Transformation Tuesday: Controlling my Emotions

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to talk about my lifelong efforts to control my emotions.

I’ve always been over sensitive, and over emotional. I’ve always been full of insecurities and fears about not fitting in and I’ve always reacted rather than responded (later on I found out I had anxiety). I cried easily thoughout high-school so much that I become known for crying a lot, but when I was at university, I learned that I must bottle up my emotions. By 3rd year university, I hid my emotions so well that my friends would tell me that they were surprised I never got mad. Little did they know that I let out my emotions in the comfort of my dorm, crying and on occasions yelling to let it all out. After I graduated, I got better in public, but at home, everytime I got upset, I cried.

When I got married, my husband was horrified by my tears. They angered him because this was something new to him. He has sisters but apparently they don’t cry, at least not in front of him. It took my husband years to accept that sometimes I just need to cry to feel better, but he still acts like I’m an alien everytime I have a mental breakdown, so I try not to have them in front of him.

Bit by bit, I learned to hold in my tears, but that built up emotion turned into anger. Not being able to be vulnerable and honest about my emotions was overwhelming, cue the raging hulk. Every once in a while, I’d snap, explode, and just rage on like a storm for days. That’s exhausting too.

This rage was making me feel like a bad mother and wife and I knew that I had to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I read about how to control my emotions, how to focus on self care, healthy ways to let them out, and how to let them go. I’m still working on putting these things into practice. I think that I appear calm to the outside world. But then again, an aquaintance of mine once told me she could see anger festering beneath my calm exterior. I have this constant fear that I’m not enough for my husband and son, and I don’t know how to make that feeling go away. I also still have this feeling that I don’t quite fit into society or belong anywhere.

It’s been a goal of mine since November 2020 to control my emotions (I literally wrote it down on paper). I have no problem identifying, analyzing and expressing my emotions. I just don’t know how to regulate my emotions or let go of negative emotions.

I read that the signs of emotional immaturity are trust issues, lack of adaptive coping (failing to look after the self by not eating well and exercising, lack of communication to friends or family for support and an inability to foresee stressful events), self-blame and the lack of capacity to stay calm.

By all accounts this means I’m very emotionally immature but I’m trying not to be.

November 2020 I failed to control my emotions with my husband and son. I went full on Hulk at every inconvenience.

December 2020 I focused on not losing my cool at my son and halfway succeeded. I don’t even remember how I was with my husband.

January 2021 I went back to trying to control my emotions with both my husband and my son. With my husband, I succeeded 63.5% of the time. With my son, 58.2% of the time.

Now we’re in February, and I’m trying so hard to focus on controlling my emotions with my husband. No yelling or crying. But with my son, I’m yelling till I’m blue in the face, but I’m also making it up however I can. However, my success is 28% so far, meaning I’m failing miserably.

I’m so burnt out and as a mom who has no job to occupy her (I have my blogs and they’re a big help but still) and nowhere to go (in the middle of a pandemic, teaching my son online) and nobody to go with (I’m bound by my sons online hours and his homework responsibilities and the lack of a car of my own doesn’t help).

I’m not giving myself excuses to keep blowing up or breaking down. I need to grow up and mature emotionally and learn to stop my automatic negative thoughts on my own and not crumble every other day.

I’m trying to be okay. I really am. I’m trying not to play the victim. I’m trying to create my own happiness, but everytime I create a bubble and hide inside of it, it bursts and the reality seems too unbearable.

I’ve been practicing gratitude and meditation. I’ve been reading and writing. I’ve been working on my goals, but I still can’t seem to manage to control my own emotions. Instead, they’re controlling me.

My strategy is basically to keep myself busy (with purpose because boredom is a petri dish to negative thoughts), avoid burnout by attending to my self-care (I’m working on it), increase my self confidence by doing a self confidence challenge and focusing on my strengths, create my own happiness, turn anger into compassion towards myself and my husband and son, focus on the positive attributes of both my husband and son, socialize more (difficult to do in these circumstances) so I don’t rely on my husband to give me all the TLC I need, and last but not least work on strengthening my spiritual connection through prayer and reading quraan.

The goal is to become emotionally mature so I can regulate my own emotions and let go of negative feelings and challenge negative thoughts on my own. I even have woeksheets I’m yet to fill out and more worksheets I’m yet to print.

Maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility

Forgiveness is the sign of maturity.

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Definition of maturity

Maturity is when you live your life by your commitments, not by your feelings. Every new experience brings its own maturity and a greater clarity of vision.

Types of maturity

There is mental (cognitive), physical, and emotional maturity. During one’s lifetime, there are many types of maturation. But the two most important kinds of maturity during childhood are physical and cognitive maturation.

When you become physically mature, you become an adult. However, not all adults are “mature”. In fact, most of them aren’t. Have you heard the saying “growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional”?

Emotional maturity is growing up by working on your personal development. It’s learning not to take things personally and responding to negative people assertively rather than passive-aggressively. It’s facing your problems rather than running away from them or ignoring them. It’s being able to agree to disagree with someone else without disrespecting them.

Age of maturity

While physical maturity occurs around puberty, cognitive maturity occurs at about the age of adolescence (between 13 and 17, but some argue that women’s brains mature at 32 while men’s brains don’t mature until the age of 43) when the brain is fully developed. However, thanks to neuroplasticity, you can always improve your mental maturity by lifelong learning.

When it comes to emotional maturity, age never defines it. It can only define how old a person is physically but it cannot measure how wise or how mature a person is. Age brings maturity and makes one wise because of one’s hardships and experiences throughout the person’s lifetime.

Signs of maturity

  1. Realizing how much you don’t know.
  2. Listening more and talking less.
  3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.
  4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

Importance of maturity

Maturity improves the ability to make good decisions. And with wise choices comes more stability in your life overall. Gone is the flurry of bad relationships, iffy decisions, wild nights out and horrible jobs. As you settle down, life becomes that much more stable and, consequently, easier to handle.

Assessment of your maturity

Behaviors are easily observable and practically every person is naturally attuned to them to some degree. Most people are quick to judge a person’s maturity. After only seconds one can assess to a degree how mature a person is simply by observing how they act, or how they express themselves verbally.

I just took a quiz to assess my maturity level (click here to test your maturity level).

This is what I got

How to increase your maturity

  1. Check your ego at the door. Maintaining relationships is more important than being right.
  2. Be in the moment.
  3. Increase self-discipline.
  4. Develop personal responsibility. Apologize and make amends when you make a mistake, but don’t beat yourself up over it.
  5. Be a victor. Don’t act like a victim of life’s circumstances or like you are helpless to your surroundings.

Sources:

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