As I was preparing for another friend’s birthday approaching the big 40, I got to pondering about midlife crisis. Oddly I have had a few people turn 40 this year and some of them are considering major changes like shifting countries, to taking hiatus from the non-working relationship and so on. To be honest, I think their choices are extraordinary, and if there is the sly hand of midlife crisis at play here.
Midlife crisis is simply described as a state of emotional pandemonium, where people begin questioning their life and life choices. Dissatisfaction is at its peak and there is a growing need to do some life-altering changes for the fear of running out of time. The ages from 40-60 are when one would expect to undergo this phase. Even though many men and women experience this phenomenon, there are many who don’t, and science as always debates its existence.
We all know that our time here is finite and we should make the most of our time while we are here, however around this age, I guess this realization hits us harder. There can be many reasons for it like experiencing any health scare, or unhappy with our career or job, undergoing loss of a loved one, kids moving out, aged parents or ending of a relationship. All these and some other events hit home and are often held responsible for triggering the midlife situation. But the fact of the matter is that if this situation turns out to be a phase-out of which we sail through or panicked turn it into a real crisis depends upon us.
A few signs to look out for understanding you are experiencing midlife crisis are:
- Feeling unhappy about personal or professional choices
- A sense of foreboding about the future or feeling stagnant
- Buying expensive items when previously those were called indulgences
- Associating more with younger people rather than your own friends
- Increased use of alcohol
In this regard, it is important to remember that there is a difference between dissatisfaction and depression. If you feel extremely sad, it may be depression you are suffering with.
Now when we have a situation at hand here’s how we deal with it:
- First, acknowledge the fact that there is a situation, you are dissatisfied.
- Then work out what it is that you are dissatisfied with. What were your plans that were not accomplished or if now you want something different? Essentially analyze the situation
- Then be realistic about your said goals or desires and make changes to accommodate more of what you find fulfilling. Do not take any hasty decisions.
- Secure your group. Include your friends and family members. This journey will become a lot easier with the aid of trusted ones, who can motivate you and infuse their strength to achieve those goals.
- Nothing works as heroically as good food and exercise. Incorporating these will make sure you maintain yourself and don’t feel a humongous distance between you and youth. Also, it improves mood and keeps you focused.
- Understand that aging is not bad, it has its merits. Count your blessings.
Blaming comes easier, not just in midlife but anytime. It takes courage to remember the good, but one who does is the one who is truly living. Never forget that there were many beautiful memories you created in the years gone by and many more that you will create in the years to come.
So Happy 40’s amigos. Here’s to the better You!