We do many stupid things under the influence of emotions, even good emotions like love. We praise cold intelligence in songs. We despise stupidity, uncontrollable emotions. And just when you think we got it right, we invent a new term – emotional intelligence (EI), capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.
Can we be emotional and intelligent at the same time? Intelligence is the ability to think, find the solutions to real life problems, the ability to predict the consequences of our actions and act on that knowledge.
To think is to understand and analyze the events as they unfold, take the appropriate decisions, learn, plan and solve any problem independently.
But, we are lazy. We know exercise is good for us; we never do it. Most of us prefer not to think; it is hard work. We act on autopilot. We listen to our gut feelings when making decisions. We let emotions run our lives. As a result, we never achieve much; our relationships are in ruins; we are miserable. To complete the vicious circle we indulge further into the realm of feelings by drinking or using addictive substances rendering our brain completely fogged and useless, to the point that we cannot function even on autopilot.
Being emotional ruins our health. Studies have shown that intense emotions like anger can actually lead to heart attacks and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. A sudden burst of anger can cause an over-the-top surge of adrenaline and noradrenaline throughout the body. During a bout of anger, the brain’s amygdala overreacts; blood rushes to the frontal lobe, the area in charge of reasoning. This is why anger can often be “blinding”.
Feelings are inescapable part of life, just like being sick. But we can be smart, we can think, we can learn to manage emotions, take a deep breath, walk away.