Young people who develop high E.Q. are are less likely to have anger management issues or suffer anxiety and depression, use alcohol or drugs, self-harm, display anti-social behaviours, or get caught up in bullying.

They are more likely to achieve academic success, enjoy successful careers, become effective leaders and develop strong personal & professional relationships.

High E.Q. results in increased self awareness, resilience, confidence, effective communication skills.

Young people with high E.Q. display a strong sense of ‘self’, so are less vulnerable to peer pressure, and experience a good quality of life. They are more popular with peers, have higher self-esteem and experience greater happiness, than individuals with low E.Q

Emotional Intelligence is 80% more important than IQ in determining success in life.

The teaching of Mindfulness practice and developing Emotional Intelligence (E.Q) are, I believe,THE most essential tools for equipping our children for life.

This is why I designed and delivered a tailored programme of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence sessions, for students age 5 years -13 years, into schools in Auckland. The programme was extremely effective and positively received by both students and teachers.

It took me two years to convince the decision makers in school’s, of the value and need for this kind of education. This is not a luxury item on the school curriculum, it is a necessity in this fast changing, stress busting, target driven society, we now live in.

Schools could be investing more resources and attention into the well-being and mental capital of their students, as the focus at the moment seems to be increasingly on meeting academic targets. This would have a positive impact on all areas of the individual’s life, including their academic success

In both workplaces and schools, individuals are judged on their performance against a set of rigid criteria which does not allow for everyone’s uniqueness and difference.

Young people are being encouraged to conform and ‘fit in’, becoming part of the homogenous masses, not supported in finding out ‘who’ they are, what they feel, or what they want. How they look, what they have, rather than who they are, is increasingly the criteria that young people judge each other by, resulting in individuals seeking external guidance and validation, which further removes them from their own internal G.P.S, or organismic valuing process.

This creates identity, self-esteem and confidence issues. The media portray pictures of ‘perfect’ people living ‘perfect’ lives. Our materialistic and consumerist lead society tells us what we should be buying, wearing and doing. In fact we’ve been taught who we’re meant to be, what we’re meant to have, and what we’re meant to be pursuing since our early years.

This lifestyle is creating depressed people, we are seeing rising mental illness in our society, and stress and anxiety is increasing partly as a result of trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations. We lose about 10 Kiwi lives every week to suicide. 541 Kiwis committed suicide in the last year and suicides among women and girls increased from 142 in 2011/12 to 153 in 2012/13.

By teaching young people how to manage their emotions, to recognise feelings, and be able to verbalise what is going on for them, we can equip our youth with essential tools for living life in 21st C.