Using Emotional Intelligence during the Covid-19 pandemic

Globally countries are responding differently to the second phase and most deadly Covid-19 pandemic with some having introduced more intense measures with lockdown being the major one. These have focused much on the physical wellbeing with minimum attention to the mental wellbeing which is so vital. An adjustment to new ways of learning, working from home has brought fear, anxiety, stress, depression and the emotional list is endless including irrational thoughts for the future.

The Covid-19 has brought a lot of challenges especially on mental health. In a World of Covid-19, everyone is dealing with intense emotions and huge levels of anxiety. All the different emotions that we experience daily aren’t bad; they work to serve us if we know how best to handle them. But if we let them get out of control, they can paralyze us or send us into a downward spiral.

We have reached a level where we need to intertwine mental health and behaviour for a positive environment. This can only be possible when we recognise how our emotions influence our thoughts. In the field of psychology emotional intelligence is one of the key areas that constitute our behaviour and how we relate with others. Therefore we need to focus on emotional intelligence to improve our mental health wellbeing with mental health issues becoming a staple in such world human life threatening pandemics and also in the morden medical aspect.

Emotional intelligence refers to one’s capacity to perceive, process and regulate emotional information accurately and effectively, both within oneself and in others and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. Emotional Intelligence which is known as EI highly influence our behaviour and the way we relate with others in the society. Therefore, treating Covid-19 with medication alone helps the physical aspect yet destroying the psychological which becomes crippled and a no look twice aspect in one’s mental health.

Therefore we need to make use of Emotional intelligence especially in this pandemic. Our emotions communicate, they give a message from us to us. They help us understand situations and also how to react to different situations. All emotions are either positive or negative and it is up to you to choose which communication channel to focus on, that is the positive or the negative. With the lessening up of the lockdown restrictions every individual needs to be emotionally vibrant since the unending pandemic has brought a different eye in the future flooding uncertainty and skepticism among other things.

Emotional intelligence isn’t about focusing on emotions and trying to wipe them off in our day to day life but rather it’s about understanding and managing those emotions. This helps us to balance our thoughts and emotions thus thinking rationally and making decisions which are not emotionally driven so not to later regret our actions. Thus, making emotions work for you, instead of against you.

In this era some of our family members, friends, workmates who were known before in navigating change easily and coping with others may find it difficult to do so. Failing to manage your emotions after a long period of time under lockdown is a part of human nature and a psychological normalcy.

All the different emotions that we experience day to day, they give us information more of how and what we are experiencing together with possible reactions. These emotions they do come and go. They are no bad or good emotions but we have bad and good ways of expressing and reacting to the emotions. Know how you react towards your emotions. Don’t let your emotions negatively affect a step ahead because each emotion passes and makes room for another experience. Therefore, we need to apply emotional intelligence to cope up with the uncertainty and the different worries we do have.

Emotional intelligence operates in four different ways which are perceiving emotions, using emotions to facilitate thought, understating emotions and also managing emotions. These four will help us in understanding emotional intelligence. Firstly one needs to perceive emotions. Perceiving emotions relates to being aware of your own and recognizing other people’s state. It also includes identification of other people’s feelings and emotions accurately and appropriately.

As we perceive emotions we need to ask ourselves questions like, how do I feel? How do others feel? After perceiving emotions one needs to use emotions to facilitate thoughts. This is led by questions like; Is the mood helpful? Does it focus my attention? Does it motivate me? Does it blind me? Aren’t it affecting my present? These questions will facilitate better judgments, capitalizing on mood changes so one can appreciate multiple points of view and differentiate between positive and negative sentiments.

sing emotions to facilitate thoughts will help one to direct thoughts to the most important information which will help you to think more creative. How we attend to and appraise our lives has an effect on how we feel. For example: a person afraid of dogs see one in the streets as threatening which then leads to emotional distress and a person who sees dogs as friendly will have a different emotional response to the same situation.

We also need to have empathy that is by understanding our own and others emotions. This brings in questions like; why do I feel this way? Why does the other person feel this way? How will we feel? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself in an emotional triggering moment. This phase of emotional intelligence includes understanding the relationships between various emotions, perceiving the causes and consequences of emotions, understanding complex feelings and contradictory states, and understanding the transitions among emotions. This helps to strengthen rapport at workplaces and family bond. It guides on what to say and how to react around others. To help in understanding own and other emotions you need to simply recognize, respect, and accept yours and others feelings as they happen. One also need to create a habit of assessing his or her feelings in the course of the day.

We also need to be able to manage our emotions and managing emotions refers to being open to both pleasant and unpleasant feelings; monitoring and reflecting on your emotions and those of others. We all have disappointments; we all get angry and sometimes reacting negatively to these emotions likely leads to impulsive behaviors and irrational thoughts which will then affect your relationship with others. To manage your emotions one needs to react well that is choosing how and when to express the emotions we feel. Having a sense of when it’s best to speak out and when it’s better to wait before acting on, or reacting to, what you feel.

Managing of emotions leads to a positive mindset whilst focusing much on what matters. A positive mindset can be accomplished by focusing your brain’s attention on something that is completely stress-free. Give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Identify a positive think that once happened, no matter how small it is our brain can be easily fooled by that. Good moments you once experienced a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, a day ago or perhaps you are looking forward to an exciting event. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative due to daily stressors or uncertainty over the future which is not yet there.

Never let your feelings run away with you or allow you to live in a different world which is not the reality. Give time with your emotions and never allow them to ruin your day. We might fail to control the pandemic but with Emotional Intelligence we can control ourselves, who we are and those around us as we positively impact humanity.

Written by:
Bothwell Matewe
Contact: +263783904710 / +263717426237
Email address: [email protected]/ [email protected]

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