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EDU4U: Mental Health & Emotional Intelligence

Mental health and emotional intelligence

You may have met an intelligent person in your life who had little empathy, blamed others for their mistakes, or got into a conflict with someone because they misjudged the other person’s emotional state. It was because this person had a low EQ. Research shows that people with a higher EQ are often more successful in their profession. 

Your intelligence quotient (IQ) measures your capacity to learn, comprehend, and apply knowledge to daily tasks. This involves several skills, like logic and verbal communication, concentration, comprehension, analytical skills to solve complex issues, but represents also good memory. 

Emotional intelligence which we now refer to as EQ (emotional quotient) is defined as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. 

EQ includes the following areas such as:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills
  • Perseverance

People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others. A person with a high EQ takes responsibility for their feelings. They will say ‘I feel touched‘ instead of ‘You are an insensitive fool!‘. They describe and label their feelings, not people and situations. They will say ‘I’m impatient.‘ instead of ‘This is absurd, it should have been done a long time ago.‘ Neither EQ nor IQ are better. Good emotional intelligence helps you navigate social and emotional situations well, while good intellectual intelligence sets you up with the cognitive tools to understand and overcome challenges in your daily routine.

Doctor Daniel Goleman describes five components of emotional intelligence and questions to them. For example: What am I feeling right now? What is the other person feeling right now? What can I do to control my emotions? How can I show interest in this person? Is it easy? Or difficult? And why?

Since emotions are closely related to mental health I have prepared for you 5 more interesting facts about emotions. Some also from a biological point of view.

  1. Emotions are neutral. Every emotion is simply a signal, delivering a message. Even difficult emotions like fear, anger or sadness are serving an important function. Only actions connected with emotions can be bad – but not the emotions themselves. 
  2. There are 8  basic emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Surprise, Anticipation, Anger and Trust. The others are derived from them.
  3. Emotions can be physical. Psychologists and scientists say that emotions can be felt not only in the brain but also in the rest of the body. As shown in the diagram, hot colours represent the regions that are stimulated for that particular emotion, whereas cool colours show deactivated areas. For example, the upper half of the body seems to be heavily stimulated during emotions such as happiness and pride, while the lower half of the body is oftentimes numb, especially during sadness and depression. 
  4. A brain is heavily involved in our emotions and helps with everything from recognizing our emotions to feeling our emotions and even attaching emotions to our memories! The center of emotions is located in the limbic system. Hypothalamus regulates our bodies response when we are experiencing emotions. For example, if we are really excited our heart rate might increase. The amygdala is probably the most important brain structure for emotions. It is basically our brain’s emotional response center. It‘s so powerful at processing emotions like anger and fear that it may cause an aggressive or scared response before the rest of our bain realizes what is happening. That is why it can be so easy to get angry without even thinking what is happening.
  5. And the last one – We have 43 facial muscles expressing the whole spectrum of emotions. 

I would like to tell you something about mental health and present a quiz. You can find the quiz on this link: And I must say that the inspiration for our project was a quiz from psychology today website. We already know that Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act and treat others and make decisions. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. So here we have the Your Mental Health Today test where there are 20 questions with a key. You answer the questions based on how strongly you agree or disagree with the statement. At the end of the test, you will find your results ranging from 20 to 100 points. 

When evaluating your answers, you can see the score range and its meaning. I think most of you will be somewhere in the middle. If you scored between 40 and 54 points according to the quiz, you are completely unable to regulate your own emotions. But I must say, However, even this result can be a positive step forward in solving your mental health problems. If you are between 55 and 74 points, you probably struggle with emotional ups and downs and the demands of life. There is at least one area where you probably want to make significant changes. The penultimate phase, which represents 75 to 89 points, shows that you manage the emotional fluctuations of life very well, but here we also find at least one area in which it would be appropriate to make some change. However, we generally manage our emotions well. According to the last scale, you are a person highly resistant to stressful situations and in this respect you can be a role model for others. However, I personally think that being in this position is rather an exception.

I believe that you will understand more about your emotions and also your mental health. Finally, I offer you questions to think about: 

  • Are you afraid to express your feelings in front of others? 
  • Are you interested in other people’s feelings when making decisions?

Author: EDU4U, Slovakia

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