Emotional Intelligence Essentials: Anxiety Causes & Mental Health

Anxiety Causes, Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing

Essential Emotional Intelligence Resources for Anxiety & Mental Health

What causes anxiety, and how can we use emotional intelligence to manage anxiety better? At the extreme, anxiety is part of “Mental illness” which describes a clinical challenge… but what’s the opposite? What would it mean to have the emotional and mental wellbeing to flourish, even in challenging circumstances? Here are our top emotional intelligence resources to understand anxiety causes and fuel mental health.

Mental Health Awareness

The current state of global mental health is a cause for concern. Here are a few statistics that illuminate the depth and severity of the problem.

More than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. In the United States, 56.4% of US young adults (18-24) experience symptoms of anxiety + depression, per the Kaiser Family Foundation, and a 2020 Cigna study found 61% of US adults to be lonely.

And it seems to be getting worse.

The pandemic, unsurprisingly, has generally eroded people’s mental health. In the first few months of the pandemic, loneliness increased by 20 to 30 percent, and emotional distress tripled, per researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad writing in HealthAffairs.

But declining mental health goes back before the pandemic started. The World Health Organization reports a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders since 2017. This is a longstanding issue.

 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a term used both for a feeling of generalized unease due to unknown or persistent threats and to a clinical mental health disorder tied to overproduction of cortisol and difficulty returning to a calm state.

What Are Anxiety Causes?

Anxiety is caused by a generalized sense of unknown threat. The feeling of anxiety is a message that something is wrong; the feeling is pushing you to seek out and address the danger. The problem is, sometimes the threat can’t be known, or is too big to effectively address (eg climate crisis). 

 

Mental Health and Social Media

One interesting element that has lately received a lot of attention in the media is the relationship between mental health and social media. Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.

Mental Health Definition

Proceedings from the European Psychiatric Association, reported here in the Journal of the World Psychiatry Association, find the 4 key ingredients for mental health are:

  1. basic cognitive and social skills
  2. ability to recognize, express and modulate one’s own emotions, as well as empathize with others
  3. flexibility and ability to cope with adverse life events and function in social roles
  4. harmonious relationship between body and mind

These factors are all linked to emotional intelligence, and factor 2 could be a definition of EQ.

Mental Health Resources

Emotional intelligence skills are one key resource to support mental health.

A wide range of emotional intelligence skills have been found to improve wellbeing and mental health, including:

If you want to use emotional intelligence to improve your mental health, try downloading the 12 Days of Wellbeing eBook, which walks you though daily activities to improve optimism, purpose, empathy and more. Or even better, download the Free Mental Health Kit for Children, Teens & Adults, which includes the 12 Days of Wellbeing eBook along with other resources, tips and insights.

Plus there are more articles below that explore specific aspects of mental health and emotional intelligence.

Free Mental Health Kit for Children, Teens & Adults

  • 6 activities & resources you can use today
  • for use with yourself, clients, family, or friends

 

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