Reaching middle age usually entails a few major life adjustments. Many people who reach this age face retirement, an empty nest, or major health changes. For this reason, these people are usually trying to cope with the struggles of their own mortality and finiteness or in other words, a midlife crisis.
Various studies show that growing old leads to feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. A midlife crisis is a phase that helps people feel youthful again as they struggle to come to terms with the fact that their lives are half over. However, despite it being so common, there is no official diagnosis for it. In fact, some researchers believe the notion is a social construct. (Read: 4 False Beliefs That Hold You Back From Being Your Best Self)
So how will you know if you’re experiencing a midlife crisis? Here are 5 signs to help you.
Midlife crisis sign: Weight gain or loss
According to Jennifer Wickham, a licensed professional counselor for Mayo Clinic Health System, midlife crises often is similar to traits of someone having depression. Experiencing weight gain or loss is one of the indicators that a person is having an emotional crisis.
Midlife crisis sign: You’re asking yourself deep, probing questions
At the onset of a midlife crisis, you would feel that you’re not fit to the life you’re having. You have a tendency to pause and think whether you’re on the right track. While this may halt your activities for quite a while, take note that this period of self-reflection can be positive. By having these thoughts, you may focus on your purpose and have clear goals for life’s challenges. (Read: 4 Self-Reflection Questions to Help You Shake Off Those Negative Vibes)
Midlife crisis sign: You’re making rash decisions
Your soul searching may make you have conclusions about the state of your life: an unfulfilling marriage or career may lead to an impulsive decision. These decisions are likened to a knee-jerk reaction– actions based on feelings and may not be good for your overall well-being. Moreover, these decisions do not seek to solve but to escape your current reality. Always remember to think about long-term ramifications of your actions.
Midlife crisis sign: You become overly concerned about your appearance
Midlife crisis sign: You reminisce about the good old days–a lot!
At midlife, many people question their past decisions. And instead of living in the present, you actually live in nostalgia– and more often than not through rose-colored glasses. You only remember the good parts and not the struggle you had to be able to live the life you have now. This fantasy feels good because you escape the present– your unsatisfying marriage, the chores, the bills. This could lead to dangerous situations such as pulling wild stunts or doing adrenaline-pumping activities in the name of the good old days.