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What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

What People Should Stop Doing When They Turn 30

When I was just about to turn 30, I had a few choices to make. I could have gone on teaching and eating out every night in Naples. But my career was knocking at the door and I started to get serious about it. I decided to start studying for a new qualification and then taking two years out to do a Masters’ degree. I missed all the fun times and the seductive Neapolitan lifestyle. But these were short lived regrets as I saw my career advance.

Nothing is written in stone about what you should stop doing once you turn 30. But it is usually around then that life, relationships and career start muscling their way into your life.

You also have the added complication of whether to start a family and what sort of relationship could help you fulfil that ambition. Does parenting really appeal to you?

Here are 15 things people should stop doing now to make their future more secure and tranquil.

1. Stop spending money extravagantly

You have to start thinking about a pension which you might need just 30 years from now. If you are lucky, you can get good financial advice about pension funds or figure it out yourself by investing wisely. This will give you financial security to help you buy property later on.

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2. Stop dithering about job or career moves

The best thing to do is to start getting rid of mismatches and gaps in your resume. Stress the fact that your best talents and skills set can be leveraged to fit the demands of a new job or career. In this way, you are displaying how proactive you can be.

3. Stop using social media so much

Time to get real and start making some valuable connections out there. That means using social media less and less. It also means that you should be aiming to network outside your organization. If you are an introvert, this may be a bit daunting.

Susan Cain in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has some good advice. There is no need to take the standard extrovert as the norm. You should be trying to make more meaningful and deeper contacts so it really is worthwhile getting to know people at more than a superficial level.

4. Stop posting silly things on Facebook

Yes, employers do check your social media profiles so if you are really serious about a career, delete all those photos of you having a great time. Post some really professional stuff such as you networking at a conference.

5. Stop thinking about your past failures

Maybe a relationship went all wrong or you did not get the dream job you wanted. Most psychologists agree that too much ruminating and blaming yourself for past errors can have lasting negative effects. If these regrets are keeping you from getting on with life and planning your future, then it really is time to stop.

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6. Stop texting while driving

Not that all the people who do this are under 30! I daydream about fixing an anti-phone device in each car. Problem solved and people start driving responsibly. But if you cannot control a texting addiction at this age, then it is time to think about this.

7. Stop sleeping in at weekends

Maybe you think that you can recover your lost sleep at the weekend. You need to, because of all that hard work and late night partying during the week. Scientists have shown that this recovery sleep is not going to fix all the problems and the long term effects are unknown. Much better to start getting more regular sleep. That will leave you much more time to do something fun and productive at the weekend.

8. Stop having hangovers

What a waste of time! You feel lousy for days afterwards and you cannot even get going on work, leisure and all the other things that make life worthwhile. If you cannot get out of that social whirl, you can easily prevent and cure a hangover. How? Just by drinking plenty of water, before, during and afterwards. Water will keep you from getting dehydrated. This is the main cause of a hangover.

9. Stop having toxic friendships

Time to have a good clear out of people who are simply poisoning you with their toxicity. Maybe you have been too lazy to do that up to now. But if a friend is always criticizing you, taking advantage of your kindness, or just not being reliable, then you have to cut them off.

Remember that real friendships are like gold. They have to be long-lasting and keep their value. If they do not, then it is time to move on.

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10.  Stop making excuses about your workouts

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

These excuses about skipping your gym class or workout are now getting a bit thin as you turn 30. Time to concentrate on getting results, enjoying yourself and measuring your progress. The excuses will soon start to fade away as you get more motivated.

11. Stop eating fast food

I had to start to learn to cook as I was getting embarrassed about all the dinner invitations I was receiving. I never bothered in my twenties and I was just plain lazy. The number of pizzas I ate must be a record. Once I started to learn how to cook, my life, health, and social standing all changed dramatically. Yes, I had to study and try things out. Living in Italy was an enormous advantage but also an enormous challenge. Italians know a lot about good food!

12. Stop closing your mind to certain beliefs and ideas

 “Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out”. – Carl Sagan

Learning about new ideas and exploring the world are great ways of challenging the preconceptions we sometimes latch on to in our twenties. The best way of doing this is to travel and have a great time. Try out new things and judge them as objectively as you can.

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13. Stop driving recklessly

Last weekend, a 22 year old Italian driver lost control of his car at a roundabout. The car ploughed into a group of guys who were having a drink at a nearby bar. Four of them were killed, including the driver’s own brother!

It is never too early to start driving responsibly and making sure that you are not over the alcohol limit.

14. Stop playing Wii and video games all the time

These games are great to help you pass the time when you have to wait for public transport. But if this is your favourite pastime at home where you become a games slave, then there must be something wrong.

15. Stop adding new tattoos

You might well be embarrassed when you have to hide certain tattoos at your workplace when the company culture is pretty strict about these things. Nothing wrong in having a few inked spots but when you have to explain new ones after 30, this may make you feel uncomfortable.

Let us know what things you stopped doing when you turned 30. What were the benefits or drawbacks?

Featured photo credit: Texting while driving/Intel Free Press via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2020

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

It boils down to these four essential requirements:

  • Emotional empowerment
  • Aligned attraction
  • Sexual functioning
  • You and your partner

While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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1. Emotional Empowerment

A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

2. Attraction in Alignment

Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

“When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

“If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

“If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

“Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

  • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
  • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
  • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
  • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

3. Sexual Function

Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

Final Thoughts

The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

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