Doing These Things In Your Twenties Makes You Happier
Your twenties are a pretty intense time of figuring out how to be an adult, and what kind of adult you’re going to be in the future. Everyone experiences those super-stressful, confusing feelings people have when faced with actual adulthood. Building a life, however, requires circumspection and self-knowledge, two things that are not exactly skills for those in their twenties who are struggling with what they want. But there are some simple, life-loving things you can do in your twenties to become happier and to make your future what you want it to be.
Your twenties are for building your life the way it’s going to look when you’re in your thirties. Why stay at a job you hate? Look for something else, and then something else, until you are sure you’ve found something worth staying for. There’s no perfect job and everything will have something you hate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love what you do.
Ask your parents for advice
They were the original adults in your life! If you’re lucky enough to have parents and be close to them, ask them all of the questions, and not just about what to do with your life. Ask them about theirs. Get closer to the people who brought you in this world and you will also get invaluable insight on how to do this weird adulting thing.
Travel EVERYWHERE. Go on the weekends, explore the next town over, take two weeks from work and go on a yoga retreat but just see the world. Learn about how other people live and connect with them. See sights that take your breath away. Learn to be of the world, not just in it.
Don’t just work
Find hobbies. If you’re not a hobby guy, become a hobby guy (or girl). Go fishing, collect stamps, read 19th century Russian literature, reupholster all your furniture. Have something to do that isn’t work, sleep, drink. You’ll build skills and have an instant outlet for your frustration or anger when something goes wrong. Everyone needs an escape doing something they love.
Do something outrageous
Jump out of a plane. Road trip across the country. Get a tattoo.
Take risks. Again and again.
With high risk comes both high reward and crippling failure. There’s a 50% chance of everything working out spectacularly and having all of your dreams come true. Otherwise, there’s nowhere to go but up. Win/win.
Read all of the books
Now’s the time to really hunker down and read Great Expectations already. Or if sci-fi is your thing, or romance, or if your hobby is now 19th century Russian literature (welcome to the club!), read that instead. Just read something.
Free your mind
Don’t get caught up in the mundane. Don’t let others tear you down because of their own insecurity. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Fall in love instead, laugh at all the small things, take the weight off your shoulders and make feeling free a priority.
Invest in your friendships
If you have people in your life who have been by your side through it all, those are the relationships you need to invest in. Make time to have dinner, happy hours, parties and vacations together. Make memories with the people you love the most.
Keep a journal
My journal is a combination scrapbook, so I can include photos of all the experiences I’ve had Keeping a journal is also a tried-and-true method to reduce stress and make it easier to make big life decisions. Recording your feelings makes it easier to clarify them. Also, your old journals make for very funny reading.
Put your phone away
Leave it at home. See what happens to you. Look around.