I developed this list of midlife crisis signs based on 15 years of professional work helping people within a midlife crisis. Even if you have most of the signs listed here, don’t panic. The most important truth is that this event doesn’t need to be a crisis. Midlife is a time of life to embrace change to become the person you dream to be. Don’t let this be a fear-driven event, Julie and I will patiently walk you through the process to find answers. Our site has a comprehensive overview of a midlife crisis and over a hundred web pages and videos to help you find your midlife answers.
Midlife Crisis Signs
The truest indicators are the signs that illustrate drastic lifestyle changes in a person’s life. Most typically it will be friends and co-workers who will diagnose the midlife crisis before the person in crisis will even realize it.
Top Ten Signs of Midlife Crisis
- Desiring to quit a good job.
- Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
- Changing or investigating religions, churches or 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.
- Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
- Wanting to run away to somewhere new.
- A desire or obsession to get into physical shape.
- Irritability or unexpected anger.
- Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
- Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
Additional 25 Common Symptoms of Midlife Crisis
The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a midlife crisis is relative to the person experiencing the changes.
- The desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Skydiving, etc.).
- Exploring new musical tastes.
- Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
- Hanging out with a different generation, as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
- Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
- Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
- A 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.
- Hair changes. (Natural shifts in thickness, luster, color or assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
- A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
- Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
- Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
- It feels good to get hurt.
- Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
- Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
- A desire to teach others or become a healer.
- Change in allergies.
- Desiring a simple life.
- Playing again just to play!
- 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.
- Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
How Long Does a Midlife Crisis Last?
Without help, it takes 3 to 5 years. Usually, a person will work through many false starts and painful side trips before they settle down in their life. Roughly a third of these people will not end up in a place that genuinely matches where they were hoping to go. Around a quarter of these people will repeat the crisis seven years later without help.
With teaching and patient guidance a midlife crisis can be resolved over six months to two years.
Expert assistance is the most significant factor in how fast the midlife change process will flow. The simple reason for this vast difference comes down to the many traps, social issues, and distractions exist for the average person.
Helping You With Midlife Crisis
A midlife crisis is the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart. Due to existing personal commitments, it’s a hard path to self-resolve the inner-conflict a person’s feels.
- Many times a person in midlife crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life.
- Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not understanding why they are acting in the manner they are.
This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable. This also leads to the most dangerous midlife crisis symptom of denial. Confronting a person in the initial stages of midlife crisis will often invoke and reinforce strong statements of denial since some of their actions are unconscious.
Most often a midlife crisis is defined well into the process of change. People miss the initial subtle internal midlife transformation shifts that do occur. As a result, the process usually only becomes visible after a drastic shift that screams a crisis. However, the process has started long before the visible midlife crisis symptoms appear. It’s possible to aid a person to discover how to define life to fit better to what makes them content and happy.
Care does need to be taken as often a person in midlife crisis will feel trapped and in a corner without options.
Handling the Symptoms of Midlife Crisis
Experiencing a midlife crisis is not about curing a set of symptoms. In other words, this isn’t something you go to a doctor for a treatment to cure; rather this represents a time of life when a person is looking for an education to expand their life.
A midlife transition is about shifting your lifestyle to better match where the person’s spirit yearns to be. A midlife crisis is a very natural biological and psychological process of a person maturing. While some of the symptoms might indicate a process opposite of maturing: at times a person needs to step backward to move forward. This can also mean learning to play again since play is indeed a form of education.
People may resist change as they age but everyone does evolve within their life as they get older. The truest resolution to a midlife crisis is learning to embrace the facts of one’s change and investigate methods of transformation.
To do nothing is to let midlife crisis decide how you change.
Crisis still invokes change, but it’s an external change that a person no longer can control and often breaks those around us in the bargain. To deny a midlife crisis is the same as doing nothing and it will become even more intense.
Modern culture doesn’t quite know what to make of our midlife time of change. Since not everyone experiences the same degree of change, some in modern culture deny this crisis happens. Anyone who has gone through the experience will deeply confirm it’s a real event. If you are at the point where you feel confused, your choices seem to make others unhappy, and denial is making your life worse, then get help! I help hundreds of people every year and as a result, I know it’s real and the process I teach works quickly and gracefully.
Another problem is that modern western lifestyles are based on chasing dollars and goals rather than supporting your truth. People are so focused looking forward to their incomes and the next paycheck that they forget or feel they cannot afford to embrace living to their true internal personal needs in the now. Sadly this way of looking at the problem regarding finance only also means just doing nothing, and that only promotes and expands the crisis into happening anyway!
Understand: It’s far cheaper to address and educate oneself in this process than it’s to pay the longer term consequences of letting it become a full-fledged crisis.
One of the most difficult symptoms to resolve is the fact that those experiencing midlife crisis often feel separated, misunderstood and alone.
A bigger truth when in midlife crisis is that you don’t have to be alone. Find solace in those that don’t limit your transformation by their judgments. Many times people in midlife crisis seek solitude to more easily avoid judgment from others. I know from personal experience you can find answers that gracefully work. This isn’t easy, and this is always an educational process. Finding guidance can make this process more graceful by showing ways to work around the common pitfalls. Don’t look for help that tries to define you, rather look for help that helps you avoid common mistakes! The trouble is the pressing feelings of being alone and the need to make this process one’s path often make it all the more difficult to find outside help.
Partners of Midlife Crisis
We must also consider the partners of those experiencing a midlife crisis. Some of the signs that midlife crisis partners often exhibit are:
- Becoming more judgmental
- Ignoring there is a problem at all and thinking it will all go away with only patience
- And usually 1/4th of the symptoms that the person in midlife crisis is experiencing
As stated earlier: becoming judgmental or patiently waiting for things to resolve only reinforce the problems of crisis. Understand that the process of change is often as hard for the partner as it’s for the person experiencing a midlife crisis. Partners often find themselves confused and even worse getting left behind as the person in crisis sometimes goes running off to search for freedom that eludes their capacity to define. Crisis often forces partners to become more judgmental as they look for answers and this further drives a wedge between the partners.
Know that the worse thing a person can do is to act in a judgmental manner.
Judgment will always aggravate a person in a midlife transformation into running away straight into facing a full-blown midlife crisis.
By nature of a relationship, partners reflect each other. When one person is in midlife crisis, that midlife crisis is often psychologically contagious to partners. As a result, partners are often a few steps earlier in the process, and this can allow the partner to approach their mid-life process more openly regarding transformation. Since usually, they are looking for answers to help their partner, partners often use those very same solutions to help themselves unconsciously. Three times out of four it’s the partner who I first assist as they are usually the first person to contact me for help. Help a person earlier in their process helps speed the process of transformation since they have to recover from fewer mistakes. At this stage, people are all too eager to avoid the problems they see from the other person in midlife crisis.
Introduction to Midlife Crisis: A Time of Transformation
If you need help right away, you can start here with this 30-minute video.
Growing Beyond Midlife Crisis
Learn how to regain control of your life. This 30-minute video covers:
- What is Midlife Crisis?
- What age does midlife crisis typically begin?
- A deeper explanation of a midlife crisis. Don’t get trapped by the word “Crisis”.
- Explaining the natural life cycles we all live through.
- The psychological aspects of a midlife crisis.
- The duality of transformation. Putting to words the frustration a person feels in change.
- How to reveal the new side of your life. The attraction of new relationships and friends.
- What happens in the body during a midlife crisis.
- How to re-balance out your life in midlife transformation. A person going through a midlife crisis is not crazy!
- How to remove conflict from your life in midlife crisis. Expanding life options.
- Dealing with midlife crisis frustrations. How to talk with others.
- Dealing with depression from a midlife crisis. Discovering how to pace yourself and play in transformation.
- I want to run away! How to stay true to oneself rather than run away.
- Releasing with grace. How long does Mid Life Transformation take?
- Speeding up a Mid Life Transformation.
- I can’t stop myself! How do I move ahead in a better manner?
- Expanding your awareness to more efficiently move ahead in your transformation.
- Don’t repress, rather learn how to release.
- The next steps to your Mid Life Transformation.
Determining when Midlife Crisis is Over
The simple test is this:
When you can laugh at the experience and accept yourself.
Or put in another way:
When feeling an overwhelming but complete acceptance of your own life, consistently from moment to moment.
As a teacher, I show my students how to find this path. I know from experience this is something most people spend their entire lifetime trying to embrace. Kindness teaches a person not to focus on the turmoil you feel but to release judgments, false goals, bad stories and then proactively live your life. Letting go is part of acceptance. In a goal based society, letting go of wrongful stories is the hardest part of the healing process for most people.
Finding Help to Resolve Midlife Crisis
If this page resonates with you, then it means: it’s time to change routines and shift how you move in the world. The very nature of the signs you are witnessing is also a reflection of a process of change. Denying change is what brings about the crisis you are in or feel is looming ahead of you. Holding on to old answers gives life no space to grow into something new, the very thing a midlife transformation is all about.
To preserve the aspects of what you love most often means to release and switch around quite a bit in your life to open space for the path of discovering positive transformation. Change isn’t easy, and the prospects of change often paralyze the strongest person. Ironically when this is the case, then the solution is often to take a simple retreat to pause and to reflect on one’s life.
Sometimes to pause in awareness itself is the change people need!
Often pausing means to stop the actions which were fostering the crisis. As a result, Pause isn’t to do nothing; pause is an active process of examining potentials and considering which options would fit best in life! People often need to be taught how to pause, and this is why those in midlife crisis often seek to learn meditation as a technique of pause to help them find peace in their situation.
This is a time of choice, the choice of crisis or transformation. To do nothing is to pick Crisis, To do nothing is to continue living life to the past choices that led everything to this crisis you face. In these articles, I give a person basic information to work with, enough, so you have a chance to encourage the process towards transformation. If you have questions, then it’s a simple matter to contact me to ask a question.
Every student I work with ends up in a place they want to be. Since I guide a person to grow to their essence rather than chasing expectations. The solution is about getting a new perspective to encourage actions that channel the crisis energy into constructive processes. Sometimes just asking a question is enough of an action to resolve a seemingly impossible crisis into a process of growth that truly transforms everything. Sincerely Casey