Mastering Adulthood | Lara E. Fielding

Summary of: Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up
By: Lara E. Fielding


Embark on a journey of emotional growth and transformation with ‘Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up’ by Lara E. Fielding. This book summary explores the concept of emotional regulation and its impact on your overall well-being. By examining habits and their origins, you will learn how these ingrained routines can both help and hinder your development. The book also delves into the complex world of personality, emphasizing the importance of balance and adaptability. By implementing mindfulness techniques, understanding your mind-body connection, and recognizing subconscious triggers, you can leave behind outdated emotional habits and forge ahead towards a healthier, more mature adulthood.

Mastering Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is the ability to adapt to environmental changes. However, major changes can cause despondency and anxiety, leading to a lack of energy and doubt. To grow and mature, it’s important to learn strategies for countering these feelings. Mastering emotional regulation won’t just address outward signs of distress but will help you identify the core of upset feelings and give you more control.

Emotional Habits

Our emotional system can become unregulated, leading us to either over-regulate or under-regulate. Habits develop to make life easier, but they can interfere with our long-term goals. We may lose awareness of how our habits were formed and struggle to acknowledge when they no longer serve us. Our emotional habits are often ways of thinking and behaving that prioritize immediate gratification over our long-term objectives. Even seemingly good habits, such as working hard, can derail our ability to lead a healthy life. To overcome these obstacles, we need to identify and change our emotional habits, which may require confronting our fear of failure or ambiguity and seeking new sources of emotional reward.

Shaping Your Personality

The way you think, feel, and act determines your personality. It is molded by your behavior patterns, which then dictate your habits. The good news is that your habits can be changed, thus altering your personality. Psychologists believe that every decision you make, shapes your personality. Human personalities fall on a continuum: at one end, people want to relate to others, while at the other end, people need to maintain their identity. To preserve your adaptability, it is crucial to find a balance between the two.

The Castle and The Village

The way we regulate our behavior can be compared to living in a castle or a village. Those who live in castles tend to over-regulate, while village dwellers under-regulate. Castle dwellers have little experience dealing with their own feelings and find it hard to show empathy. On the other hand, village dwellers have lots of emotional connections but may lose sight of their own needs. Understanding our habits, which are influenced by the natural human pull to do what feels good, can help us assess their cost and benefits. For village dwellers, problematic relationships can sabotage creativity and connections with others.

The Mind-Body Connection

Think of your mind and body as a vehicle that you navigate through life. Your biological system is a part of the puzzle of achieving your goals, and how you maintain your car and driving skills matter too. You can regulate your emotional reactions by directing your vehicle. Each person’s psychological framework, feelings, and motivation are determined by their system, ETA, which is a combination of emotions, thoughts, and action impulses. Passengers are our sensitive spots of thinking and feeling that can affect us when triggered by past events. Emotions signal our deepest needs and can guide us in the right direction. By recognizing and managing our passengers, we can reshape and reframe how we perceive our experiences.

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