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Midlife Crisis

Many people find themselves experiencing a form of upheaval in their middle age that is similar to the crisis that many young people face in their teens. Both men and women may experience a midlife crisis and for women it is generally attributed to the hormonal changes that accompany menopause. A midlife crisis can bring up doubts about a person's present life in relation to family and work; it can bring up longings for days past and also concerns about the future. Some researchers believe that a midlife crisis has to do with the acknowledgment that a person is no longer young and that waning of physical strength and endurance might also play a role.

Questions

During a midlife crisis many questions about a person's life may arise and among the most common are- "Is this all there is to life?" "Have I made the right decisions in my life?" "Where do I go from here?" A midlife crisis can range from nearly nonexistent to moderate to severe and it is not the same for everybody.

Behaviors and Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms and/or behaviors that may show themselves when a person is experiencing a midlife crisis. Some of these include:

  • nagging doubts
  • questioning oneself about life
  • boredom and extreme exhaustion (or in other cases, a sense of frantic energy)
  • constant daydreaming
  • anxiety, irritability or a propensity for anger
  • compulsions that become a problem
  • an increased libido or a lessened one
  • sexual affair(s) that generally occur with a younger person
  • ambition that is out of proportion (such as too much or too little)

How to Cope

A midlife crisis does not have to signal the end of the world. You can come to terms with the stage of your life you are in and continue to live a fulfilling and happy life.

  • Aging is inevitable but that does not have to mean that you are in total decline. Acceptance is important and so is talking with others and sharing your thoughts and feelings.
  • Schedule regular time to contemplate your life and your life path but don't become obsessed with it.
  • Spend quality time with your spouse that does not include the children and rediscover the love you have for one another.
  • Redefine your goals and set new ones that are appropriate for your life now.
  • Take a trip, preferably to somewhere new where you have always wanted to go.
  • Explore new ways to spend your time such as taking a class, taking up a new sport or becoming enthralled with a new hobby.
  • Do volunteer work for a not-for-profit organization.
  • Spend as much time as you can loving your children and laughing with them.
  • If compulsions such as food, drink or sex are a major concern then join a self-help group or seek the assistance of a counselor.
  • If your health habits could use some improvement then get to work- quit smoking, cut back on your drinking, resolve to eat healthier and incorporate more physical fitness into your day to day life.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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