As some of you may or may not know, earlier this year I was diagnosed with a blocked artery and had to undergo an emergency angioplasty.
As a man in his mid-40s, this was an eye-opener and definitely a life changer. Some people might think that an event like this could lead to a midlife crisis.
But because of that scare, Iâve been exercising more regularly, eating healthy, and even doing a bit of meditation here and there.
The outcome? Iâm feeling better than I ever felt before. Thatâs why I prefer âmidlife transitionâ to âmidlife crisis.â
Signs of a Midlife Crisis
The term âmidlife crisisâ was first used by psychologist Elliott Jaques, to refer to the age period (from about 40 to 65) when adults start grappling with health issues, family issues, and a sense of losing control.
At around this time, some people experience certain symptoms, or signs, with the most extreme being severe depression or anxiety. The âcrisisâ can often be triggered by a significant loss or change, like a job loss, divorce, death of a parent, or a health condition. Or in the case of some women, by menopause.
The typical signs of a midlife crisis are:
- Discontentment with a lifestyle; desire to do something completely different
- Exhaustion, boredom, restlessness
- Feeling of uncertainty, lack of confidence, self-doubt
- Changing moods, unexpected anger alternating with sadness
- Increase in alcohol and drug use
- Unhealthy appetiteâbinge eating, or complete lack of hunger
- Significant decreaseÂ or increase inÂ sexual desire
- Greatly decreased or increased ambition
- Complete disinterest or increased interest in physical fitness
While coping with the challenges can be difficult, it is important to avoid extremes, achieve a middle ground, and ensure a smooth transition.
How to Cope with a Midlife Crisis
For a start, share your feelings with your near and dear ones. Devoting extra time to your partner and your children can help you regain your confidence.
Making the following lifestyle changes can help you stay fit, active, and away from chronic health issues:
- Committing to regular exercise
- Taking up a physical sport
- Cutting down on alcohol
- Getting more disciplined with eating and sleeping times
- Eating healthy
While these simple changes could help make the transition smoother, the most important thing is to allow midlife to take its natural course, and not fight it.
Although it might be painful at first to see those gray hairs and wrinkles, look upon them as signs of experience, rather than age.
âMidlife,â Psychology Today; https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/midlife, last accessed August 16, 2017.