Getting older is something that happens to us all. Every day we age by another day. That means that the life that we have lived in already will be longer, and the amount of time we have left will be shorter. And, every year we’re on the planet will always seem shorter than the last one, because time, as we experience it, is relative to our own experience.
With the ever ticking clock, it can be easy to see our existence dwindling. We might become consumed with worries about varicose veins, or the feeling that we haven’t done all that we have set out to do in our lives. Often, these worries come on around the middle of our lives, in our forties to our sixties. This existential worry can lead to us experiencing somewhat of a midlife crisis. We look at the life we have lived and worry that we got it all wrong. That somehow we didn’t match our experience with our potential or our expectations. These nagging doubts can lead us to do some very rash things.
If you feel as though you are hitting a point where you worry about whether you have missed the boat and that the best times are gone, here are some tips to help you along your way.
Don’t Put All Of Your Stock Against The Expectations Of Youth
When you were younger, you may have been somewhat of an idealist. You might have had a lust for life that propelled you forwards at every turn. But as the practicalities of life start to creep up on you, you start compromising your ideals for something more tangible. A roof over your head, or a regular paycheck. You may have started a family, and your priorities shift from your own fun and lifetime goals to that of providing care and support for a new life.
It’s great having a vision in your youth. It’s great having it all through your life, in fact. But what you do need to remember is that the nineteen-year-old version of you knew much less than you know now. You were less experienced in life. You might have thought you knew how the world worked back then, but you’ve probably learned by now, that you really didn’t know it all, and you know even less now.
So when you look back at the expectations you had of your life when you were younger, take them with a pinch of salt. Many people will try and regain these things and change their lives to live by them. But these unrealistic ideals were just dreams, and you should look at reframing your goals and ambitions in light of the rich and full experience you have probably gained from your journey thus far.
Don’t Dwell On The Past
Much of what drives us towards a mid-life crisis centers around our relationships with our past. If you spend your days think about could-haves, would-haves, and should-haves then you will stop being present in your life right now. There is abosultely nothing you can do to change the past. You can, however, learn to love the present that you are living in and continue to do so into the future.
If there are particular aspects of your past that you cannot move past for one reason or another, consider speaking with a therapist and understanding why you are unable to move on from them. Often we need to make peace with ourselves and find a resolution before we close the door on aspects of the past. Don’t let these things rule your future when they are no longer relevant to your life.
Review Your Purpose
Often, we cruise on autopilot for long periods of our lives. We get into a position in our career where we don’t need to worry too much, and our relationships are fairly stable and static. But this can breed complacency in our lives and it is easy to start taking for granted what we have. It is easy to continue doing this indefinitely without the intervention of some kind of near-tragic event that reminds us of what we have, but this complacency can lead us to forget ourselves and our purposes in life.
Find yourself again. Take a holiday with your loved one and connect with the world. Try and experience something new that is healthy for you and your relationship with your loved ones. Volunteer for a charity that you know does good work, or take up a new hobby that is good for your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
This is a great lesson in life for people of all ages, however, it can be particularly pertinent in preventing a mid-life crisis. If you compare yourself to others you start ignoring some very important things. Firstly, you are completely different people with different experiences and lives. You can never actually be them. Secondly, you don’t know what they are feeling, or how they would view your life in return. Other people may look at your life and for them, it may provide the same feelings of inadequacy.
Live your own life and don’t try and be like someone else. Be yourself, but try to be the happiest version of yourself.
Learn To Appreciate What You Have
You have done a lot of great things in your life and you have some good people around you. You may think that you don’t, but take stock and see what you actually have. You could be in a much worse position in life. List the things in your life that are actually good or that you are proud of. Think hard. These could be simple things like actions that you have taken that you believe make you a good person. It could be about how you treat others. Try to not focus on superficial things. You have a lot that you should feel good about in your life and you should focus your attention on appreciating this fact.
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