You’re in your forties, and things aren’t going as planned. And maybe, you aren’t where you want to be in life. You feel that days, in fact, months are passing by, and your life is the same, old and monotonous. There is something you can do instead of feeling stuck. Yes, you heard it right! A mid-life crisis is not a physical phenomenon but a mental state.
Realise That It’s Common
Yes, midlife crisis is a common phenomenon that is faced by both men and women. A midlife crisis typically occurs during middle age when individuals reflect on their accomplishments and unfulfilled goals. This reflection may lead to dissatisfaction, regret, depression, and loneliness. During a midlife crisis, a person might make significant life changes, such as changing jobs, ending marriages, or moving to a new location. Certain coping techniques help people manage their emotions during this challenging period in life.
According to a study published in the National Library of Health, up to 20% of men experience mid-life crisis once in their life.
But What?s A Quarter Life Crisis
A quarter-life crisis occurs when a person in their twenties is unsure of what path to take due to feeling stuck, directionless, and unfulfilled. This is frequently caused by pressure from family and society to have a successful career and the expectations they place on themselves to achieve certain milestones deemed successful by society. Self-reflection and personal development activities such as therapy or coaching, expanding one’s network of contacts, and exploring one’s interests through meaningful side projects are some strategies for overcoming the quarter-life crisis.
What Are The Signs of a Midlife Crisis?
The severity of midlife crisis symptoms varies by individual. Gender can also influence how a midlife crisis unfolds. Women may be more likely to experience self-reflection as they shift from tending to the needs of others to managing their own needs. Men, on the other hand, may feel that their previous decisions have limited their future options.
Here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Deep sorrow and regret. Perhaps you obsess over perceived missed opportunities in relationships or your job. This causes a deep dissatisfaction with the present and a tendency to overlook the positive aspects of your life.
- Daydreaming and restlessness. Your daily routine may bore you or exhaust you. You may fantasise about your life if you choose a different career or marry a foreign partner. The desire for change can make it difficult to concentrate on what is in front of you.
- Irritability. Feeling as if your previous decisions have boxed you in or limited your potential can lead to outbursts of rage. You may become irritated with your spouse, ageing parents or closest friends for minor infractions.
- Nostalgia. Rather than focusing on the positives of the present, you begin to romanticise your previous way of life. You may recall how athletic you used to be or how large your social circle was in college.
- Indulgent and impulsive behaviour. To cope with dissatisfaction, you may begin to make large purchases or increase your use of alcohol and drugs. Some people start to overeat because they are bored or stressed. None of these behaviours will thoroughly satisfy you, but they will impact your health.
- Shifting of sexual desire. Some people experience an increase in sexual desire, while others experience a decrease in sexual desire. If you have doubts about your current relationship, you may entertain thoughts of infidelity or engage in an affair. Your desire to date someone younger may be related to your concerns about ageing.
- Ambition changes. You may suddenly feel motivated to make changes in your life, such as relocating to a new area, purchasing a new home, or advancing your career. This could be an attempt to make amends for what you now perceive as “bad past decisions.” On the other hand, as you begin to question the meaning of your life, you may become less motivated to pursue other goals.
How To Get Through Your Mid-life Crisis
One way to overcome a mid-life crisis is to focus on the things that make you feel fulfilled.
- This can include spending time with family.
- Taking up a new hobby, or volunteering.
- It?s also essential to ensure that you set goals and work towards achieving them.
- Additionally, getting help from professionals like counsellors and therapists can be beneficial in gaining perspective and learning effective coping strategies.
Getting through a mid-life crisis requires recognising signs and symptoms to take action. Focusing on purpose, meaning, growth, and the connection is essential, as these will be the foundations of long-lasting happiness and fulfilment.
Additionally, engaging in activities that bring joy and passion is instrumental during a mid-life crisis. Seeking guidance or therapy can help understand your emotions and find clarity for healthier life choices.
A midlife life crisis is experienced by many, with symptoms such as regretting past decisions, restlessness, irritability, nostalgia and indulgent behaviour. It is important to recognize signs and focus on self-reflection and self-development to manage the phenomenon. If you feel that you are having trouble coping with an issue like this then you should opt-out counselling!