People who are truly happy in their 30s usually prioritize these 10 mental health habits

We all have the power to shape our happiness, but sometimes it’s about more than just wearing a smile.

You might find yourself in your 30s, seemingly successful and yet somehow still not feeling that deep contentment you yearn for.

Maybe you’re wondering if there’s a secret ingredient you’re missing to truly feel happy.

What could be the key to becoming genuinely happy as an adult?

The distinction often comes down to mental health habits. 

Being truly happy isn’t about having a perfect job or a picture-perfect family – it’s more about how you handle life’s ups and downs.

In this article, I’ll share with you the top 10 mental health habits that people who are genuinely happy in their 30s tend to prioritize.

Here’s your chance to find out what they are and perhaps make them part of your own life.

1) Embrace mindfulness

There’s a reason why mindfulness is often touted as a key mental health habit.

For those who are truly content in their 30s, mindfulness is more than just a buzzword – it’s a way of life.

The concept of mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment, and accepting it without judgment.

It’s about tuning into your thoughts, feelings, and the world around you.

Mindfulness can be practiced in various ways, from meditation to mindful eating, even mindful walking.

The idea isn’t about emptying your mind or achieving a state of eternal calm.

Rather, it’s about observing what’s happening right now without criticism or over-reaction.

People who are truly happy in their 30s often prioritize mindfulness because it helps them to stay grounded, reduce stress, and appreciate the simple joys of life.

So if you’re seeking a mental health habit that encourages balance and contentment, embracing mindfulness might be a good place to start.

But remember, like any habit, it takes practice and patience.

2) Cultivate gratitude

Sometimes, it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong in our lives and overlook the good.

But, the happiest people in their 30s often prioritize cultivating gratitude

They make it a habit to regularly express gratitude for the good things in their lives, both big and small.

This isn’t just about being positive for the sake of it, but about actively recognizing and appreciating the good around them.

A gratitude practice might involve writing in a gratitude journal each night, or simply taking a few moments each day to mentally list things you’re thankful for.

This practice can help shift your focus from what’s lacking in your life to what’s abundant, promoting an overall sense of happiness and well-being.

Starting a gratitude practice could be another powerful step towards achieving true happiness in your 30s.

3) Get moving

While we’re talking about mental health habits, we can’t ignore the role of physical health.

The two are interconnected in ways we often underestimate.

Did you know that physical activity releases chemicals in your brain, like endorphins and serotonin, that are known to improve your mood and act as natural antidepressants?

It’s no wonder that people who prioritize regular exercise often report higher levels of happiness.

Whether it’s going for a run, practicing yoga, or dancing around your living room, finding a physical activity you enjoy and making it a regular part of your routine can have profound effects on your overall happiness.

So, lace up those sneakers or roll out that yoga mat.

Getting moving could be another key to unlocking happiness in your 30s.

4) Invest in relationships

Life in your 30s can get pretty hectic.

Between career advancements, family responsibilities, and trying to maintain a semblance of personal life, it’s easy to put relationships on the back burner.

But those who seem truly content in their 30s understand the importance of investing time and energy into their relationships.

They recognize that strong, healthy relationships with friends, family, and partners contribute significantly to their happiness and well-being.

They make it a priority to nurture these relationships, to communicate openly, and to be there for their loved ones.

This isn’t about having a large network of acquaintances, but rather about having a few close, meaningful relationships that provide support, mutual understanding, and shared joy.

It means making time for old friends, cultivating new friendships, and nurturing meaningful connections.

Strong relationships can provide emotional support, enhance a sense of belonging and purpose, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Plus, having a good laugh with friends is one of life’s simplest pleasures!

So whether it’s a quick catch-up over coffee, a weekend get-together, or even a simple text to check-in – making an effort to invest in your relationships could be another essential ingredient for finding deeper happiness in your 30s.

5) Practice self-compassion

Practice self compassion People who are truly happy in their 30s usually prioritize these 10 mental health habits

In our quest for perfection, we often tend to be our own harshest critics, scrutinizing ourselves for every perceived failure or shortcoming.

But people who are genuinely happy in their 30s have learned the importance of practicing self-compassion.

They understand that nobody is perfect, and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

They treat themselves with the same kindness and understanding they would offer a close friend in a similar situation.

When we practice self-compassion, we learn to let go of harsh self-judgment and unnecessary self-criticism.

Instead, we learn to accept ourselves as we are – imperfect, but always evolving. It’s about understanding that everyone — including you — is a work in progress.

By prioritizing self-compassion, you allow yourself to make mistakes, learn from them, and continue moving forward.

This sense of acceptance and understanding towards oneself can be a powerful contributor to genuine happiness in your 30s.

6) Seek balance

Life is a juggling act. And finding the right balance can be particularly challenging during your 30s – a time when career, family, and personal goals often collide.

Those who are truly happy in their 30s understand that seeking balance is crucial.

It’s not about equally dividing time between work, family, and self. Instead, it’s about understanding your needs and making conscious choices that align with them.

Sometimes, this might mean prioritizing your career.

Other times, it could mean setting work aside to focus on family or self-care. The balance isn’t static – it shifts based on what you need at any given moment.

Seeking balance is a heartfelt journey towards understanding and respecting your own needs.

It’s a key mental health habit that can lead to a deeper sense of contentment and happiness in your 30s. So, remember to take a breath, reassess, and adjust as needed.

Life isn’t a race to the finish line – it’s a dance meant to be enjoyed.

7) Embrace change

Change can be scary. There’s a certain comfort in familiarity, even if it’s not ideal.

But, the truly content individuals I’ve observed understand that staying in your comfort zone can lead to stagnation and prevent personal growth.

They understand that change is part of life, and often embrace rather than avoid it.

They know that the path to true happiness often involves stepping out of their comfort zones and challenging themselves. 

Whether it’s taking on a new project at work, learning a new skill, or confronting a deep-seated fear, they see change as an opportunity for growth and new possibilities rather than something to be feared. 

Embracing change is a mental health habit that can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment in your 30s and beyond.

8) Foster a growth mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work.

In contrast to a fixed mindset, which sees these qualities as largely static, a growth mindset embraces challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.

People who are genuinely happy in their 30s often foster a growth mindset.

They understand that setbacks are not failures, but rather opportunities to learn and improve.

They are not threatened by the success of others but inspired by it.

This mindset encourages resilience, persistence, and a love for learning – traits that can contribute to both personal and professional success.

If you’re looking to increase your happiness in your 30s, cultivating a growth mindset can be a game-changer.

It’s about seeing potential where others see failure and embracing the journey of constant learning and self-improvement.

9) Forgive and let go

Carrying grudges and holding onto past hurts can weigh heavily on your heart and mind.

The happiest people I know have understood the power of forgiveness.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or letting someone off the hook for their actions, but rather freeing yourself from the burden of resentment.

It’s about letting go of the past so that you can fully embrace the present and look forward to the future.

This isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s a journey that can be painful, but also incredibly freeing.

When you choose to forgive, you’re choosing to reclaim your peace of mind and open yourself up to the possibility of happiness.

Practicing forgiveness and letting go could be a transformative step towards finding genuine happiness in your 30s.

10) Embrace solitude

In our hyper-connected world, we often equate being alone with loneliness.

But, remarkably content individuals understand that there is a significant difference between the two.

They value their alone time and see it as an opportunity for self-reflection, self-care, and personal growth.

They know that spending time alone allows them to reconnect with themselves, to understand their needs and desires better, and to recharge their mental batteries.

This doesn’t mean they shun social interactions.

On the contrary, they understand that a balance between meaningful social connections and quality time alone contributes greatly to their overall happiness.

Whether it’s a quiet morning with a book, a meditation session, a walk in nature, these activities in solitude could make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, don’t be afraid to take time for yourself.

Embracing solitude could be a surprising yet significant step towards finding true happiness in your 30s.

Understanding happiness in your 30s

As you navigate your 30s, it’s essential to remember that happiness isn’t a destination, but a journey.

It’s not about reaching a certain point or achieving a specific goal, but about cultivating an overall sense of well-being and contentment in your day-to-day life.

Your 30s can be a transformative decade.

It’s often a time of personal and professional growth, of building deeper relationships, and of gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you want from life.

But with these opportunities for growth can come challenges and pressures that can impact your happiness.

Perhaps you’re juggling career progression with family responsibilities.

Maybe you’re dealing with financial pressures or grappling with the societal expectations associated with this life stage.

Amidst all this, finding happiness can feel like a daunting task.

However, the habits we’ve discussed offer practical ways to prioritize your mental health and cultivate happiness in your 30s.

They are not quick fixes, but ongoing practices that can help you navigate this decade with more grace, resilience, and joy.

Remember, it’s okay if you’re not happy all the time.

Happiness isn’t about constant euphoria but about experiencing a range of emotions in response to different life events.

It’s about finding contentment even amidst challenges and being equipped with the tools to navigate life’s ups and downs.

Moreover, everyone’s journey to happiness is unique. What works for one person might not work for another.

Take the time to understand what makes you truly happy and build habits around those things.

Your 30s can be a wonderfully fulfilling decade if you allow it to be.

By prioritizing these mental health habits, seeking help when needed, and being patient with yourself, you can cultivate a deep sense of happiness that extends beyond this decade and into the rest of your life.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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