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Why do midlife-crises happen?

There is no hardly anyone who has not heard of a midlife-crisis. Nowadays, it has a wide time corridor from 30 to 50 years, and sometimes even more. By the way, everyone experiences it in different ways. In other words, you don't necessarily dye your hair purple, cover yourself with tattoos and rush to live in the place where "no one has ever set a foot". Some people manage to get through this period without radical changes or losses.

How does a midlife-crisis feel?

This is a period in life associated with a rather unpleasant experience. 

Firstly, you catch yourself losing your former bearings. Before that you were a merry light boat gliding on the waves of life, and then suddenly the wind blowing the sails, died down, came a complete calm, the compass is silent and does not show where to sail. Simply put, there comes a complete disorientation: you do not understand where, and even why, to move and strive further.

Secondly, everything that you have done before seems insignificant and unimportant. You can have a great job, a wonderful family, an interesting social circle, but at some point you begin to feel that your job is boring the hell out of you, your family is hanging by a stone around your neck, and your friends are all mediocre nerds.

Thirdly, you become apathetic and indifferent: it is all the same whether you are willing or not. The things that used to ignite and arouse interest no longer work at all. These are only the most general descriptions; in fact, the range of feelings and emotions is much broader.

Why do midlife-crisis happen at all?

Of course, to understand the reasons why your tale has turned into a horror story, it is necessary to individually, they are too diverse.Nevertheless, a general outline can be outlined. Being born, and then, growing up, we receive a huge number of instructions from family and society about how we HAVE to live. 

Very often, this MUST does not care at all about our true desires and aspirations. There is a subtle substitution of notions: up to a certain point, it seems to us that this MUST is our WANT. However, this is not always the case.

At some point, when most of the checkboxes next to the "I want"-items are checked, emptiness sets in. Everything seems fine, but this is not me, not my life, not my desires. This is where it can not just cover, but "emotionally wash away.

The question remains: what to do?

This part could be long and boring about how to prepare for a midlife-crisis. But the truth is that no one is going to do that. So that leaves us with the First Aid Kit.

Step 1: Start taking an interest in what's going on with you, look for information. The more you know, the better you understand what is going on. After all, when the "warning" lights in the car come on, you will at least read the manual. Are you any worse than a technician? 

Step 2: Ask for help. At the first stage any help which will help to keep "afloat": support of friends, care of relatives, communities of interests in which you belong, etc. will do. If you realize that this is not enough, and you're getting more and more bogged down, turn to helping professionals and look for your own. There are many approaches to psychological help. Try it, choose the one that suits you best.

Step 3: Examine yourself.

Now is the time to begin your inner farm work. Analyze your life and frustrations according to a pattern:

  1. What did you want?
  2. What did you get as a result?
  3. What was the most painful part of it?
  4. What is the conclusion?

Sort out where your desires were and if they were there at all. Maybe you did everything because you HAD to?

Step 4: Try new interests and hobbies. A positive emotional jolt works and works well. These can be new hobbies or short weekend trips. "Changing the picture" helps you see the world and yourself in it from a different angle and get your taste for life back.

Step 5: Take care of yourself and your health. A midlife-crisis can take place against a backdrop of noticeable changes in health. Therefore, if possible, take a break, pay attention to your physical condition. Maybe you should adjust the diet or include physical activity in the daily routine, if you have sedentary work, or at least get out into the fresh air more often.

In conclusion, once again: we are all different, and our stories are also different. The above steps are the most general recommendations. They may or may not work for you. However, it is worth remembering that "even if you have been eaten, you always have two ways out. So a crisis is a time when you are reminded that perhaps the least you can do is spend time with the dearest person in life - with yourself.


Anna Matyagina

psycotherapist, certified coach ICI, MRI, AC; specialize in Jungian sand therapy, metaphorical maps, PhD in Engineering

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