Emotional Intelligence & Mental Health: New Study Finds Link Between EQ Traits, Depression, & Anxiety

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A new study by Queendom.com and PsychTests.com indicates that people who suffer from mental health issues like depression or anxiety tend to score low on key emotional intelligence competencies.

The manner in which individuals deal with emotions, otherwise known as emotional intelligence, has a significant impact on psychological health.

Developing emotional intelligence can improve a person’s mental state and protect against depression and anxiety.

Emotional intelligence is about developing a better relationship not just with others, but with ourselves as well.

Imagine visiting a therapist for depression, only to be told that the key to overcoming it is to develop better self-esteem. Or consulting a professional for help with anxiety, and then be given tips on how to be more assertive.

It may sound unorthodox, but research from Queendom.com and PsychTests.com indicates that these traits, along with eight other competencies related to emotional intelligence, may act as protective factors against mental health problems.

Analyzing data from 2,300 people who took their Emotional Intelligence Test, researchers at Queendom compared people who are currently being treated for depression or anxiety to those whose psychological health is in good shape. Here are the areas where they differ:


Score for depressed group: 51
Score for non-depressed group: 72

Score for anxious group: 55
Score for non-anxious group: 72

Individuals with good mental health recognize their worth. They treat themselves with self-respect, which in turn encourages others to follow suit. Rather than dwelling on their failures and their mistakes, people with high self-esteem continuously strive toward growth and self-improvement.


Score for depressed group: 50
Score for non-depressed group: 71

Score for anxious group: 52
Score for non-anxious group: 71

The world can seem much more frightening and daunting when individuals focus on the negative. Mentally healthy individuals prefer to keep their mind focused on hope and possibility. They look for the good in every situation and choose to believe that challenges can be overcome and that life can improve for the better.


Score for depressed group: 52
Score for non-depressed group: 69

Score for anxious group: 53
Score for non-anxious group: 69

Although factors like money, an eminent job title or admiration can be very motivating, the boosting effect of extrinsic sources of motivation is limited. Individuals who enjoy good mental health also tend to be intrinsically motivated. Pride, a sense of purpose, and the love for a challenge are enough to spur them into action.


Score for depressed group: 59
Score for non-depressed group: 76

Score for anxious group: 60
Score for non-anxious group: 77

Although adversity and tragedy may temporarily sidetrack them, individuals in good mental health refuse to give up. Rather than fight against the current of life, they accept that there will be ups and downs. Mentally healthy people face troubles head-on and will either seek out a solution or simply ride out the storm.


Score for depressed group: 47
Score for non-depressed group: 63

Score for anxious group: 47
Score for non-anxious group: 63

The idea that emotions are unhealthy has resulted in the ill-advised practice of ignoring or repressing negative feelings. This can contribute to significant physical and psychological repercussions, including high blood pressure, cancer, digestive problems, depression, and anxiety. Mentally healthy individuals release their emotions in an appropriate manner by acknowledging and tactfully expressing what they feel.


Score for depressed group: 57
Score for non-depressed group: 74

Score for anxious group: 60
Score for non-anxious group: 74

The type of stressor a person is dealing with is not as significant as the technique he or she uses to cope. Although comfort food or distraction might offer temporary benefits, they don’t directly deal with the issue at hand. Mentally healthy people use proactive methods to cope with stress, whether it’s seeking out information to help with their problem, turning to others for social support, or practicing mindfulness techniques.


Score for depressed group: 47
Score for non-depressed group: 63

Score for anxious group: 47
Score for non-anxious group: 64

Mentally healthy individuals adapt quickly to change and ambiguity. They understand that change is a part of life and that in order to grow, they need to let go of old and potentially unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and processing emotions. They also recognize that fearing the future is a waste of time and energy as nothing is set in stone. Depressed individuals in particular may linger in their melancholic state simply because it’s familiar – and familiarity offers stability and comfort.


Score for depressed group: 44
Score for non-depressed group: 59

Score for anxious group: 49
Score for non-anxious group: 59

There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive, and mentally healthy individuals know how to walk that line. They tactfully but firmly express their needs, especially when the actions of others are impinging on them. They set personal boundaries and are willing to say “no” to others when they feel it is necessary.


Score for depressed group: 58
Score for non-depressed group: 70

Score for anxious group: 60
Score for non-anxious group: 70

Mentally healthy individuals recognize and accept their strengths as well as their failings. Most importantly, they use this self-knowledge to plan their life accordingly. Consciously acknowledging their feelings and desires allows them to make well-informed decisions. In addition, the self-awareness that comes with simply being present in the moment can be cathartic, which may dissipate stress and anxiety.

“Your psychological state is inextricably linked with the type of thoughts you think and the constant wave of emotions that flow through you,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests, the parent company of Queendom. “This means that if you’re relentlessly worrying about the future, focusing only on your mistakes, or putting yourself down and/or allowing others to, it will take a toll on your mental health. High baseline anxiety or sadness makes it easier to slip into full-blown panic or depression when the right trigger comes along. Our research has also shown that depressed and anxious individuals are more likely to engage in excessive rumination, which can in turn exacerbate their negative states. There’s a reason why emotional intelligence is linked to personal and professional success. By working on their emotional intelligence, individuals who are struggling with mental health issues will find themselves better-equipped to handle the challenges life deals to them. They will be able to regulate their emotions better, cope with stress more easily, gain a better perspective on a challenging situation, and see hardship as a lesson learned rather than as a catastrophe. Emotional intelligence is about developing a better relationship not just with others, but with ourselves as well.”

Want to assess your emotional IQ? Go to http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=3978

Professional users of this test can see a sample of the Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Quotient test report: MEIQ – HR (Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Quotient – Human Resources Version)

Request a free demo of this test and any other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: Spotting Diamonds in the Rough. (http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr)

About Queendom.com
Queendom.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. Queendom.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
+1 514-745-3189 Ext: 112
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