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A midlife crisis can be sign posted with a loss of your confidence, feeling anxious and disappointed in the middle years, often questioning your purpose and direction. Did you know the best indicator of a midlife crisis is big lifestyle changes? Being discontent and looking for change. Often friends, family or co-workers will notice it before you do.
What is a Midlife Crisis?
A midlife crisis or transition is a time when you naturally change biologically and physically. It’s an active process of transformation using play, exploration and flexibility.
Did you know every 7 to 9 years we change who we are? Think of how you changed from birth to age 7, then 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56….
Your most significant seven year cycles are adolescence & midlife. Adolescence you’re getting into society and there can be conflict about the release process of you entering into the world.
Whereas midlife is about being old enough to become your own person and the ending of reproductive years to free up energy for other things. There’s no fixed age, rather a range often from 35-55. A Midlife Crisis can be induced by stress, death of a loved one, divorce, separation, job loss, family dramas, social circle, menopause or feeling inauthentic to who you really are.
During your midlife crisis you will have new found energy that’ll attract new friends and fuel your desire to explore life and find yourself once again.
11 Top Signs of Midlife Crisis
- Desire to run away to somewhere new.
- Feel like quitting a good job.
- Unexplained periods low mood or depression
- Feeling trapped in current family relationships or leaving the relationship, either physically or mentally
- Keep asking yourself, ‘where am I going in my life?’
- Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
- Desiring a simple life.
- Recent trauma or stress can trigger a Midlife crisis – Death of someone close, experiencing a health crisis, changing jobs or divorce
- Irritability or unexpected anger.
- Doing things out of character often, to mix it up a little.
- Sudden desire to get fit, healthy and look good.
Why do Midlife Crisis Happen?
A Midlife Crisis or Transition shakes things up and gets you back on track to where you really want to be in life. The more off track the bigger the transition.
In midlife transformation you are becoming two people at the one time. There’s your –
- Mature self – dealing with job, family responsibilities
- Younger self (8 year old essence) – exploring life, playing and growing.
Midlife is about merging your younger spirit, full of dreams and desires with your older responsible self. A midlife readjustment can be needed if you’ve got off track.
There’ll be times when you switch between your younger and older self. Your younger self often doesn’t have the words to explain what you’re doing and can often be overwhelmed by responsibility. This can be hard for people around you to accept.
Ideally, allow time for the two parts of you to integrate so you can find peace, joy and contentment moving forward.
Play, movement, experiences and flexibility are essential to test, rebalance your body and integrate emotional and spiritual changes.
This time can made painful by viewing it as a midlife crisis. Better to view as a midlife transition, acknowledging and owning your feelings and processing them bit by bit, allowing you to make a transition in steps, realigning as you go.
How to Make your Midlife Crisis a Midlife Transition –
- Graceful awareness, acknowledging and owning your feelings. Repressing and denying your feelings and emotions until you blow like a volcano, with lots of collateral damage is not a good idea.
- Take moderate steps. Small mistakes are easier to recover from than big ones.
- Remember the lessons are in the doing. Start somewhere, you learn by making mistakes and autocorrecting to find your way.
- Running away isn’t your answer, rather reducing pressure bit by bit to allow the space for you to grow into a new person
- Ideally, release in staged amounts interspersed with holding on to keep you more stable long term.
- Embrace exercise and movement (yoga, swimming, dance, belly dancing, gym, paddle board..) as an essential part of re-integrating your life.
- Express yourself through journal writing, art or being creative to allow you to discover new words and expand beyond your boundaries.
- Be selective about who and how you talk about the change going on inside to others. It can scare them, elicit judgment and resistance, which can feel like they’re holding you back.
- Release self-judgment, so you have more options to change. Beginning to change creates less conflict internally.
- Foster opinions rather than judgments. Opinions can be changed, judgments can’t.
How long will Midlife Crisis Last?
Often 3 to 5 years, as you work through incongruencies in your life. There will be highs and lows, false starts and tangents before the dust settles. Roughly 30% will be disappointed with the outcome. 25% of these will often repeat the crisis roughly 7 years later, without help.
Getting help and guidance can mean resolving a midlife transition in less than 2 years with a great outcome and less traps and tangents.
Words of wisdom – release, go slow – learn, grow and thrive.