Monday, 1 November 2021

Embracing the midlife crisis

When realisation sets in that we have limited time left on earth, what we once took for granted we suddenly want to grasp with both hands. Some people might want the fast car, the big house and fancy holidays perhaps to demonstrate their life's material successes, while for others it's their experiences, physical wellbeing and state of mind that really matter.

This sudden awareness that time is passing by can start to stir negative emotions and thoughts of worry and fear as you begin to questions your current situation and your achievements in life. You might find yourself asking:

  • "Am I where I want to be in my career?"
  • "Will I ever travel to my dream destinations?"
  • "Have I made a positive impact on the world?"
  • "Will I finish my book that I started writing?"

Questions such as these might trigger the sudden urge to make a wish list of everything you want to achieve by the time you've reached a certain age. All the things you've thought about doing but never got round to, could start to occupy your mind more often. It's this sense of urgency to get things done that is often recognised as a midlife crisis. Also, as the physical signs of ageing start to show, it can be quite a traumatic time for some people who are afraid of their health deteriorating or losing their looks.

With all these worries suddenly being at the forefront of the mind, it's not a surprise that getting older can have an impact on both physical and mental health, so it's essential to put things into place that will ease the anxiety and stress.

How to embrace your midlife crisis

It's important to recognise the difference between the things we can and can't change and to make sure that we let go of any unnecessary worry for the latter. Write down everything that is a concern to you then decide whether you can do anything about them. If not, then try to let go of any negative feelings and only focus on what you can change. As you focus on what you do want to achieve, you'll start to worry less. 

  • By practising gratitude, you'll focus less on the negatives
  • Taking up a new hobby can introduce you to like-minded people of a similar age.
  • Mindful meditation is a great way to reduce symptoms of stress and depression and increase concentration. Harvard Health published an article which stated that: "depression continues to be a major health issue for older adults. It affects about 20% of adults ages 65 and older, and regular depression can lead to higher risks for heart disease and death from illnesses. It also affects people's daily lives by making them more socially isolated and affecting cognitive function, especially memory. "
  • Enjoying some form of regular exercise, such as walking, swimming or aerobics is a great boost for both mental and physical health and can slow down the affects of aging. 

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