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How to handle a midlife crisis

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 16:20:20-05

Mid-life crisis is a period of time when a person starts to question their own confidence and the direction of his or her life. The term mid-life crisis implies that this primarily happens around the middle of the life span. One study in 2014 at the University of Melbourne determined it is most likely to happen and be the worst between the ages of 40-42. The study also referenced another study that stated midlife crisis also occurs in our more primitive cousins, the apes. That being said, going through a mid-life crisis is not inevitable. In fact, another study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta, argue that some people are actually happiest during mid-life.

It is important to note that a crisis of identity (or an existential crisis) can really occur at any point in life and does not have to be isolated to the years in mid-life and that it is not uncommon to experience some sort of existential crisis at some point. What it really comes down to is a person’s circumstances and specific stressors and how they are able to cope with change, in addition to the quality of their support system.

During a mid-life crisis a person may experience:

-Dissatisfaction and regret (wishing they had done more)

-Worry about death getting closer (even if it is still 40 years out) as they contemplate the fact that life is halfway over

-Stressors with aging parents and becoming empty nesters

-Relationship stress and pressure as life changes take place

In order to prevent or lessen the impact of a life crisis, the following steps may be helpful.

-Build up a support network by working on your relationships

Make your relationship with your partner and others in your life a priority. When we have people to rally around us during a stressful transition, it makes the impact of that stressor much more manageable.

Couples who take care of their relationship are less likely to experience additional relationship stress when the kids leave home or an aging parent needs help.

-Take care of your physical health

The better you care for your body the better it will care for you and the easier it will be to tolerate stressful situations.

-Take care of your mental healthThis includes doing things you find enjoyable, regularly participating in

This includes doing things you find enjoyable, regularly participating in activities that help you to de-stress, and talking about what is going on inside.

Everyone can benefit from therapy at some point in life. It never hurts to talk to someone, even if it just a few sessions, to make sure you have extra coping skills on board.

-Make plans for the future

Don’t put off activities you want to do before you die. Start saving for that trip you’ve been wanting to take or start putting plans in motion to determine the steps you need to take to make one of your dreams come true.

It’s never too late to start moving towards a goal you’ve always wanted to achieve.

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