The Healthy Mind

With Dr. Olga Filippa Nel, Clinical Psychologist

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand them and realize how they affect the people around you. It also involves your perception of others, because when you are aware of how they feel, you can manage relationships more effectively.

Recent research shows that traditional Intelligence Quotient scores, your “IQ”, although important in terms of evaluating the probability of academic achievement, are not sufficient to measure overall success.

Emotional Intelligence is measured in five areas:

  • Self-awareness – the ability to understand your emotions so that feelings don’t rule you, trusting your intuition and knowing your strengths and weaknesses;
  • Self-Regulation – the ability to control emotions and impulses, thinking before you act, knowing when and how to express emotions appropriately;
  • Motivation – being highly productive, enjoying challenges, the willingness to defer immediate results for long-term success;
  • Empathy – the ability to identify with and understand the feelings, wants, needs, and viewpoints of others. Living in an open, accepting, non-judgemental and honest way;
  • Social Skills – knowing how to be a team player, helping others develop and shine. The ability to manage disputes, communicate effectively and nurture relationships.

Emotional Intelligence can evolve and increase with our desire to learn and grow. Here are some tips to get you started. Begin by learning how to deal with negative emotions by changing the way you think about a situation. Manage stress by knowing when you have reached your limit and be proactive in taking the necessary actions to reduce your stress levels. Be assertive and set appropriate boundaries, know how to say “no” without being disagreeable, prioritise. Be in control of difficult relationships or situations by focusing on your desired outcome. Finally, work on your resilience and flexibility by developing a growth mindset, one that sees change and setbacks as opportunities, not threats.

Cultivating your Emotional Intelligence is a great way to improve overall wellbeing!

Dr. Olga Filippa Nel

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