Emotional maturity has been proven to be the most attractive trait an individual can have for a number of reasons. As a matter of fact, in some cases it’s given more importance than the intelligence quotient. However, what does it mean to be emotionally mature? When someone is emotionally mature, they possess full control over their emotions to an appreciable level that makes them handle even the worst of news with much prudence. They have empathy for others and often know how to de-escalate a conflict if necessary. They’re the person you go to when you have a tough issue you need to talk about.
It sounds about great to be emotionally mature, right? Well, to help you get a grasp on your emotions, here are eight ways to become more emotionally mature.
- Identify your feelings
To enable you get a grasp on your emotions you must be able to tell your feelings apart. More often than not you get into a heated fight or start breaking down into a sob but you can’t pinpoint exactly what got you there. Maybe a simple irritation over a comment someone made found its way deep into your thoughts and you carry that anger with you for the rest of the day. If you first recognise what you’re feeling, then you can start to understand why and resolve it.
Try drawing an emoji expressing how you feel in a journal every time you feel angry or irritated and for every time you feel sad or empty. Then ask yourself why you felt that way. Being aware and understanding why you feel these things can help you manage your emotions. So if you know you’re getting irritated at a friend for loosing your pen, take a deep breath and recognise that you’re simply irritated over a pen. Moreover, your friend has your best intentions at heart but just like you is human and can lose stuff. That is of course before you say something you’ll regret. That irritation could turn into anger for the rest of the day if you don’t first identify why you were even angry in the first place.
So recognise your anger and acknowledge it because your feelings are valid, but you don’t have to act on them.
- Take responsibility
It’s easy to deny stuff when we’re wrong because as humans we’re naturally egoistic and sometimes reality can be hard to face. However, it’s more mature to take responsibility for our actions instead of brushing them away. If we simply ignore that we were wrong during an argument or don’t take action on things that are our responsibilities. We can never learn and grow from our mistakes. Being aware, holding yourself accountable, recognising you’re wrong and learning from your mistakes shows that you’re emotionally mature. Not only that, it reduces the tendency of repeating that mistake.
- Find a role model
If you struggle with how quickly you react negatively in stressful situations, try looking towards someone you admire as a guide. This helps because it doesn’t make your goal abstract. After all, you’ve seen people in similar situations and they handled it gracefully.
If someone you admire acts in an emotionally mature and positive way in tough situations, it’s great to use them as a role model. It’s important to of course, not lose track of who you are. You don’t want to become your role model and lose yourself. You just want to learn how they handle situations so maybe they have a great work ethic that you admire so you’d pick that up and try it out. It could be how do they handle negative feedback. Probably calm and smoothly. Then it’s worth giving it a try. So next time you’re in a tough situation, think, what would your role model do?
- Keep a thought diary
Probably you suffer from negative thoughts and you are constantly discouraging yourself. Pointing out your flaws every time you look in the mirror or create a minor inconvenience. It’s important to our mental health that we work towards having positive thoughts as opposed to negative ones.
The negative comments we make to ourselves pile up in our subconscious and they become our narrative. Soon you’re left with a harsh thinking pattern that will often take the lead when it comes to what you think. These thought processes are usually automatic and can become habitual although we don’t want to think of ourselves or others in a negative light. A good way to think positive is to practice cognitive reconstruction. This can be done by keeping a thought diary. Write down what you feel every day; “what were some thoughts that raced through your mind?”, “what did you stress about?”, “was it worth it?”, “what are some alternative ways to look at the situation?” Our worry can be valid but when we open up our diary and see that the same thoughts take up our day over and over, we may realise they weren’t worth worrying about at all. When we recognise this, we can start to move on and come up with practical solutions on how to resolve our stress and negative thoughts.
My personal favourite is practising positive affirmations. Every morning you wake up look yourself in the mirror and encourage yourself, the day is yours and you decide how it goes for you. This can also be done by journaling, write down three things you’re grateful for and strategically put in place how you’re going to make sure you make the most out of your day.
- Learn to be open minded
Emotionally mature people understand that they don’t have all the answers. That’s why it’s best to open our minds to other perspectives, besides simply our own. We may have a strong opinion on certain subjects but it doesn’t hurt to actively listen to another’s opposing opinion. Instead of thinking about ways we can persuade them that they’re wrong, it’s best not to judge someone or something right away. If we learn to be open minded, even with the little things, we give ourselves the chance to try something new. We can enjoy different films or literature we might not have thought was our taste and most importantly, hear others out. We may learn something from listening to another’s perspective, and we may even realise we were wrong. We can still choose our opinions in the end but this is after we’ve listened with an open mind to others beliefs or arguments. Even if we don’t agree, we may understand them a little bit more and that can be powerful.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
- Embrace reality
Some people often beat themselves up because of their circumstances and their flaws. They remember negative thoughts and spend a lot of time dwelling on their reality. Instead of dwelling on your flaws or even suppressing them, accept and embrace them.
This is your life. Instead of ignoring your struggles, find a way to be at peace with them. If you can change it, work towards change and if you can’t, embrace who you are, where you are, and work towards what will make you smile. Embracing this will not only give you clarity to move forward but peace as well.
- Pause and be patient
Have you ever been in a heated argument and said something you didn’t mean and later regretted it? This is likely because we act on impulse when upset. If we take a moment to pause and reflect, we can then begin to say what we really mean. Simply expressing how we feel and why can turn a situation around by not only making the other person understand you, but yourself as well. Choose to pause in a stressful or confusing situation to give yourself the option to consciously choose how you want to react. It will only lead you on the path to emotional maturity.
- Live in the present
Dwelling on the past can cause us sadness and regret and dwelling on the future, don’t even get me started on how stressful that is. So while we can learn from our past and make choices for our future, we need to learn to live in the present. If we’re present and make conscious decisions we are less likely to react negatively or fall into old habits. Being present is powerful. It’s the only moment we can act, choose, experience and enjoy if we allow ourselves to. We can’t change the past and we can’t jump to the future so why waste the precious time we have dwelling on them. Life is happening now, as we speak, in front of you.
Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
This brings us to the end of this article. Thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our social media buttons or the contact us page. We are here to listen because we care about you and want to hear you out❤️🤗. After all your mental health may just thank you.
Also, if you find it hard to manage your life and suspect you might be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness, we encourage you to seek professional help. Let us know in the comments below if you find this blog post insightful. Also be sure to share it with someone who could benefit from it too. Don’t forget to click the like button. Have an amazing week ahead!