The media loves to paint a portrait of the frazzled thirtysomething rushing to work, taking care of the kids and having time for a dwindling social life. The reality is, well, not far off at times. But there are a lot of us finding peace in our thirties and learning to really find out what’s important and how we can have a happy life. Here are a few of those secrets revealed by those who have embraced their 30s and are adulting in style.
They care about their health
Exercise energizes us and shakes up those happy hormones such as endorphins. Proper nutrition gives us enough of the nutrients and vitamins that help us to de-stress, keep a stable mood, and have enough energy to play when we get home from work. Plus, prioritizing both exercise and nutrition is not only a way to fight aging and stress, it’s also how we honour ourselves. Self-love goes a long way any time you’re up against the pressures you find in your thirties. Get your sweat on and remember s’all good.
They don’t compare themselves to others
It’s so tempting to look at more successful, younger people and criticize ourselves about not measuring up. It seems to be a natural thing that we do and the only consolation is the saying, “We all run our own race.” But happy thirtysomethings know where they’ve been and appreciate where they are because of the great experiences they’ve had. When the feelings of jealously or self-deprecation come up, they are able to quickly remind themselves of all they’ve accomplished and how everything was delicately woven together to bring them all the gifts they’ve been given in life.
A lot of this is often due to a regular gratitude practice or purposeful mindfulness throughout the day. It also comes from regularly taking stalk throughout the year and analyzing accomplishments and new goals to set. And when all else fails, they tattoo the expression on their wrist. (Sorry, GenX- hipster joke).
They take risks
Anyone who says they’re stuck is more likely being indecisive. When we look at our options, we need to feel the fear but act anyway. This is the risk. Risk can be one of the scariest notions for thirtysomethings because, often, we have a lot to lose.
But, we also have a lot to gain.
Happy thirtysomethings know that a little risk goes a long way. They know that there’s still time to work things out if it goes wrong. They’ve come to a place where a little risk could mean more, not less or lack, for their family.
It also doesn’t hurt that Nike introduced a new slogan in 1988, making thirtysomethings now the ‘Just Do It generation.’
They really listen to music
In a Huffington Post article on the habits of Supremely Happy People, “They value a good mixtape,” made the list for a very good reason. In a three-month study, researchers from the Group Health Research Institute discovered decreased symptoms of anxiety, comparable to those who had ten hour-long massages. My guess is that these people were really listening and not just zoning out on their commute.
So throw on the headphones and put on your jam. It may even be time to dig out the memory box and find some of the songs that transport you back to high school or university, just to add to the appreciation for who you were, who you are now, and how far you’ve come.
They have a plan (to not seek approval)
There’s nothing more spirit-crushing than having a plan or an idea and having it stomped on. No wait – What’s actually crappy about that is when you actually care what anyone else thinks about your idea.
Consider this from Jen Sincero’s book, You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life:
Would you be offended if someone kept making
fun of how short you were if you were six feet tall?
We’re not affected by things that we don’t buy into ourselves. So the trick is to know your path, have faith in it and you’ll have the confidence to go forward no matter what anyone says. If you aren’t sure of your idea or yourself then you’re leaving yourself vulnerable, and leaving room for naysayers and doubt to creep in. Stay strong and you’ll be impervious.
Luckily, in our thirties we start to get a lot more sure of ourselves and more comfortable in our skin, so this whole step begins to get a lot easier as time goes on.
They care about the company they keep
Thanks to many great speakers, it’s pretty much common knowledge that we are all a sum of the 5 people we hang around with most – this even goes for the salary we make! In other words, take a look at the 5 people you hang around most and what they earn, the success of their relationships, the level of their health and happiness, and you might realize you’re looking into a real-life mirror.
If you don’t like what you see, you may have to expand your circle of friends. This doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to people you love, but if you want to know how wealthier people live, you need to check out what they do differently. If your health is suffering, it could be because your current group likes to hang at the pub too much. Another group might be at the juice bar instead and can teach you a thing or two about healthy Friday night fun.
I’d love to hear how you’re looking for or how you’ve found happiness in your thirties. Please comment here or on Facebook.