Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

"We all want our lives and the lives of people we love to be free of hardship and troubling events,
we can never make that happen.
We all want our lives to be filled with healthy relationships, compassion, and a sense of purpose,
that, we can make happen!" - Marc Bracket, Ph.D.

What IS EMOTIONAL Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is also known as emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ).

Dr. Goleman described emotional intelligence as a person's ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed appropriately and effectively.

According to Marc Brackett, Ph.D., Director at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, "there is a science to understanding emotion, it's not just a matter of intuition, opinion, or gut instinct.  We're not born with an innate talent for recognizing what we or anyone else are feeling and why, we all have to learn it."  In his book "Permission to Feel", there are 5 areas where emotions matter most:

1. The aspect of our everyday life: first, our emotional state determines where we'll direct our attention, what we'll remember, and what we'll learn

2. Decision making: when we're in a grip of any strong emotion, we perceive the world differently and the choices we make at that moment are influenced for better or for worse.

3. Social relations: what we feel or how we interpret other people's feelings sends signals to approach or to avoid, to affiliate with someone or distance ourselves, to reward, or punish.

4. The influence on our health: positive and negative emotions cause different physiological reactions in our body and brain, releasing powerful chemicals that in turn affect our physical and mental well-being.

5. Creativity, effectiveness, and performance: in order to get good grades, achieve big goals, and thrive we have to use emotions as if they were tools, which of course they are or can be.

Mental Health Research Results:

  • 22,000 teenagers across the USA were asked to describe how they feel while in school: 3/4 of the words they used were negative; "tired, bored, and stressed" were top of the list - from a 2015 survey by Yale University, Robert Johnson Foundation, and Born This Way Foundation
  • 30% of elementary and middle school students experienced mental health problems and required regular counseling, up to 60% for some economically disadvantaged schools
  • American youths now run at the bottom quarter of developing nations in well-being and life satisfaction, according to a report by UNICEF
  • Research shows that our youth has stress level that surpasses adults: our teenagers are now the world leaders in violence, drinking, marijuana use, and obesity
  • More than half of college students experience overall anxiety and 1/3 report intense depression
  • In over the last two decades, there‚Äôs been a 28% increase in our suicide rate
  • In 2017, Yale University in collaboration with the new Teacher Center performed a survey of more than 5,000 educators and found that they spent nearly 70% of their workdays feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and stressed.
  • Gallops data shows that half of US teachers report high stress on a daily basis

These alarming figures were extracted from several research sources including but not limited to "Permission to Feel" by Marc Bracket and "Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goldman.

WHY BYA CAMPS FOCUS on mindfulness practice:

Because "Mindfulness as a path of awareness, acceptance, and authenticity" will help us to break down these complicated matters into bite-size daily practices anchoring on our amazing body of breathing mechanism to improve our attention in the present moment to develop new habits that can improve our emotional intelligence and inner resiliency.

Let's think about these questions, if they matter to you, they matter to us as well:

  • How clear will kids think when they are tired, bored, and stressed?  Would they be able to take their study seriously?
  • Do they feel inclined to express their curiosity and pursue learning when they're feeling not motivated?
  • How will they absorb new information when they are anxious and frustrated?

More than 30 years ago, The social-emotional learning (SEL) was introduced by Peter Salovey (Yale University) and John Mayer (UNH), and 25 years ago the best-selling book in EQ by Daniel Goldman popularized the concept.  Yet, today, we're still grasping how to handle and make use of this concept!

Very fortunately, our Zen Master and Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh from Plum Village tradition has discovered the practice of mindfulness in the ancient teachings of the Buddha, which has been renewed and refreshed into practical, effective, achievable methods in every moment of our daily life.  Thanks to the passion, and dedication of our volunteer core staff, mindfulness teachers, wellness professionals, and Dharma teachers who come together to design these wonderful camp and retreat activities to help the youth to start practicing these soft skills at an early age. The earlier one starts on this practice, the better one's skills will be tuned and mastered!

That's why we're here... THIS IS IT!