Thirteen Habits to Adopt to Attain Emotional Maturity
Emotional maturity is a capacity that allows people to live in peace with their feelings. If you don’t have it, it’s easy for you to get carried away by what you feel. Then, things can go wrong. Therefore, in order to manage your emotions in a healthier way, it’s necessary to reach emotional maturity. However, you can only achieve it by working actively on certain habits that promote this quality.
Acquiring emotional maturity is one of the ways to a more pleasant and fulfilling life. Not only will you feel more in tune with yourself, but, in all likelihood, with those around you too. In addition, better managing your emotional world will help you deal with everyday difficulties in a more adaptive way.
Everyday practices to reach emotional maturity
Smart emotional management is challenging. All people face emotional difficulties to a greater or lesser degree. What makes the difference is the effort they invest in reaching emotional maturity.
Although it may seem difficult, the key to achieving this goal is actually being consistent and committed. Below, you’ll discover a series of useful recommendations for the cultivation of this characteristic.
1. Work on your assertiveness
It’s within the social context where you can probably best exhibit your emotional maturity. In this sense, assertiveness is a key skill. It’s understood as the ability to express your emotions without attacking others.
Camargo et al (2009) published an investigation in which they studied the correlation between self-esteem and assertiveness. Their results showed a positive association between the two dimensions. Consequently, it can be affirmed that, by being more assertive, you’ll feel better about yourself.
We mentioned in the previous point that expressing what you feel in an intelligent way makes you feel better. However, you can’t express what you feel if you’re not able to identify that feeling. Therefore, good emotional intelligence is based on good emotional cognition.
3. Consider keeping a journal
Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal is a useful strategy for better emotional management. In addition, it allows you to know more about your perception of the world and identify any cognitive biases. The best way to keep a journal is to add it to your daily agenda so you remember to complete it at a certain time every day.
4. Reflect before acting
Instinct helps you a lot when you have to make quick decisions that involve a lot of information. On the contrary, it doesn’t help you much at all if you find yourself submerged in a negative emotional state charged with energy. For example, those in which anger or rage predominate.
5. Learn that your emotions are valid
We’ve talked about emotional regulation and its positives. However, beware, because emotional self-regulation doesn’t mean that you have to try and reduce the influence of your emotions to zero.
Vargas (2013) conducted some research on psychosomatic disorders and emotional distress in university students. In this article, she mentions different situations (study pressure, relationship problems, and family situation) that are susceptible to psychological stress and end up generating psychosomatic clinical disorders.
6. Forget about being perfect
Parents and society in general often place unrealistic expectations on children as they grow older. Consequently, they live trying to become a perfect prototype who does everything well. However, the reality is that mistakes are an inevitable part of life for everyone.
Try to work out what those unrealistic goals are that you’ve set for yourself and attempt to put them aside. Or, even better, create new goals based on kinder and more realistic expectations for yourself. You’ll see how your constant frustration diminishes and you’ll be able to reach emotional maturity.
7. Let go of the parts of the past that don’t help you
There’s no denying the importance of the past. After all, it’s those experiences that have brought you to where you are today. However, the problem occurs when you cling to episodes from your past that don’t bring you any well-being at all.
Obviously, sometimes, there’ll be emotional events in your past that you simply can’t ever forget. In these cases, psychological care is the key to dealing with these kinds of conflicts.
8. See mistakes as opportunities
One of the reasons why errors are so undesirable and conflicting is because of the way you perceive them. Indeed, you generally associate mistakes with failure and a lack of capability. As a result, failures knock your self-esteem and make you feel uncomfortable.
If instead, you start to see failures as opportunities to grow, you’ll feel very different. Never forget that perfection is non-existent and that even bad experiences provide learning opportunities.
9. Avoid complaining
Adversities are part of life. But what’s the use of complaining all the time? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on finding solutions to problems?
When you view difficulties as challenges rather than threats, your anxiety lessens. Sometimes, the solutions might even be clearly visible, but you’re more comfortable complaining and doing nothing.
10. Practice empathy
Empathy is about having the ability to understand the feelings and thoughts of others. This ability is essential to be able to maintain pleasant interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, empathy is something shown by people who’ve striven to reach emotional maturity.
In addition, if you’re empathetic, it’s more likely that your environment will be empathetic toward you. Added to this fact, when you’re understanding of others, you become kinder to yourself at the same time. Therefore, developing this quality benefits you enormously.
Mindfulness consists of focusing your senses on your present experience, without judging it. This is a precious resource. However, it’s not what you’re used to doing. Nevertheless, anyone can learn how to do it and put it into practice
By doing so, you’ll be able to recognize your feelings in a more direct and profound way. This means you’ll be able to regulate them healthily. In fact, a systematic review by Hodann and Serrano (2016) concluded that mindfulness is a useful complement to clinical intervention in some clinical disorders.
12. Develop active listening
Active listening requires both attention and effort on your part. It occurs when your mental activity is focused on what the other person is communicating to you. It’s extremely necessary for dialogues rich in content and meaning to take place.
13. Go to psychotherapy
Without a doubt, this is one of the best options for developing emotional maturity that you can try. Indeed, psychologists possess evidence-based technical and theoretical knowledge regarding emotional management that can help.
Finally, remember that psychological care isn’t only useful for the achievement of emotional maturity. As a matter of fact, in the therapeutic space, you’ll always find a place to express yourself without feeling like you’re being judged.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Hodann-Caudevilla, R. M., & Serrano-Pintado, I. (2016). Revisión sistemática de la eficacia de los tratamientos basados en mindfulness para los trastornos de ansiedad. Ansiedad y Estrés, 22(1), 39-45.
- León Camargo, A., Rodríguez Angarita, C., Ferrel Ortega, F. R., & Ceballos Ospino, G. A. (2009). Asertividad y autoestima en estudiantes de primer semestre de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud de una universidad pública de la ciudad de Santa Marta (Colombia). Psicología desde el Caribe, (24), 91-105.
- Vargas Araya, P. (2013). Las enfermedades psicosomáticas y el malestar emocional de los (as) estudiantes de la Sede del Atlántico, Universidad de Costa Rica. InterSedes, 14(28), 05-24.
- Velasco Bernal, J. J. (2014). LA INTELIGENCIA EMOCIONAL. Industrial Data, 4(1), 80. https://doi.org/10.15381/idata.v4i1.6677