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15 Brutal Truths Women In Their 40s Want Women In Their 30s To Know

15 Brutal Truths Women In Their 40s Want Women In Their 30s To Know

I can imagine so many of you nodding your heads as you read this. Anxiety about growing older is understandable. Age is only a number and it happens whether you are prepared for it or not. Knowing these brutal truths earlier prepares you to age more gracefully.

 1. Sleeping with make-up on ages your skin

The make-up layer not only dries out the top layer of the skin, it also prevents the shedding of dead skin. This slows down the normal renewal cycle, resulting in dull and uneven textured skin. The environmental pollutants fastened to the make-up create oxidative stress.  The resulting free radicals can cause your skin to age faster.

 2. Frequent use of stilettos does lead to health problems

When you hit your 40’s, the extended use of high heels and the cramming of your toes into abnormal positions can result in  a variety of ailments, starting with ingrown toenails to irreparable damage to leg tendons. Reserve your stilettos for special occasions only. Stretch and massage your foot afterwards to prevent nerve damage.

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 3. Sleep deprivation adds more wrinkles

If just missing a few nights of sleep leads to sallow skin and puffy eyes, can you imagine the accumulated damage by the time you enter your 40’s? The body releases a stress hormone called cortisol when you don’t sleep enough. High cortisol levels break down collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin wrinkle-free.

 4. Always wears sunscreen. Yes, even in winter

When you hit the 40’s and start scrutinizing your wrinkles, you’ll definitely regret not having worn your sunscreen more frequently when younger. Even if you don’t fear skin cancer, year-round application of sunscreen drastically slows the aging of skin due to the ultraviolet rays.

 5. It is indeed harder to lose weight

Just looking at food seems to add pounds as the decades pass. It is easier for women in their 30’s to lose weight. Though it is not impossible, it does get harder as you hit the 40’s since the metabolism does really slow down. If you are overweight, now is the right time to shed those extra pounds. You will definitely reap so many benefits in terms of health, looks and self confidence for the years to come.

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 6. You have to strength train to prevent muscle loss

You can blame this one on the hormones. As estrogen level start declining in the 40’s, other hormonal changes including that of the thyroid, lead to not just increased appetite, but also to loss in overall muscle mass. This increases the chances of gaining weight. Women in their 30’s should start ‘strength training’ to build up muscle, which will help to increase their metabolism and help burn more calories during the day.

 7. You are one beautiful chick

Appreciate how beautiful you are. As you age and you look back at your youthful self, you will realize that you were actually quite good-looking.  Stop agonizing over your pimple, color, height or weight. Enjoy your present. It is indeed a beautiful gift.

 8. Spend quality time with your parents

Though your parents may be quite independent today, they will one day need to be cared for. Have a diplomatic discussion with your parents concerning future living arrangements, health care, funeral wishes and inheritance.

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 9. Speak less and listen more

Really listen and give the other person time to finish their speech. Think it over before answering as people are more apt to listen and value your well thought out reply.

 10. Grow a thicker skin

You should challenge your feelings. If you feel upset with someone’s behavior, it’s high time you stopped letting it stress you out.  Feel pity for them as this actually reflects their inner state, not yours. The world is not going to cater to your sensitivities, so grow a thicker skin and stop take things personally. Don’t let anyone dictate what kind of day you are going to have

 11. Don’t be a people-pleaser

More than being a waste of time, it’s actually damaging. You can’t change or rescue anyone. Accept that it is not your responsibility anyway. Love yourself first. Whether it about getting married or birthing a child, wait until it feels right for you. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to please someone. If you can’t or don’t want to do it, just say NO.

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 12. This is the most advantageous time to have a baby

If becoming a mother is important to you and you have the right man in your life, it is most advisable that you don’t put off having children. Your 30s is the most optimal time for this from a financial and practical view point. As time progresses it may become much more difficult to get pregnant and there are chances of medical complications in such cases.

 13. Save your money, it’ll save you later

Don’t run up your credit cards bills just because you can. You’ll be thankful later when real needs come up. Pensions are extremely important. Buying life insurance young is much cheaper. Focus on becoming financially independent. You should have something of your own.  When you have the means to take care of yourself, you will have more confidence in facing whatever life throws at you.

 14. Focus on yourself and not on a man

Invest in yourself. Make yourself the best you can be. Finish your education or learn a new language. Travel, read, expand your horizons. Focus and maintain your own health – both physically and mentally.

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15. Focus on being self sufficient

You must trust in your abilities. You must keep on believing that you have what it takes to make it through. With every obstacle you face in life, you learn so much more about yourself and you will come out much stronger. Be brave.

Featured photo credit: www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Anju Mobin

Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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