May 202013

A mid-life crisis is a natural part of human existence and human nature. They can occur for many reasons and often occur from ages 40-60. Ultimately, scientists are still unsure why exactly people ‘break down’ in this period of their lives, but ultimately it comes down to two fairly simple realizations, the first is that they don’t have much time left to find the meaning that they have always thought they would find in their lives and at the same time realize that they have not done as many meaningful things in their lives to date and have possibly wasted their time. These fundamental realizations can be triggered by many different events which I am going to outline below. I will say first however, a Midlife crisis is inevitable, everyone will have one, some are more extreme than others but we humans are yet to find the true meaning of existence on the planet for ourselves and are constantly worried by that fact. My point is that life is a journey to further understanding and we each need to experience things to make our lives meaningful and midlife crisis’ are just one of those experiences. An article here on the meaning of life has definitely helped me to understand the world.

Triggers for mid-life crisis’:

1) Mortality: A mid-life crisis can be tied to a person realizing they have a limited amount of time on this planet. The fact of the matter is that human nature makes us put off thinking about our deaths. Around the middle of our lives however, when we begin seeing signs of aging or a parent passes away, death is brought right in front of us which is often overwhelming.

2) Stagnation: A lot of the time, a mid-life crisis can occur because a person realizes they have not been growing – whether it is emotionally, spiritually, or even in one’s career. This stagnation paired with a limited life span causes depression in a person followed by anxiety to change something.

3) Unfulfilled goals: When someone realizes they don’t have much time to complete all the tasks they have set out for themselves, it is a part of human nature to be overwhelmed. It is common that a person makes irrational and impractical decisions because of panic. A classic example is a man trading in his reliable SUV for a luxury sports car!

4) A tragedy in your life: The loss of a family member, an accident, illness, loss of employment and financial security can all send a tidal wave of terror into our previously functioning lives. Changes are difficult for all humans, and the bigger and more difficult they are the more we struggle to cope with them.

5) Children leaving home: For many parents children become the central part of their lives for at least 20 years. If the children suddenly leave home to college or employment or simply to find their own way in life, the loss of meaning in parents lives can be very destabilizing.

Remember a mid-life crisis is part of all our journey’s in life, it is a time when we can re-evaluate life and a time when we can move forward into a new future with hope and newly acquired vigor. You just have to see it as a challenge to be overcome.

Richard enjoys writing and trying to understand the world and us!! Fascinated by humans and the way we tick – he is currently looking at the ideas published on the by biologist Jeremy Griffith – his rational, biological explanation  humans and their nature is incredible!

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