What is Midlife Crisis or Midlife Transition?
I believe the term “Midlife Crisis” is an unfortunate label that has been applied to both men and women who are working through these transitional times in midlife.
The first step to understanding this process is to understand what crisis is. According to the dictionary:
: a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change
That means that “Midlife Crisis” is actually an opportunity for change – a chance for a person to realize their dreams.
As a woman in midlife, when you hear the term “midlife crisis” you immediately conjure up the image of a man going out and buying a red sports car, or of a broken marriage due to an affair, or even someone who is acting childlike instead of a mature person. It never occurred to me that women might have their own version of “midlife crisis”. Did you know?
When I was growing up, I would sometimes listen to older women talking about “The Change”. In my ignorance assumed they meant the physical changes caused by menopause and hormonal imbalances. Little did I realize, they also meant changes in the way we mentally view our lives.
Symptoms of Midlife Transition:
According to a site called “Personal Tao”, below is a list of some of the symptoms of midlife crisis that will show you how defining a midlife crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes.
- Looking into the mirror and no longer recognize yourself.
- Desiring to quit a good job.
- Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
- Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
- Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
- Wanting to run away from everything.
- A desire to get into physical shape.
- Irritability or unexpected anger.
- Change in allergies.
- Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
- Exploring new musical tastes.
- Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
- Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
- Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
- Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
- Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
- Extreme changes to what you eat.
- Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
- Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly)
- A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
- Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
- Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
- Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
- Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
- Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
- A desire to teach others or become a healer.
- Desiring a simple life.
- Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
- Playing again just to play!
- Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
- Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
- Recently experiencing something extremely stressful. Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness.
- Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
- Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
The Truth: Midlife Crisis is really a Midlife Transformation
When I first read through this list, I finally knew that this is what I was going thru! I finally had understanding, and for me that was half the battle. Hopefully, it will help you too!
From what I have read, most experts look at midlife transformation an opportunity to take action, reevaluate priorities and transform your life for the better.
I agree when they say “Midlife can be one of the most stress-filled phases in this journey called life”. It forces us to deal with the most complex of life’s issues and pushes us to look at who we are and who we want to become. Also, many experts look at midlife as a turning point. Learning how to deal with midlife stress can help ease this transitional phase. Taking proper action on middle age depression can save relationships, finances and lives. Recognize that a midlife crisis is an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. It gives you impetus to create a new meaning and fulfillment for this next stage in life.
Look at midlife transformation as an opportunity to take action, reevaluate priorities and transform your life for the better
Midlife Transformation is:
- A trans-formative period in our lives
- A time of opportunity
- A period of growth around achieving new goals
- A turning point when change must happen
- A “coming to terms” with the meaning of one’s life
- A re-channeling of time and energy into new and fulfilling endeavors
Did you understand what midlife transformation was when you first started experiencing symptoms? If you have “been there, done that” I’d love to hear your story of midlife transformation.
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