion you feel? How well can you manage your feelings without letting them change you? Which of your emotions influence your motivation?

If you know the answers to these questions, you probably have the skills to regulate your emotions, which form the basis of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence connects our knowledge of the world around us with our emotions, it facilitates our capacity for resilience, motivation, empathy, reasoning, stress management, and communication. Emotional intelligence also coordinates our ability to read and navigate multiple social situations and conflicts. It matters and enables a person to realize a more fulfilling, healthy, and happy life.

Emotions have a direct relationship with our hormonal regulation and the work of our endocrine system, and they are our mediators to adapt to the environment.

Hans Selye became famous for describing the general syndrome of adaptation as a condition of life. Regardless of whether it concerns intoxication, a microbial infection, or strong emotion, the body mobilizes its defenses to meet environmental stressors.

The first moment of the adaptation syndrome is the reaction of anxiety (emotion), which is manifested by reduced blood pressure, tachycardia, and continuous production of catecholamines, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and corticosteroids.

Then comes the period of resistance and readiness to cope, during which defenses increase and the adaptation achieved is maintained. If the stress is removed, the equilibrium returns to normal; if the stress continues, the body is exhausted both physically and emotionally.

The exhaustion stage is characterized by the person’s inability to maintain their defenses and ends in despair and apathy, again emotional reactions.

At these times, functional, metabolic, and anatomical changes occur that can cause death. Some somatic diseases are directly related to stress and are most easily recognized through emotional reactions and changes.

We all have stressful days, this is completely normal and completely manageable if we have awareness and emotional regulation skills. A person with a high level of emotional intelligence has enough self-awareness to recognize negative feelings and react accordingly to prevent feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger.

Uncontrolled and misunderstood emotions can exacerbate our vulnerability to other mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

The skills to perceive, understand, regulate, and transform emotions can effectively help people cope with negative emotional states such as stress and promote more positive emotions instead. Failure to deal with stress can further worsen our mental state and affect our physical health.

Research into the social, psychological, and medical components of stress underscores the importance of regulating and transforming negative emotions. In order to deal effectively with stress and reduce negative psychological and physical effects on health, it is important to know the mechanisms of our emotional reactions.

Many scientists consider the work and professional environment as a major source of stress. They accept that the ability to effectively recognize and deal with emotions and emotional information in the workplace is a vital means of preventing and processing occupational stress.

Emotional intelligence allows us to recognize stress factors, evaluate them, assess how important it is to react emotionally or rationally. The intelligent use of emotions is a fundamental mechanism for psychological adaptation and well-being.

People with higher levels of emotional intelligence have been found to report lower levels of stress and higher levels of happiness, indicating that the ability to regulate perceived stress directly affects satisfaction (Ruiz-Aranda, Extremera & Pineda-Galán, 2014).

Emotional intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It determines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines most of our daily actions. Research shows that it forms 80 percent of the “success” in our lives, and a successful person is healthy and optimistic!

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