The 4 signs of a midlife crisis

midlife crisis

A midlife crisis can be a feeling of dissatisfaction or unhappiness with your life that lasts for a couple of years or more. Sometimes it happens when you have reached the age where you have decided to start questioning everything you’ve done in life and anything including your own identity or your life purpose.

It can also be a period of time when an adult has a desire, at least on one occasion, to do something that they know is not good for them. This could be done as an attempt to bring more excitement into their lives.

It can be a challenging period when people often make tough decisions about their career and family. The term describes the point in life when, despite trying hard, people are unable to make significant changes to their boring and stale routines which pushes them to do something out of character, erratic or dramatic.

Check out our article entitled Causes of a midlife crisis and how to stop one, to learn more.

Signs of going through a midlife crisis:

1- Sudden urge to change:

It can be seen that people are facing a midlife crisis when they feel the urge to change. This kind of change is not always a bad thing. It’s actually important for you to stay emotionally and mentally connected with the world by changing and adapting to different stages of your life as it helps us grow as a person.

Change can only be a reason for reflection when it is perceived as negative because it could ruin some aspect of your personal or professional life, or if it’s a worrying and sudden dramatic change. This could be something like moving too fast, making life-altering decisions overnight, chasing after the wrong things or being too focused on things that are not important.

In this case, one should worry and question themselves, the reason behind the change and think carefully about the possible consequences.

2- Reaching a specific age or milestone:

A midlife change often happens when a person reaches the age of 30, 35, 40 or 45. This is not a rule though but it is a common occurence. People at this age or milestones usually start looking for new challenges, new projects, or simply exploring new interests in life.

When we have reached a certain age, our minds start to get cloudy. We become less creative and more prone to negative thoughts about ourselves and others. A midlife crisis can also happen when we are in the middle of a career that has an impact on our lives for a long period of time.

In many cases, this change is less painful than the one that comes after retirement or even early retirement from work. The period between middle age and late middle age is called “the gray zone” since it represents a time of uncertainty and ambiguity regarding our identity and role in the future.

This state of confusion often leads to self-doubt, and even an existential crisis, as well as crazy, sudden and irrational self-improvement efforts that could backfire.

3- Not thinking about the consequences:

The inability to think about the consequences of your actions and what they could mean in the long-term. It can also be called “tunnel-vision” as you fail to imagine or think about what your actions could mean for the people you love or how they could hurt them until it’s too late.

Unfortunately, people in a midlife crisis fail to think about the consequences of their actions and may be shocked or genuinely surprised when their bad irrational decisions lead to horrible outcomes.

This is because all they’re focused on is to feel some type of thrill and excitement again, and in return they may not think about the fact that they’re hurting their loved ones or themselves in the long run.

4- No value for money or prized possessions:

A midlife crisis can also be characterised by the individual’s need for change at any cost. They could be losing money and assets that they cannot afford to lose and still think that it is all okay and good for the sake of that one little moment of excitement or thrill that comes with doing something dangerous and out of character.

When someone endangers their financial stability or do not care enough to keep their loved ones sheltered and comfortable, all for the gain of something trivial and temporary, it can be safe to assume that they’re going through a midlife crisis.

Bottom line:

Having a midlife crisis is a normal part of life for many people. But, it can also be quite stressful. It’s the time when you feel that the best things in your life are fading and you need to do something about it. Something crazy, quick and thrilling.

This is a period of emotional turmoil, emotional stress, and frustration that have to be dealt with smartly. The sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction with life that comes with it, is temporary and should never result in long-term life-altering decisions that could be silly or unintelligent.

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