Emotions play a central role in the way we psychologically experience ourselves and the manner in which we conduct social relationships. They help organize our thoughts and actions. They guide our behaviour and allow us to meet the challenges of everyday life. The ability to understand and regulate our own and other people’s emotional states and the ability to manage relationships well defines much of what it is to be mentally healthy. Individuals with integrated brains in which the complex relationship between thought, feeling and behaviour is recognized and handled well are generally good at managing social interaction. Emotionally intelligent people tend to enjoy good mental health. Those who cannot regulate their emotions become slaves to them (Salovey and Mayer 1990: 201). They mismanage relationships and are more likely to suffer poor mental health.
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