Advertising
Advertising

20 Things I Wish I Did In My 20s

20 Things I Wish I Did In My 20s

20s are always awesome. You are young and free, with your whole life ahead of you. You have the choice to achieve anything you want, and are free from many of the responsibilities that come with being in your thirties. However, usually only when you’ve turned 30, you realized there’re much you haven’t done yet. And it’s harder to achieve them once you enter another stage of life.

These are the things I wish I did in my 20s. If you’re in your 20s, maybe it’s time to take action right now.

1. Travel to a farther country

In my 20s, when I still have time and freedom, I didn’t travel to many countries that are far far away. Because I didn’t have much money. Now I have some money, but I don’t have enough time. If I can go back, I’d find more ways to earn the money or any ways that can support my traveling.

2. Reject people who don’t deserve a position in my life

There’re some people who aren’t meant to stay in your life. At that time I was too afraid to hurt others and always hesitate to reject people. At the end, everyone hurts, or everyone wastes their time.

Advertising

3. Apply for my dream job even if it’s low-paid

When you’re still young, never let anything stop you. Looking back, I was worried about too many unimportant things that told me not to go for what I really like.

4. Travel alone

The world is beautiful, and there is so much of it to see. Travelling alone means you get to do everything that you want to do, and it will make you more independent and self-reliant.

5. Learn to cook a few healthy meals

Take-out food is expensive (and normally pretty unhealthy). Learn to cook a few meals that you love so you can always eat something delicious and healthy. What you ate would be reflected by your body in your 30s.

6. Travel with friends

Have an amazing time in another country with your best friends. It will be one of the best times of your life, and you will never forget the memories. When you enter your 30s, it’ll become much harder to find a time to just see your friends.

Advertising

7. Let go of grudges

The past is in the past – they are only weighing you down.

8. Spend more time with my parents – and forgive them

I used to be too hard on my parents. I thought they were not good enough. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, even your parents. Spend time with them and work on your relationship together.

9. Ditch toxic relationships

Stop holding onto relationships that make you feel upset or stressed out. They will never change, and real friends don’t make you feel awful.

10. Talk to everyone (and anyone)

Small talk can lead to new opportunities and friendships.

Advertising

11. Be honest with myself and others

Your life will be much happier and less stressful – lying always complicates things.

12. Find a type of exercise that I enjoy

Exercise is a lot of fun if you are doing something that you actually enjoy. There are lots of options out there; yoga, basketball, soccer, hiking, walking, or even salsa.

13. Brush and floss my teeth

You only get one set of teeth. Look after them every day!

14. Take more risks

Not just one risk – take as many as you want! Life is very limiting when you are motivated by fear instead of passion.

Advertising

15. Stay up all night having fun with my friends

As you get older, it will be harder to go without sleep. Make the most of it now by staying up late with your friends and having fun together. Go to a club, a bar or a concert and stay out until the sun comes up!

16. Be as busy as I can be

Staying busy means making memories and achieving goals. When you do nothing, nothing obviously happens as a result.

17. Make more new friends

Replace your toxic relationships with happy, fulfilling new friendships.

18. Start paying off my debt

Make your debt disappear in your twenties so you have the extra income in your thirties for other responsibilities.

19. Spend a night under the stars

Camping is a lot of fun, and it’s awe-inspiring to take in the night sky.

20. Write a letter to an old friend

This is a sweet gesture that shows your friend how much you appreciate them, and they can treasure the letter forever. Sometimes it’s a small gesture that can keep your friendship forever.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

Feeling Trapped? Do These 9 Things to Take Your Life Back 10 Health Benefits Of Avocado This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You Daily Routine of Successful People That Will Inspire You to Achieve More 15 Inspirational Weekend Activities to do by Yourself

Trending in 20-Something

1 One Solid Practice for Tackling Low Self-Esteem 2 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 3 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 4 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head 5 How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next