Blog Post

Improving your health through your mind: The impact of emotional intelligence

Recently, the World Health Organization has officially classified workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon, in its latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Burnout happens when one feels exhausted, with feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, leading to reduced professional efficacy.

The WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Although this clinical concept was first approached in 1974, by the German-American psychologist Freudenberger, it took 45 years to recognize that the causes and the consequences of this syndrome can lead to a severe health condition.

The circumstances that lead to a state of burnout are many, but there is one shared question that arises:

How can we better cope with stress and face the challenges in our work life?

Psychologists believe that the first step to deal with challenges is to recognize and control your own emotions, which is the definition of Emotional Intelligence.

Popularized in the mid-1990s by the American psychologist Daniel Goleman, the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has 5 key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. And from those components, we would like to highlight motivation as a part of emotional intelligence that deals with improvement, advancement, and progress. Which is particularly relevant when discussing the impact of EQ on your physical health.

“When people are in the helpless state, facing debilitating difficulties such as a job, their immune systems are compromised, making it harder for their bodies to fight the challenge.”

Says Conn Bertish, lecture at Pi School and expert in extreme creative training.

The studies around the topic of emotional intelligence claim that people who accurately identify their moods can cope with stressful situations, seeking resolutions to their issues. Which, in the words of our lecture means that “happy people are harder to kill because their immune systems are stronger. And you can keep that state for a longer time, by the decision you make in your life.”

Emotional intelligence can be used as a tool to increase our well-being by getting deliberate about our behavior and the choices we make.

“It's not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters” Epictetus

The good news is that our level of emotional intelligence can be improved. Working each key component of EQ can help you achieve higher levels of well-being and, consequently, better immune system and resilience.

We provide you with a list with a couple of points to work on to improve your EQ:

Keep these goals in mind every day and make a conscious effort to access your feelings and immediately deal with them. This way, you’ll feel more empowered and in control of the way you deal with circumstances and, consequently, stronger and happier.


  • Marta Romão

    Social Media Marketing Specialist

Want to work your resilience and reduce the chances of burnout? Join the Becoming Harder to Kill program.


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