Journal of Neuroscience & Clinical Research

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Review Article, J Neurosci Clin Res Vol: 8 Issue: 3

Emotional Intelligence and Psychological Disorders

John Nkeobuna Nnah Ugoani*

1Department of Management Sciences, Rhema University, Aba, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author: John Nkeobuna Nnah Ugoani,
Department of Management Sciences, Rhema University, Aba, Nigeria

Received date: 30 August, 2023, Manuscript No. JNSCR-23-111697;

Editor assigned date: 01 September, 2023, PreQC No. JNSCR-23-111697 (PQ);

Reviewed date: 15 September, 2023, QC No. JNSCR-23-111697;

Revised date: 22 September, 2023, Manuscript No. JNSCR-23-111697 (R);

Published date: 29 September, 2023 DOI: 10.4172/Jnscr.1000163.

Citation: Ugoani JNN (2023) Emotional Intelligence and Psychological Disorders. J Neurosci Clin Res 8:3.


Emotional Intelligence as the ability to perceive and regulate emotions in people is also associated with the emotional centres and the brain and helps in managing human behavior. Its components of self-awareness, social-awareness, emotional perception and emotional regulation are factors that interfere with the social brain in the mitigation of psychological disorders. Emotional intelligence as a dispositional variable also interacts with the circuitry emanating from the amygdala, including the brain stem which regulates reflexive and automatic human functions. This inoculating effect is important in regulating psychological disorders like anger, anxiety and depression that can lead to both heart and mental illnesses. The investigation literature review research design was adopted for the study and the result showed positive relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological disorders. The study was not exhaustive due to acute lack of current relevant literature and research funding. Therefore, further research should examine the relationship between multidimensional poverty and stress in Nigeria. The study recommends for the upgrading of clinical facilities to cater for people with depression which kills about 800,000 annually in Nigeria.


Psychophysiology; Depression; Abnormal behavior; Prefrontal lobes; Emotional brain; Amygdala; Neurology of emotion; Limbic system; Alexithymia


Emotional Intelligence as a psychological concept involves the ability to identify and recognize emotional states, and to understand the link between emotions, thoughts, feelings and actions. This construct provides the capacity to manage emotional states by controlling emotions so as to move from a less desirable emotional state to a state more suitable towards the potential of success. It enhances the ability to be sensitive to the emotions of others and also the capacity to enter and sustain useful interpersonal relationships. According to Goleman (1998) emotional intelligence has many competencies based on the major domains of self-awareness, socialawareness, self-management and relationship management [1]. The first domain is personal, the second is social and has to do with a person’s ability to manage relationships with others. While each competence contributes on its own to performance effectiveness and success, it is always more practical to investigate them in their clusters of competencies. Emotional competencies seem to operate most effectively in synergistic groupings, with the evidence suggesting that high mastery of the cluster of competencies is necessary for arousing the competencies in the other cluster but when both are demonstrated the individual becomes typically more effective in responding suitably to situations. According to Cherniss and Goleman emotional intelligence provides the bedrock for the development of a large number of competencies that help people to respond more effectively, including resolving conflicts of a difficult nature [2,3]. They emphasize that emotional intelligence accounts for more of the variance in individual and group action than purely cognitive ability does; but that these abilities are not mutually exclusive. Thus, emotional intelligence by any definition is certainly a combination of cognitive and emotional abilities. To this extent, the essence of emotional intelligence is the integration of the emotional centres of the brain, the limbic system, and the cognitive centres or the prefrontal cortex. There is a chorus of agreement in the emotional intelligence literature, therefore, that it is a set of skills that involve processing information about emotions. Using sound measures of cognitive and emotional skills, individuals are able to maintain sound emotional health, including freedom both physical and mental illnesses that may result from psychological disorders. This argument cannot be strongly challenged because there is research evidence of a clear link between emotional intelligence and psychological disorders, often characterized by stress, anxiety and depression. As a coping strategy, the inoculating effect emotional intelligence has with the social brain is capable of helping people out of psychoneuroimmunology and psychopathology issues. Health psychologists investigating how illness is influenced by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as heart disease believe these can be avoided by more healthful behavior. They recognize that good health and the ability to cope with illness are affected by psychological factors such as thoughts, emotions, and the ability to manage stress. Therefore, they pay special attention to the immune system, the complex of organs, glands, and cells that constitute the body’s natural line of defense in fighting diseases. Health psychologists are among the primary investigators in a growing field known as psychoneuroimmunology. Psycho-Neuro Immunology (PNI) is the study of the relationships among psychological factors, the immune system, and the brain, while psychopathology is the scientific study of mental illness and the primary area of psychiatrists. PNI has now led to discoveries such as the existence of an association between an individual’s emotional state and the success of the immune system in fighting illnesses [4]. The discoveries view the mind and the body as two parts of a whole human being that cannot be considered independently. This is against the previous thinking which saw disease as a purely biological phenomenon and psychological factors were of little interest to most healthcare experts. Stress management or stress tolerance, a factor of emotional intelligence is a crucial starting point for preventing or managing psychological and psychophysiological disorders. Psychophysiological disorders are problems often influenced by an interaction of psychological, emotional and physical difficulties.

These attack people in multiple ways: they can increase the risk that people will become ill, they can directly produce illness, they can make people unable to recover from a disease, and they can reduce the ability to cope with a potential health problem and can ultimately lead to chronic depression. According to McCabe et al., first stress has direct physiological results, including an increase in blood pressure, increased hormonal activity and an overall decline in the functioning of the immune system. Second, stress leads people to engage in behavior that is harmful to their health, including increased use of nicotine, drugs, and alcohol, poor eating habits, and decreased sleep [5]. Also, stress produces indirect consequences that result in decline in health, a reduction in the likelihood of obtaining healthcare and decreased compliance with medical advice when necessary. Often stress lies at the heart of depression, schizophrenia and abnormal behavior. Psychological disorders are very closely related to such major health problems as coronary heart disease, because hostility and anger seem to be the key factors, combined with other negative emotions such as depression and low self-esteem [6-10]. Emotional intelligence brings awareness to the physical and psychological sensations that are involved in every human feelings. This is important because being able to identify the emotion that is associated with a particular issue allows the individual to create a strategy for overcoming it. Emotional intelligence is particularly necessary in recovery from some types of addiction. People who are involved in substance abuse can build a solid foundation of emotional intelligence to increase the effectiveness of other treatment methods, including treatment of any co-occurring mental health disorders. Learning and developing emotional intelligence can be a foundation to responding in a beneficial way to various psychological or health disorders. For example, through self-awareness, an individual recognizes the triggers for low moods and impaired mental health conditions and tries to work on them as necessary. By emotional self-regulation, an individual can respond in a healthy way to negative and positive emotions and becomes better able to process his or her feelings without being overcome by such feelings. Motivation as an internal desire to set and reach goals as part of personal development permits an individual to remain resilient even in the face of adversity. Emotional intelligence teaches empathy, which connotes putting yourself in other people’s shoes and feelings which expands one’s perspective of life and the need to support others. In terms of social skills, strong emotional intelligence equips the individual to have healthy relationships with others. Social relationship or connection is a key to thriving in addiction recovery or other levels of abnormal conditions, like depressive disorders. According to Auerbach et al., many students suffer from elevated levels of depression, anxiety and stress. These levels of depression, anxiety and stress often become mental health problems [11-16]. On studies in the increasing mental health problems and the influence of psychological factors for adolescents, Mayer et al., emphasis that it has become increasingly important to understand the role of emotional intelligence of college students as researchers and practitioners begin exploring opportunities for interventions. They opine that higher levels of emotional intelligence are associated with various aspects of psychological wellbeing, including greater levels of subjective well-being, lifesatisfaction, and better mental health [17]. They are also in agreement that different aspects of emotional intelligence are related to an individual’s ability to perform certain tasks, including academic and athletic achievement. Focusing specifically on undergraduate students, the researchers believe that higher levels of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence are linked to greater college retention and end-of-year Grade Point Average (GPA) [18-20].

Research problem

Excessive or chronic stress, anger and anxiety are among the major psychological factors that can easily push people into chronic depression, abnormal behavior heart disease and chronic mental illnesses. Often physiological signs of stress include increased blood pressure, increase in heart rates, palpitation or rapid, forceful beating of the heart, and acute insomnia. Other physiological factors of stressful situations are fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite or overeating, feelings of nausea, and breathlessness. Stress can manifest in emotional signs like general irritability, acute anxiety attacks, depression, declining libido, loss of sense of humor, inability to concentrate on the simplest routine tasks, job dissatisfaction and overtly becoming unnecessarily over emotional or aggressive in conflict situations. Stress is often the beginning of abnormal behaviors and the adverse behavior symptoms as excessive eating, drinking, smoking as temporary relief from stress. People who suffer from the clinical case of alexithymia are usually under the condition of stress because of the serious inhibition to properly express their feelings openly or verbally. By its nature stress exhibits many negative signs, but the challenge remains that most of the time people who are under stress are unaware of its presence and do almost nothing about it, perhaps as the result of emotional illiteracy. The suggestion is that there is not only a structural bridge between amygdala and prefrontal cortex, but as always, a biochemical one as both the ventromedial section of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala are especially high in concentrations of chemical receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin in the prefrontal-amygdala circuit and are usually sociallywell- turned, while those with low concentrations are extremely hostile and antagonistic in their social behaviors [21]. Without the understanding and application of the relationships between emotions and the emotional brain stress can remain a serious challenge to human beings, because its negative influence is of high multiple proportions. There is almost nothing stressful situations cannot cause in the human body system. It negatively influences an individual’s psychological and physiological functioning and ultimately contributing greatly to the development of critical medical problems or mental health disorders [22,23]. Extreme cases of stress can lead to self-denial, when people think of themselves as better dead than to live. But the science of emotional intelligence through self-regulation, motivation, optimism, resilience, self-awareness, among other factors can serve as fundamental coping strategy in mitigation of threatening health problems caused by psychological disorders.


This study was designed to explore the relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological disorders.


The result of this study will help students in various areas of academic pursuit, scholars, managers, and the general public to appreciate the relevance of the science of emotional intelligence in managing psychological disorders.


This original study hypothesizes that emotional intelligence has positive inoculating effect in managing psychological disorders.

Conceptual framework

A conceptual framework is the structure of the study and shows the intimate relationship among the major variables and the research problem. The conceptual framework of this study is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Emotional intelligence and stress response model

The concept of emotional intelligence as a psychological concept is inexorably related to management of emotions, imagination, cognition and the understanding of emotions to promote well-being. Among the critical components of emotional intelligence with particular regard to health and well-being include: emotional self-control, impulse control, a sense of self-efficacy and perseverance. The idea of emotional intelligence suggests that prefrontal lobes are lesioned so that they no longer modulate emotional signals from the limbic area to inhibit the possibility of impulsive behavior. Health psychologists, and neuropsychologists believe that the prefrontal cortex is key for emotional self-control and for constraining emotional outbursts. They agree that patients who have damage in this area are frequently impulsive and prone to unnecessary flare-ups of fear and anger because of having much lower than usual level of activity in these sections of the prefrontal cortex [24-27].


The exploratory investigation literature review research design was adopted for the study. The purpose of this type of study is to develop conjectural statement about the relationship of two or more variables. This involves exploring relevant literature. Investigating relevant literature means obtaining secondary data from other published materials. Such secondary data could be secured from academic publications, books, and other relevant documents. This review of previous works throws more light regarding the meanings and importance of the relationship between the variables of interest and helps the investigator to promote research in diverse areas [28].

Literature Review

In recent years studies relating to intelligence and emotions have showed associations between emotional intelligence and emotions, including issues in psychological and psychoneuroimmunology disorders. Both bio psychologists and health psychologists are leading the way in suggesting that psychological disorders like stress, anger, depression and alexithymia can degenerate into coronary heart challenges and major psychiatric illnesses. Vishwakarma and Kumar, suggest that problems such as deficit in interpersonal relationships, lack of self-care, affective flattening and poverty of speech can be signs of poor mental health [29]. The true definition of mental health often relates to a health status with regard to the brain or mind, thoughts, feelings and behaviors which prevent optimal functioning. This is related to emotional health, but they are not the same. Emotional health, in contrast to mental health, refers to well-being and the manner in which an individual believes, views, and lives a life of wellness. However, emotional health remains a state of positive psychological functioning, and can be regarded as an extension of mental health and all define the optimal functioning of the thoughts, feelings and behaviors to guide human existence. Attaining a state of optimal functioning requires the regulation of emotions in both the self, in others, and in groups. Emotional processes can be complex, and at the present time, their nature is still being explored by both emotions and intelligence scholars. For example, feelings of anger or happiness are linked to unique forms of behaviors and leading the different ways of inter and intra reactions. Maintaining a balanced state of both emotional and mental health has much to do with the science of emotional intelligence, in terms of emotional regulation, self-regulation, and management, among others. This is necessary because emotions relate to internal expression of neurotransmission of communication within the body system. Emotional intelligence involves emotional regulation which is the ability to adjust a particular emotional state so that it can serve in the best interests of the people involved. Emotional regulation becomes an important adaptive strategy which allows an individual to be successful in many situations, including stressful situations. This is a matter of fact because every situation that the individual encounters elicits emotions and through the application of emotional intelligence any negative situations can be overcome or at least modified by identifying, evaluating feelings and emotions to enhance physical, emotional, mental, and behavioral responses to reach desired goals. This is also a matter of self-regulation which explains the need to respond in a healthy manner to both negative and positive emotions, without allowing them to take control instead; because of the relationship between emotions and the limbic system. Tavris (1989) explains that, the prefrontal lobes are recognized to be involved in the processing of emotions, it is the place where they are measured [30]. The prefrontal cortex is part of the neocortex, or the thinking brain, which interacts with the limbic system, and known as the emotional brain. Another important area of the limbic system, the amygdala is regarded as the seat of all passions, and it is from its function that neuroscientists seek to understand the paths of human emotions in forming and processing [31-33]. Studies towards discovering the universal aptitude of emotions continue to point at the relationship of emotions and the brain. LeDoux (1992) in one of his innovative studies reports about the relationship and interaction of the emotional and thinking brains [34]. He emphasizes that the neural pathways bringing information to the brain through the senses and information entering through the eyes or ears goes first to the thalamus, which acts like a sorting centre, and deciding which parts of the brain to forward the information to. Therefore, if the incoming information, for example, is emotional, the thalamus gives out two signals; the first to the amygdala and the second to the neocortex. The implication of this is that the emotional brain has the information first, and in the case of a crisis situation can react before the thinking brain will receive the information and have the chance to weigh the options. This element of emotional hijacking is a common phenomenon in people [35,36]. Emotional intelligence as the ability to identify emotions and to use them constructively, is thus a superb stabilizing strategy in adjusting an individual’s mindset and behavior towards positive outcomes. This helps individuals in identifying their strengths, building on them, being hopeful and optimistic and to quickly recover from setbacks and other serious health challenges such as alexithymia. Taylor et al., (1997) define alexithymia as difficulty in identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and bodily sensations of emotional arousal [37]. It relates to acute difficulty in describing feelings to other people and exhibits externally-oriented cognitive approach which relies on eternal cues and signals instead of internal indicators. They report that psychiatrists find it difficult in treating patients with alexithymia due to lack of emotional awareness and externalized style of living in which behavior is typically guided by rules and regulations rather than feelings. They further explain that there is recent research evidence that alexithymia is associated with substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and psychosomatic disorders. Alexithymia has also been associated with other health challenges including inflammatory bowel disease, hypertension, as well as gastrointestinal disorders. This suggests an inverse correlation between the constructs of alexithymia and emotional intelligence. This would automatically mean that people who suffer from alexithymia in this case should also be those individuals who have very low emotional intelligence. Also, psychological, abnormal and other negative disorders exacerbate when people allow themselves to sustain feelings of despair, anger, and anxiety. Expressing such by fighting, quarrelling or bulling someone would amount to a demonstration of emotional dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation can be catastrophic, and or leading to substance abuse. Substance abuse can lead to mental illness [38-45].

Psychological mindedness

Mental health embraces the concepts of emotional health and psychological wellbeing. Sometimes these concepts are used interchangeably to define a state of optimal functioning of the brain and the mind, including the heart. On the other hand, the concept of emotional intelligence, among other several scientific definitions, involves the state of effective emotional and social functioning that should eventually lead to an overall sense of psychological and physiological wellbeing. Bar-On (1997) describes emotional intelligence as an array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that influence intelligence behavior [46]. It relates to emotional expression with regards to emotionally and socially intelligent behavior in terms of effective and successful adaptation. Emotional intelligence takes cognizance of stress and other health and mental disorders like alexithymia and schizophrenia within the conceptualization of psychological mindedness and healthful conditions. Also, the concepts of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences, within the context of multiple intelligences, and the development of the conceptual aspects of the psychometric components provide evidence of the potency of emotional intelligence in solving problems of emotional and psychological nature, including acute deficit emotional perception and emotional expression. Emotional intelligence manifests in the demonstration of the ability to understand emotions as well as expressing personal feelings, the ability to understand others, feelings and to relate with people, the ability to manage and control personal emotions, the ability to manage emotions in others, the ability to manage change and solve problems of an intrapersonal and interpersonal nature, the ability to generate positive mood and to be self-motivated, and the capacity to show empathy, even in the environments of adversity [47-50]. As the result of its connectivity with the emotional brain, emotional intelligence provides some kinds of healing for common psychological injuries, and also helps to preserve emotional health to the extent of improving emotional resilience. Emotional intelligence speeds up recovery from heavy demoralization and lose of motivation, a treatment for acute trust deficiency, combating defeatist misperceptions, and drastically improving the hope and confidence of potential well-being. This perspective promotes self-esteem which is catalytic in enhancing emotional health conditions and the emotional immune system to restore self-confidence and healthful actions. Ugoani opines that the application of emotional intelligence in human daily activities improves health conditions and well-being. He emphasizes the relevance of the science of emotional intelligence and its applicability in numerous areas of life including parenthood, education, governance, leadership, business, entrepreneurship, healthcare and emotional well-being. It has powerful inoculating effect in psychological disorders because of the connection with the limbic system and the prefrontal limbic connections that are crucial to mental life [51]. LeDoux (1994) explains the relationship of the emotional brain and the limbic system with regard to wellbeing and emphasizes that two types of intelligence–intellectual and emotional expression activate the different parts of the brain [52]. The intellect is based purely on the workings of the neocortex, representing the more recently evolved layers at the top of the brain. The emotional centres on the other hand, are lower in the brain, or in the sub cortex [53-61]. As a dispositional variable, emotional intelligence involves these emotional centres and sub centers at work, in concert with the intellectual centres. According to Ewuzie while mental health relates to a state of well-being with regard to the brain and mind, among other related components, on the other hand, emotional health is a positive state of well-being which enables an individual to be able to function properly in society and to meet the demands of everyday life [62,63]. This also suggests that emotional health is about being happy, selfconfident, self-aware and resilient. Emotional health means that emotionally healthy people are able to cope with the challenges of life and to possess the capacity to recover fast from any setbacks, and that health, including mental health and physical health requires knowledge, understanding and effort. The Help Guide believes that an important step in creating emotional health is for people to identify their own emotions and to understand their value [64]. It postulates that the best starting point in promoting emotional health is to develop emotional intelligence, the ability to identify emotions and to use them constructively. This therefore, makes the case for learning emotional self-regulation or the ability to control emotions, monitoring emotions and adjusting the mindset and behavior appropriately. Accordingly, achieving emotional health and psychological wellbeing is an active process that relates to not only identifying emotions but also shaping how individuals think about them and how to react, or desist from acting on them. The competencies of emotional intelligence within the context of intelligent behavior where well understood and applied will eventually lead to the development of emotional health. This cannot be in doubt because the connection between the amygdala and the neocortex is the hub of the operative theatres struck between the head and the heart, thoughts and feelings. This circuitry explains why emotion is very crucial to effective thought, both in making wise decisions and in enabling individuals to think clearly. The prospect of thinking clearly as a component of emotional intelligence helps in the promotion of both mental and emotional health by providing the individual the capacity to identify and build personal strengths, and relying upon them, building optimism, and realistically seeing the positive side, even in the situations of doubt. The ability to build courage, self-concept, social network, developing new skills, as well as dealing with externally generated stress amount to creating an emotionally intelligent and healthy individual. Thus, this suggests that in humans, the strongest connections between neocortex and amygdala run to the left prefrontal lobe and the temporal lobe below and to the side of the frontal lobe, which is critical in identifying what an object is. Both of these connections are made in a single projection, suggesting a rapid and powerful pathway, a virtual neural highway. Accordingly, the single neuron projection between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex runs to an area called the orbitofrontal cortex. This is the area that is most critical for assessing emotional responses and for making mid-course connections. According to neuroanatomists orbitofrontal cortex both receives, signals from the amygdala and has its own intricate, extensive projections throughout the limbic brain. Through this web it plays a role in regulating emotional responses, including inhibiting signals from the limbic brain as they reach other areas of the cortex, therefore, toning down the neural urgency of those signals. The orbitofrontal cortex’s connections to the limbic brain are so extensive that they are called a kind of limbic cortex, or the thinking part of the emotional brain. Goleman describes emotional intelligence as a new paradigm in psychology and its inevitable partner, neuroscience, and also suggests that the new understanding of these relationships and the social brain is important within the contexts of psychology and intelligence [65-70]. Intelligence in this case refers to the capacity to reason validly about information. For instance, verbal intelligence concerns the mental ability to reason with and about verbal information, and of verbal knowledge to enhance thought, and spatial intelligence concerns the mental ability to reason with and about spatial information, in terms of the shape of objects and their orientation in space, and of spatial knowledge to enhance thought. The application of emotional intelligence in this manner is consistent with relevant scientific literature in the areas of intelligence, personality, psychology, and emotion. Therefore, a clear and scientifically useful definition of emotional intelligence is recognizable because it takes the terms emotion and intelligence seriously into account. This brings up the notion that emotional intelligence represents the ability to validly reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. Emotional intelligence embraces the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to reflectively regulate emotions in order to promote emotional and intellectual growth. To this extent, the emotional dimension of emotional intelligence emphasizes awareness and acceptance of an individual’s feelings. This cannot be controverted because emotional health or wellness is a dynamic process in which an individual becomes aware of and makes definite choices towards a more balanced and healthful functioning. At the global level, emotional intelligence helps people in coping with a variety of emotional reactions and in learning about the impact of emotions on human behavior. Positive mental health is strongly tied to positive characteristics, which means that positive emotions are very pertinent towards the attainment of emotional health. Also, in discussing emotional intelligence and the Social brain, neuroscientists insist that the later refers to the particular set of circuitries that is orchestrated as people relate to each other. Though some brain structures play an especially large role in handling relationships no major zone appears to be exclusively devoted to social interactions or social life [71-77].


Emotional intelligence is comprised of multiple factors including adaptability, capable of de-escalating issues of psychological disorders that can lead to dysfunction in emotional health. This is based on the proposition by Mayer and Salovey (1997) that emotional intelligence involves the ability to perceive, respond, manipulate emotional information, and managing emotions without necessarily perceiving feelings well or fully experiencing them [78]. They insist that emotional intelligence involves two areas. Each area is further divided into two branches that range from basic psychological processes to more complex processes integrating emotion and cognition. The first branch, emotional perception, is the ability to be self-aware of emotions and to express emotions and emotional needs accurately to others. Emotional perception also includes the ability to distinguish between honest and dishonest expression of emotions. The second, emotional assimilation is the ability to distinguish among the different emotions an individual is feeling and to identify those that are influencing their thought processes. The third branch, emotional understanding is the ability to understand complex emotions, and the ability to recognize transitions from one to the other. The fourth, emotional management, is the ability to connect or disconnect from an emotion depending on its usefulness in a given situation. For illustration, the Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Four branch model of emotional intelligence.

The relationships between emotional intelligence and emotions suggest that under stress the adrenal glands release cortisol, one of the hormones the body mobilizes in an emergency. These hormones have widespread effects in the body, including many that are adaptive in the short term, for healing bodily injuries. In linking stress to health, the key biological systems are the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Hypothalamic Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. This suggests that when people are distressed, both the SNS and the HPA axis take up the challenge, secreting hormones that prepare people to handle an emergency or threats, and a mechanism for stress tolerance. Stress tolerance, a factor of emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and deal with adverse events and stressful situations and is necessary for promoting emotional health. Stress tolerance means the efforts to control, reduce, or learn to tolerate the threats that lead to stress. It involves the ability to control anger, anxiety and depression. Anger is part of human emotional makeup, and excessive anger, without control can be harmful to health. Unhealthy anger can harm individuals and others around them emotionally, physically and spiritually. Anger is on the rise in many parts of the world, due to many factors including, poverty, frustration and discrimination that often lead to acute depression and other psychological and psychophysiological disorders including schizophrenia. These are issues in both psychopathology and psychoneuroimmunology that frequently lead to abnormal behaviors and numerous medical problems but with the interactions of emotional intelligence and the emotional brain evidence suggests that the later is helpful in increasing people’s compliance with behavior that will improve their wellbeing. For example, psychophysiological disorders may result from stress. According to Rice psychophysiological disorders are health problems influenced by an interaction of psychological, emotional and physical difficulties [79]. Among the common psychophysiological disorders are headaches, backaches and high blood pressure. These adverse pressures can lead to a condition of low mental health, dejection, the condition of being less active than usual, or normal, or even to depression, and abnormal behavior. Even though there about six perspectives on abnormality, ranging from mere superstition to science, the medical perspective suggests that when an individual demonstrates signs of abnormal behaviors. The fundamental cause of these can be found in a physical examination of the individual concerned which might reveal a hormonal imbalance, a clinical deficiency, or a brain problem. The medical perspective on abnormality assumes that many of human abnormal behaviors are linked to biological causes, therefore, it is a reasonable approach in the area of emotional and mental health. Also, psychoanalytic theory points to abnormal behavior to relate to people having relatively little control over their behavior, and it is unguided and unconscious impulses. In this regard, Richards et al., emphasis the importance of self-care and self-awareness in mental health and well-being [80-82]. The concept of emotional intelligence with its factors of selfawareness, self-worth, and motivation relates to the humanistic and cognitive perspectives of psychological and psychophysiological wellbeing. The cognitive perspective believes that people’s thoughts and beliefs are central components of abnormal behaviors. On the other hand, the humanistic approach emphasizes people’s responsibility for their own behavior, even if such behavior is seen to be abnormal. This makes a case for emotional intelligence with regard to the factors of emotional self-control, self-management, emotional management and regulation, as measures of balancing behavior. The humanistic perspective is a classic phenomenon because it focuses on the relationships between the individual and society, considering on how people view themselves in relation to others and see their place in society. Emotionally intelligent people also have the capacity of an awareness of life and of themselves which often leads them to search for meaningful life, self-respect and self-worth. Emotionally intelligent people do not always believe that there is a particular cure for a particular issue, rather they demonstrate adaptability, resilience, contentment, and believing that individuals can on their own manage their emotions towards what is an acceptable behavior. Lack of contentment, poverty, and lack of proper knowledge on particular issues can be sources of stress and psychological disorders that may subsequently result to abnormal behavior. However, emotional selfcontrol and stress tolerance can provide the answer in such bad situations because sociocultural explanations provide relatively little specific guidance for the treatment of people showing mental disturbances, because the focus is usually on the broader societal factors [83-90].


Presentation of result

As shown in Figure 1 emotional intelligence a psychological concept, is composed of several factors including self-awareness, selfregulation, empathy, adaptability and optimism, which have relationship with the emotional centre, the prefrontal lobes, and the amygdala. Emotional intelligence as shown in Figure 2, therefore, typically involves the perception of emotions, the understanding of emotions, the management of emotions and the regulation of emotions to guide thought; even in the event of adversity or stress. Emotional intelligence also subsumes the concept of social intelligence in the context of intelligence and emphasizes interpersonal effectiveness necessary for survival or success in difficult environments. Neuroscientists and health psychologists argue about which of human abilities are social and which are emotional, but the two domains intermingle just like the brain’s social estate overlaps with its emotional centres, as shown in Figure 1.

This leads to the suggestion or agreement that all emotions are social because you cannot separate the cause of an emotion from the arena of human relationships because human social interactions are the main drivers of human emotions. For example, social awareness component of emotional intelligence refers to a spectrum that flows from immediately recognizing another person’s inner state, to understanding his or her feelings and thoughts, and it includes sensing nonverbal emotional signals, such as intentions and social cognition, among others. These touches the ultimate neural integrating convergence zone. Among the key brain areas with strong connections to the integrating convergence zone are the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, regulating attention, the sensory cortex, for perception, the somatosensory cortex and brain stem. The idea in emotional intelligence is that for sensations within the body, it interferes with the hypothalamus, the brain’s neuroendocrine centre that regulates hormones throughout the body, the autonomic nervous system, controlling body functions like heart rate and digestion, the medial temporal lobe, for memory, the association cortex, for abstract thought, and brain stem centres like the reticular formation, which regulates levels of arousal in the brain. Also, the orbitofrontal region regulates a wide range of human social behavior. It has rich connections to the amygdala, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the somatosensory areas. Another linked cortical area is the temporal lobe, critical for identifying what an object is or the significance of things. All these areas play roles in coordinating smooth social interactions. The orbitofrontal lobe has an extensive network of projections throughout the emotional centres, allowing it to modulate emotional responses. One of the primary functions of these networks during a social interaction includes inhibiting emotional reactions, coordinating them with inputs about the social moment to make human responses well adapted. The biological basis of intelligence suggests a relationship between the brain and the lateral prefrontal cortex. This area is above the outer edge of the eyebrow, about where human beings rest their heads in the palm of their hands when trying to solve some problems. This area of the brain is important in gathering information simultaneously and solving of new problems. The biological basis of intelligence also suggests that there is an emotional centre in the brain that organizes and co-ordinates information and helping to transfer material to other parts of the brain. Emotional intelligence, the set of skills that underlie accurate assessment, evaluation, expression, and regulation of emotions, helps in integrating and coordinating information being carried out in other areas of the brain. Issues of emotions and emotional radar continue to feature frequently in relation to emotional intelligence and the brain. This is because the same brain mechanisms that underlie empathy and allowing for emotional adjustment also create the pathway for emotional contagion. Emotional intelligence literature explains that in addition to the circuitry emanating from the amygdala, the basal areas, including the brain stem, which regulate reflexive, automatic functions, are also involved. Thus, the essence of passionate and spirited communication often seems to involve the use of facial expressions, voices, gestures and body movements to transmit emotions, lending credence that emotions refer to a feeling state, including physiological responses and cognitions that convey information about relationships. Managing emotions well in one’s self and in others, is a fundamental behavioral indicator of emotional intelligence which is a requirement for appropriate coping and responses against various psychoneuroimmunology, psychophysiological, and other psychological disorders, that can lead to both heart and mental illnesses. Health psychologists agree that stress is a major cause of health problems, because it leads to an overall decline in the functioning of the immune system. This original investigation found that emotional intelligence as a dispositional variable and psychological concept is a critical factor in ameliorating psychological and associated health disorders. This is the crux of the research.


In addition to several overlapping definitions emotional intelligence in its broadest meaning describes the ability to identify emotions, perceive emotions, understand emotions and manage emotions constructively to arrive at desirable solutions to problems. It involves learning emotional regulations, and sustaining the ability to control emotions, monitoring and adjusting emotions for normal behavior. Avoiding abnormal behavior is a journey towards emotional or mental health condition for potential success in daily activities. Emotional intelligence is a combination of cognitive and emotional abilities, working in collaboration with the emotional centres of the brain, the limbic system, and the cognitive centres of the prefrontal cortex to modify human behavior. As a coping strategy, emotional intelligence helps people with psychopathological, psychophysiological, psychoneuroimmunology or psychological, disorders, to have a new swing. Issues of stress, anxiety, anger and depression that often lead to heart and mental problems can be overcome through the application of emotional intelligence competencies like stress-tolerance, hope, spirituality, and optimism. The investigation literature review research design was adopted for the study and the result showed positive relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological disorders like stress.


1. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) should upgrade health facilities to provide for emotional laboratory services to cater for people showing signs of acute psychoneuroimmunology and psychological disorders.

2. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should improve control over the massive consumption of illicit products like ogogoro and mpurummirito reduce the growing numbers of the youth population exhibiting abnormal behaviors and signs of mental illnesses.

3. Hardship promoted by multidimensional poverty among the vast majority is a major source of stress. Government should come to the rescue to save people from lapsing into depression and possible mental problems.

4. People in society should exercise emotional self-control and stress tolerance to avoid being easily upset so as to keep their anger and anxiety under control, even in situations of adversity.

5. Nigerians should learn to be contended with what they have to avoid expecting too much that they may never get. This is a sure way of staying out of depression which kills about 800,000 people annually in Nigeria.

Scope for further study

The rate of people experiencing stress grows as the rate of multidimensional poverty grows in Nigeria. As the result of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of ending poverty everywhere, further study should examine the relationship between poverty reduction and national sustainability.


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