If you think you’re having a midlife crisis you’re probably freaking out right now. Your life and world are rapidly changing. A midlife crisis makes you question what you like, question your decisions in life and even question your core beliefs. It can make you lose your sense of self identity and even plunge you into depression.
This post will reassure you that a midlife crisis can definitely be cured, and will tell you how to do it.
Why’s it called a ‘midlife’ crisis?
Why does it happen “midlife”? It’s because it comes at an age when you’ve been around long enough to realize that you don’t live forever. This realization can put into question many things about your life such as: is this what I want to be doing with my life? This isn’t where I imagined my life would be right now and that upsets me. Things I thought were important are no longer important to me, what is important to me?
These are pretty big and scary questions. So what can we do to get through it?
Four powerful ways to cure a midlife crisis
1. Accept your feelings towards something have changed. Change is part of life
If you’re finding yourself starting to question your interests in a certain hobby or leisure activity, that’s ok. People change as they get older because they learn and experience new things. Should it be expected that what you loved to do as a 20 year old you should still love as a 35 year old? No, of course not.
Change is always happening, and I mean it: always. A broad example is for you to think back to an important time when you’ve been really happy, sad, angry, jealous etc in the past. Do you still feel that way now? No, of course you don’t. You’ve changed.
A midlife crisis is change that’s unwanted and forced upon us, even if we’re the one initiating it. When we realize change is a big part of life, it will certainly make us feel more normal during our midlife crisis, because everyone is going through change in their lives.
once we accept change is a part of life, even if we don’t understand why, it goes a long way to soften the blow of a midlife crisis
2. Take comfort in routine
You might be up in the air about some major things in your life right now, but I’d bet a pint of beer there are still some things which are the same. These could be an exercise regime, diet, friends, work. Use these things as an anchor point.
As you’re going through change it’s good to have something solid to cling onto. If you have a daily exercise routine, stick to that so there is still a feeling of routine in your life.
These routines are things you can control, grab onto them so the parts of your life that are up in the air feel less daunting. Take comfort in the routines you still have. If you’re having trouble thinking of a routine, you should break it down to smaller and simpler routines, even as simple as the morning routine of getting up and having breakfast. If you think hard enough you will be able to find a few routines that you still enjoy.
3. Mourn what you used to like
If you used to love fishing and no you don’t, that’s okay. Just because you’ve loved fishing for the last twenty years doesn’t mean you have to keep loving it for the next twenty years. We change and so do our interests, we need to accept that we no longer love fishing.
This will be a huge sense of loss for us, and as humans we hate loss just as much as we hate change, more in fact. What do we do when we feel a big sense of loss? We mourn it.
Take the time to acknowledge how much you loved doing whatever it was you used to love. Think of the good times, how it’s had such a positive impact on your life. Think of it as a great part of your life, but now you’re moving on to different things, and that’s okay.
Mourn what you’ve lost and ACKNOWLEDGE the greatness it’s bought to your life
4. Reassess your interests and start to pursue them
Okay, so what you used to like you now either like less, or not at all. This is the perfect opportunity to figure out what you really do like now.
This can be a very scary and daunting thing, and you might not even know what you like now (hence the crisis part of a midlife crisis). If your love and passion has been fishing, and you used to do it all the time and you dedicated a lot of energy into it, what do you do now if you suddenly find you no longer like it?
There’s a big gap that’s been created in your life, a big hole, a big piece of self identity that has vanished. This can make us feel anxious, depressed, panicked and all manner of horrible negative things.
It’s ok! There’s an eye opening and quick thing you can do to find what your interests or life purpose is
A special, for-your-eyes-only list
This special thing is: make a list, a special, for-your-eyes-only list. This list will put you on the path out of your midlife crisis. This list has been made by countless of people just like you, and it’s helped them reassess what they like and ultimately helped them out of their midlife crisis. It certainly helped me. Here are the very easy steps you need to take:
1) Get a piece of paper (big enough for a lot of words) and a pen.
2) Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes.
3) Start the timer and begin to write down everything you want to do in your life, in any order, big or small, on the paper.
4) Don’t stop until the timer has finished.
Let it flow, don’t question it or think ahead, just write whatever comes into your mind as you think it.
What you’ll find is that you’ll write down tons of stuff within the first 5 minutes and struggle for the remaining 15. The remaining 15 minutes will most likely produce the things that are most interesting.
Write things that seem utterly easy and insignificant, also things that are a total pipe dream. Write it all
An example of my special list
Here’s an example of my list, in the order it came, of things I’m interested in:
– eat some chocolate
– get fit
– go back to Vietnam
– have a beer
– write and publish a book
– see Earth from space
– see a tornado in real life
– fall in love and have someone love me
– have a successful business
– have a bath outside under the stars
– give a public lecture/talk
– build muscle mass
It took me about 2 minutes to come up with that, imagine how varied it was after another 18 minutes. My mind came up with stuff that’s utterly simple to stuff that’ll probably never happen. It doesn’t matter, write it down anyway.
Once you’ve finished your list you can have a look over it and see what jumps out. If you want to, do whatever it is that jumped out. This list can tell you a lot about yourself, give you direction and drag you almost instantly out of your midlife crisis.
I did this exercise 3 years ago and it changed my life. it showed me what I wanted after having no idea
Follow the steps above to cure your midlife crisis
If you follow those steps, consider them and make an effort to do them, I guarantee you’ll recover from your midlife crisis in a much speedier fashion than ‘hoping it goes away’.
You can cure your midlife crisis, I believe in you, I cured mine! It’s possible, anyone can do it, you can do it.
I have a ton of other great articles about mental health and motivation on my website. Have a browse and see what jumps out, you might be interested in articles like the secret to getting and keeping good things in life. How to stop procrastinating. Also what does stuck in a rut mean?