As years creep into forties and fifties, and for some late thirties, people start to look for signs of aging when they look into the mirror. With each new wrinkle found, they get a little more depressed. They are aging. This phenomenon does not apply only to women as most people believe although it is the women who make the most fuss out of it. For men, it is felt but not discussed least they are seen to be vain. Nonetheless, whether people own up to their fears of aging or not, it is there lurking in the background.
The worse impact is in the psychological state for the beliefs in the mind control our physiological well-being. Of course it is not just the aging that prompted the mid-life crisis syndrome. It is during this time when things start to slow down a little, when you have time to ponder over what you have achieved or not, when you have less energy for things you once loved to do, when every change appears bigger than at any time in your life, that you feel the aging most. Because time is running out to do all those things you want to have done but haven’t; you are struggling to find the time and opportunity to do them but find none. If you are feeling this, you are in an unhealthy state of mind and you need to do something about it.
It is obvious for those who by this time of their lives have not achieved anything to start questioning why they are in such a state. They started out having big dreams but each opportunity somehow passed them by and it seems a little late to do anything about it now. Reasons are aplenty: from busy getting a job, to getting married, to having and raising kids, there is no time left for themselves and now, too old to start.
Likewise for those who have made it, they wonder what next? They have everything and still find dissatisfaction in their lives. How strange human beings are! Whether you make it or not, there is always something lacking. You start moaning about children living their own lives and you felt left out. You are at the end of your career line and you do not know what else can motivate you. Your health is deteriorating and you find nothing interests you. Life is just plain miserable.
Is it really? Everything is in your head! What you think is what you are. First we need to get a few facts straight. You cannot change nature. If you have a few extra wrinkles, take it gracefully. They are signs of wisdom. You have travelled a long way to get here, you must have learned some valuable lessons – for you if not anyone else. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder. You have done well.
With scientific advances abound our lifespan expands by at least another couple of decades. Your life has not ended yet and you still have some years to go. There is still time. Wake up and do something. Changes are always happening and that is another unchangeable fact. You need to cast your net a little wider to look for something beyond your normal circle. Explore your options. You may find something extraordinary that drive up your interest and tingle your senses. You need to let go of the old and welcome the new or you will be forever stuck in your misery.
It is alright to feel this way – the nostalgia of the past – as this is a natural progression in life but let the past stay there – in the past. They have no place in the future where you are going. You are entering into another major phase in life just as you have transited from a teenager to an adult. This is the time for renewal and to look deep within yourself to ask the difficult questions you have been avoiding. What do you really like doing? Are you doing them now? What stop you from doing them? What changes are needed to make them happen? How willing are you to go for them? What would that mean by not doing them? How your life may have been different if you do them now?
The more you focus on what you could do will drive away the gloom that seems to plague you. Your focal point expands leaving little for the depression to take root.
Just a couple of weeks ago, while we were having a session with parents, I received two very interesting views of what their lives would be like when they get older. Their fears were showing but in very different ways. One is afraid of having nothing to do while the other is worried about finding the time to do all the things she wants to do! Can you imagine the impact their thinking have on their lives?
Doing something new is always challenging and scary but it is also very rewarding when you achieve it. Have patience, take baby steps and enjoy the process. Life is meant to be enjoyable but with challenges; challenges that help you grow. Having a listless and uneventful life may not be the best for you. If you were to live to 100, would you not rather be energetic, positive and most of all happy? If so, start thinking “right” and dismiss the mid-life crisis syndrome.