People between the ages of 40 and 60 frequently have midlife crises. Midlife crises frequently result from frustration or a sudden sense of purposelessness. To get over a midlife crisis, try therapy, journaling, or establishing a support network. Feeling aimless, regretful, and lost? You might be experiencing a midlife crisis.
As the name suggests, midlife crises frequently affect people in their middle years, who are typically between 40-60 and 40-60 years old. But these feelings can be related to by anyone who is reflective about the future and remorseful of the past.
Midlife crises are also an opportunity to build a more rewarding life, despite the fact that they may feel stressful, according to clinical psychologist Carla Manly who has her own private practice.
Here are some telltale symptoms that you’re going through a midlife crisis and advice on how to make the most of this trying time.
A Midlife Crisis: 10 Warning Signs Your body changes as you get older. Sadly, pop culture’s ageist perspective indicates that those adjustments may not necessarily be the best or most desirable.
Additionally, for women going through perimenopause or menopause , alterations may bring on symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, which can exacerbate negative feelings about becoming older.
As a result, Manly adds, “your mentality can start to change, and you can start to think ‘I’m not what I used to be. “That can give you the impression that you’re in trouble all the time.”
But each person going through a midlife crisis may experience those emotions in a different way, if at all. Here are 10 of the most typical symptoms:
1. concerned about what lies ahead
2. Regretting your time management decisions
3. Resentful about growing older
Grief for elapsed time or unfinished business
5. Being stuck or bewildered and unsure about how to proceed
6. Meaningless, as if your life has no purpose
7. Aimless, as if nothing is happening in your life
8. Feeling resentful of individuals who are older or who have what you want
9. Dissatisfied with your routine?
10. Consider your values and objectives.
Even though these feelings can be debilitating, they must be handled.
Katie Wenger, a registered therapist at Higher Fulfillment , claims that skipping these feelings in midlife exploration might lead to negative coping mechanisms including impulsive decision-making or social isolation.
WHO HAS THE HIGHEST CHANCE OF A MIDLIFE CRISIS? In addition to being between the ages of 40 and 60, there are additional characteristics that can increase your likelihood of experiencing a midlife crisis.
Manly asserts that people who haven’t put much effort into personal growth throughout their lives frequently reevaluate who they are around midlife.
For instance, a person who prioritized professional success for the most of their life can have a loss of meaning after retiring. Manly claims that people who have consuming lifestyles frequently find themselves in survival mode. “Self-development is the last thing you are considering.”
Researchers think that during midlife, health and social inequities based on sexual orientation and ethnicity also become more prominent, indicating that marginalized people may struggle more during this developmental stage.
According to additional studies, women are equally likely as men to report experiencing a midlife crisis. Furthermore, the crises they spoke of weren’t the result of becoming older but rather a significant life obstacle that just so happened to strike when they were between the ages of 40 and 60.
Wenger claims that these significant life obstacles frequently take the form of self-blame or regret, with people fixating on what they haven’t accomplished or what they’ve missed. It’s challenging to see yourself clearly and know what you want, she claims, if you’re condemning yourself.
CONQUERING A MIDLIFE CRISIS Reevaluating your identity and way of life might be frightening, but experts think it can also be fruitful if you view it as a new phase in your personal growth rather than focusing on your shortcomings or what you lack.
Realize that this is a transitional moment, similar to leaving home to attend college or graduating and landing a job, advises Manly.
With this attitude, you’ll probably be better able to make decisions that are consistent with your beliefs and aspirations and rediscover your sense of purpose as you become older.
Several methods exist for doing this, including:
Keep a journal to record your feelings and thoughts about your current situation in life and your goals. Wenger advises making a list of your objectives so that you can concentrate your time and effort on the things that are most important to you. Read old journals again: If you kept a journal when you were a younger adult, Wenger advises reading through earlier entries. By doing this, you might be reminded of your priorities as you enter middle age. Speak with a dependable friend: It can be less intimidating to know that you’re not alone in going through a midlife crisis. If you’re seeking for connection with others in your midlife, Manly advises that you ask a local therapist for advice on where to start as many therapists host support groups.
Consult a therapist A therapist can assist you in sorting out your emotions and goals for the future: Your thoughts can be brought back into line with reality with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy, which will then have a good effect on your emotions and behavior. It has been demonstrated that acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help people define their goals while addressing negative thinking. Through building a strong network and relationships, Interpersonal therapy focuses on healing so that you experience midlife with a sense of less isolation and more support. Psychodynamic psychotherapy employs self-knowledge to assist you navigate and give you a sense of purpose in midlife so that this time in your life is effective, fulfilling, and enriching. INSIDER’S KEY LESSON Midlife is a period of profound change. You can experience dissatisfaction or a sense of purposelessness.
Use this time to consider what you actually want and how you might genuinely advance throughout the second half of your life, rather than dwelling on what you’re missing.
Wenger advises that you “see yourself and your life as a chance for improvement.” “You can always choose what’s right for you.”