The science behind EQJOY

Emotions are intertwined with our cognition and our bodily systems, such as the endocrine and cardiovascular system. Think about it, your heart beats faster when you are afraid, you feel hunger when your body needs food and your levels of oxytocin rise when you feel happy. You buy a shirt because you feel good in it, and you get sad just thinking about a lost loved one.

Emotions also shape our relationships with others and ourselves. Envy can make us avoid or even bully another, and shame may lead to self-loathing and -harming. On the other hand, compassion has the power to open up people’s hearts to each other, and to oneself. In the end, everything we do and think has an emotional aspect to it.

“I feel, therefore I am”

It should make sense, then, that emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to identify, understand, manage, and use emotions, is important. But back in the days, it was believed that emotion and cognition were separate, and “being rational” was very different from “being emotional”. Emotions have long been dismissed, and that’s probably why so many of us haven’t had the chance to learn and build our emotional intelligence skills. It simply was not seen as important, or worse, emotions were seen as unfavorable. Thus, many of us have been used to just bottling them up inside. 

Bottling up, dismissing, or in other ways trying to control emotions usually doesn’t work in the long run, and may even lead to both mental and physical problems. We cannot escape our emotions, as they have such an important purpose to inform us about what is happening around us and inside us. Emotions are thus not good or bad in themselves, but like a road map, telling us where we stand, where we want to go and what we wish to avoid.

“All emotions are valuable. A joyful life is embracing the whole range of emotions, while choosing to act according to one’s values.”

Thankfully, during the last few decades, the importance of emotional intelligence has been increasingly accepted. The already extensive body of research on the subject shows that there are significant advantages of being emotionally intelligent. Children that identify and understand emotions tend to be socially competent and skillful at self-regulating behavior. Emotional intelligence may also protect against internalized problems, such as depression and suicidal behavior, and externalizing problems, such as aggressiveness. 

Further, emotional intelligence is also linked to better academic achievement. It should not really come as a surprise that understanding oneself and others, having the skills to express oneself in a harmless way, and being able to either regulate or effectively use emotions, have an impact on both wellbeing and performance. 

The thing is, few of us are able to build emotional intelligence alone, by ourselves. We need the support of others, we need models, and we need to work on it. However, building emotional intelligence does not have to be all serious and with a focus on problems! Children (and why not adults…) learn best by playing and when engaged, and that’s why we have developed the EQJOY card game and Emotion Explorer. 

“Learning about emotion and practicing emotion management at a quiet time makes it a lot easier -and a lot more fun!”

The EQJOY card game makes the learning process a social and active experience as well as personally relevant. If you want to know more about the game, check out our recently launched website eqjoy.com! The Emotion Explorer is for you to together explore art, poems, activities and more, relating to the different emotions. Hop out in the universe to get started exploring! 

Check out the EQJOY.COM website

In the meantime, you are welcome to check out the eqjoy.com website, which we have launched today! On the website you can take a sneak-peek at how to play the game and explore different emotions together with your children using the Emotion Explorer. You can also read about the science behind EQJOY and check out the tips and recommendations.

Excited as we are? We’d love to hear from you!

Do you want to find out more about, or get involved in, the project? In particular, we are currently seeking distribution partners and gathering together the test group. If you or someone you know might want to participate in this wonderful project, please contact us

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