We are in a historic moment where the mental health of our people is a serious public health problem. Our citizens are experiencing emotional crisis again and again due to the difficult times in which we find ourselves. There are many cases this is also caused by chemical imbalances, but in other cases these crisis take place due to the lack of the management of emotions. Emotions are natural reactions to different situations. They are reactions all humans experience and higher animals (mammals), they are a way of adaptation. They can be express physically through facial expressions, also they can be expressed through behavior and verbally.
Now the problem is and the most important thing is, the way we manage our emotions. There are 3 ways to manage emotions:
- Explosive: anger can be expressed in a strong manner, with insults, shouting and even physical assaults against the others.
- Implosive: anger can be annulled and “explode inward”; do us harm ourselves.
- Assertive: anger can be expressed with verbalization, gestures, acceptable voice tones and respecting others.
On the other hand, if we talk about intelligence, do we know what the intelligence and how it works? According to Howard Gardner, Intelligence is “is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings”. Intelligence is a set of skills and abilities that the human being started to develop since the beginning of their learning process and allow the individual to respond to the different situations that are presented in the life. If Gardner defines intelligence as an ability, then it becomes a skill that can be developed. We are all born with a potential marked by genetics. But these potentialities are going to develop in one way or another depending on the environment, our experiences, education received, etc.
Then if we combine emotions and intelligence effectively we can obtain a tool that can help us with our daily situations, Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is the ability to control and regulate one’s emotions to solve problems peacefully (assertive), obtaining a well-being for themselves and for others. Goleman, proposes that emotional intelligence as an important factor of success , and basically is the “graspable” ability to understand, control and induce emotions and moods, both in oneself and in others. There are 5 major components that define EI:
Three correspond to the Intrapersonal intelligence (individual, personal knowledge)
- Self-knowledge or Self-awareness
- Self-regulation or Self-control
Two correspond to the Interpersonal intelligence (allows us to understand others)
- Social Skills or Interpersonal relationships
Self-awareness refers to the knowledge of our emotions and as they affect us. It is very important to know the way in which our State of mind influences our behavior. Self-knowledge includes:
- Emotional awareness
Self-regulation refers to manage own States of mind, impulses, and resources. It allows us to not be carried away by feelings of the moment and know to recognize what it is passing in a crisis and what lasts. Self-regulation includes:
Self-motivation refers to the emotional tendencies that lead or facilitate the achievement of the established goals. Certain doses is required for self-motivation and initiative so that we act in a way positive to setbacks. Self-motivation comprises:
- Achievement drive
Empathy refers to the ability that allows us to recognize and understand the emotions of others. Empathy includes:
- Understanding of others
- Developing others
- Counseling service
- Maximize diversity
- Political awareness
Interpersonal relationships is one of the most important things for our lives is to know how to relate to others. When we understand each other, their way of thinking, their motivations and feelings can choose the more properly interact, primarily using the communication. Interpersonal relationships include:
- Conflict management
- Ties constructor
- Team capabilities
In these times it is important to try to develop to the maximum EI to handle our problems, but more important still is to begin to teach this to our children. Personality develops as a result of the socialization process, in which the child assimilates the attitudes, values and manners of society. Family life is the first school of emotional learning. Parents are the main model of imitation of the children, the ideal is that, as parents, we begin to train and exercise our own EI that at the same time, our children acquire these habits in their domestic relationship. Treat your children as you’d like others treated them. There are 5 principles to the emotional relationship parent children:
- Be aware of your own feelings and those of your children.
- Show empathy and understand the point of views of your children
- Confront positively emotional impulses and behavior of your children and regulate them permanently.
- Arise together with their positive targets children and trace of life projects with real alternatives to achieve them.
- Use the family and social gifts to handle their relations with their children.
Remember that the goal of EI is to learn to identify their own emotions. Manage their emotional reactions by identifying appropriate ways of expressing them. Develop an unconditional acceptance of themself and others. Develop self-control and empathy: put oneself in the place of the other. Learn that there are different types of situations and that each will require some or other answers: problem solving. All of this will help us to handle situations of daily living in a healthy and effective way thus little by little will recover mental health in our country, that is much needed.