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10 Lessons On Happiness That All Women Turning 30 Should Know

10 Lessons On Happiness That All Women Turning 30 Should Know

Sometime around next year, I am turning 30. A new milestone, in my personal opinion. Despite, getting elevated by that mere thought of turning 30, and planning to celebrate it in style, there are some things that, we, the soon-to-be-30 women, should need to remember. It doesn’t matter whether you are married and have kids, whether you are a successful entrepreneur, you are single, or are a housewife, whatever it is you are, you should always keep in mind that happiness should never, ever depart from your life.

I know some women who are yet to turn 30 simply get into some kind of “depression” in regards to their age. If you remind them of their upcoming birthday, they would say, “thanks for reminding me of my age! Grr!” To them, I would say, age is just a number. It is how you prefer to live your life, that matters. And to them, I would also say (as well as the rest of the near 30s women from round the globe) here are 10 lessons for you on happiness that you should know before (and maybe after) you turn 30.

1. Value your relationships.

By now, you are, more or less, settled in life. You have an amazing job, companionable colleagues, a sufficient amount of finances to live you off agreeably. Or, you have a house full of playful, tiny members, running around the house, and your time is spend cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and doing everything in between, leaving you totally exhausted at the end of the day. Despite your day starting at 6:00am and concluding at 10:00pm, don’t forget those valuable people who have moulded you the way you are. Call your parents, contact your siblings, and communicate with your friends. Try to make it regularly. Talking to them can relax your mind. Remember, they are the ones who stay with you through thick and thin.

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2. Don’t rush, take it slowly.

This is in regards to everything in your life. Don’t be impatient. If you are dating someone, take your time to decide whether your partner is the right one for you, whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them. If you love doing something, do it. For example, don’t change your career because it will make you earn more. Do that thing which you love the most. Even if it takes time to grow into your choice of path, let it take time. Being 30 doesn’t mean you have solved the puzzle of your life. You are still young.

3. Everything is not about your work, you have a life, too!

Moulding up your career and life brings me to this point. There are so many of the young you’s out there who would dedicate their entire life to their work. And here, I am not talking about only office related services. It can be household chores, it can be anything that is monotonic. There’s a saying that all work but no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all need to play every now and then. Utilize one of your weekends and plan a day out with your pals. Watch movies, visit outskirts of your city, travel. Different activities will unclog your mind.

4. Money can’t buy happiness.

Women, you can contend that shopping is your happiness, and for that you need money. Can’t argue with this. But does happiness entirely depend on money? Not really. There are those little things in life that matters most. For example, a long phone conversation with your bestie. Those lazy vacations you spend with your family at home. Or bathing in the sun, reading your favorite book in your favorite park. The silly laughs and the lamest jokes. And no, just because you’re an “adult” doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all these over and over again.

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5. No one’s picture perfect.

The models you adore on the glossy magazines are photoshopped. So don’t fret over making yourself copy the supermodels. They have flaws, too. And they are beautiful. So are you. Embrace yourself, embrace your flaws.

6. Build your life on experiences.

Experience is the best way to learn new things in life. It is believed that through experiences, one can learn first-hand lessons, more important and valuable than what one learns at school or through text books. Traveling is one form of a first-hand experience. The more you travel, the more knowledge of the world you acquire. The more you taste various cuisines, the more you get to know about diverse cultures. The more you socialise, the more you can understand human nature. The more you show interest in miscellaneous topics, the more you get to expand your knowledge. So, the next time you want to learn dancing, go for it. Don’t stop yourself.

7. Comparisons create unnecessary pressure.

This is one thing, us who turn 30 soon do naturally. We try to compare ourselves with others our age. That is quite wrong, to be honest. It simply puts lots of pressure on yourself, leading you to depression, and frustration, and all those negativities. Why would you care if your friend is rich enough to spend thousands per month? Or if she is settled down in life with husband and kids? Everyone has their priorities. Everyone shapes their own life. You are doing it, too. Don’t grumble about what others have or do.

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8. Failure is the pillar of success.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Aim for success, but don’t expect it to come to your door the very first time. You will always fall down. This will teach you what went wrong. That lesson will take you further in life. Picking up on your failures will eventually lead you to success.

9. Allow your heart to talk once in a while.

By now, you are pretty much accustomed to seniors advising you to “use your brain, rather than your heart”. But sometimes it is also advisable to use your heart rather than your brain. For example, the other day, my daughter had fever early in the morning. By the time she had to go to daycare, her fever was gone and she was playing. My brain was telling me that she is fine and you can go to work. But my heart didn’t want to leave her. I ended up listening to my brain (it’s wise, right?). By the fourth hour at my office, a call came that my daughter’s fever rose again and that I should come immediately. Little decisions like this in life need the heart, too.If your heart says do this, I think you can always give it a go. See where it takes you.

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10. Don’t forget to laugh out loud (lol)

Cracking jokes, laughing hard till you snort, this is an important part of life. You have enough time to enjoy life. Being 30 is never ever considered to be old enough to take life seriously. You can easily be silly in public with your people. Do whatever makes you laugh, makes you fall in love with life. We are still young to rejoice life to the fullest!

Featured photo credit: paultarasenko via shutterstock.com

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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