How To Find Happiness in Your 30s

Getting "older" has its perks

Fact: We are happier when we connect with other people.


Studies consistently show that our happiness is linked with the happiness of others. According to the Framingham Heart Study — an ongoing and evolving study that started way back in 1948 — people reported the following feelings after spending time with happy people:

  1. Hopeful about the future.

  2. Simply…happy.

  3. Like they genuinely enjoyed life.

  4. That they were “just as good” as other people.

In addition…

According to the trusted Well Experts from The New York Times, Yale researchers concluded the following on happiness — after conducting a connective study on happiness & social networks:

  • People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others they are connected with.

  • People who are surrounded by (lots of) happy people are more likely to become happy in the future.

  • Each additional happy friend increases your chance of happiness by about 9%.

  • Geography matters! Our happiness increases when we live close to happy friends and family members.

All of that said…

Here is how I’m finding happiness in my 30s, and how you can too.

  1. I am letting myself enjoy the process of my work (this newsletter, my clothing brand, my book) instead of obsessing over the end result and timeline.

The lesson: Taking the pressure off myself results in greater creativity and lesser feelings of anxiety and depression.

  1. I am not hesitating over what to wear out of fear it’s “too much” or “too extra” for the New England town I currently reside in. Aka I will wear purple lipstick to a coworking space and not think twice about it.

The lesson: If I’m not true to myself, how can I expect other people to be true to me? How can I expect to attract the right people into my life if I’m not showing up as Me as I can?

  1. I am reaching out to people from my past that I have lost touch with to let them know I think of them often, and are really thankful they were in my life for the period of time they were.

The lesson: Good people can be hard to come by. Don’t take them for granted.

  1. I’m making an effort to keep in touch with my friends who don’t live near me. This is literally all of my friends other than the few I have very recently made here. Having weekly chats (even brief) with them always makes me feel good.

The lesson: Knowing who your true friends are — as you evolve in motherhood, marriage, work and beyond — is not something to be overlooked.

  1. I’m no longer feeling guilty for “having it too easy” in regards to only having one child. No one has made me feel guilty about this other than myself.

The lesson: Feeling happy with where you are in life doesn’t have to be attached to guilt or selfishness. Society has a way of making us feel like in order for life to feel “worth it,” it should feel hard. I disagree. I think life is simple, but we are obsessed with overcomplicating it.

Takeaway

Improving our social connections results in a greater sense of happiness.

Questions For You

  • How are you guys spending Thanksgiving? What are you wearing? I’m wearing a green leopard jumpsuit because why not.

  • What are you annoyed by this week? How can you make it better?

  • What are you struggling with this week? How can you overcome it?

  • What are you excited about this week? How can you sustain that feeling?

What I’m reading this week

The Guest List by Lucy Foley. I’m halfway through and am deeply enthralled in how it will end. Highly recommend.

What I’m listening to this week

What Makes a Good Leader? Goop podcast. Whether you’re a manager or not, this podcast really is gold for explaining why CARE, rather than performance, needs to be at the core of leadership — and in business in general.

Glow Up & Show Up with Stylist Lillian Charles Girls Gotta Eat podcast. It’s about knowing (and owning) your personal style, yes. But the overarching point is so much deeper. Highly recommend.

Mantra of the Week

I will make someone feel awesome about themselves today.

Thank you for reading! What do you want to read about next? Happy holidays, everyone. May you uncork the wine, eat the mashed potatoes, and lay on the couch guilt free.

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Be you.

XOXO,

Ashley