A mid-life crisis is something people often joke about, but it’s a very real thing. And if you’re between the ages of 35 and 55, it’s highly possible that you’re experiencing – or are on the verge of experiencing – your own mid-life crisis. Will you hurdle this frustrating test, or let it conquer you?

What is a Mid-Life Crisis?

The term “mid-life crisis” was coined by Elliot Jaques in 1965 – and the concept was popularized by psychologists like Carl Jung. It’s used to describe the period of time when humans transition from young adults to older adults. And it’s during this time that adults begin evaluating their lifetime achievements, dreams, and goals against the things they had wished for in the past. When a person doesn’t feel like their current state of being aligns with their desired state, an emotional and psychological crisis can ensue.

The problem is that a mid-life crisis can quickly shift from being a psychological struggle to a serious issue with tangible repercussions. Many people destroy their life savings, spend their retirement accounts, ruin relationships, damage their health, and/or compromise their careers during these events – which can range from a couple of weeks to a few years. And while people can experience a mid-life crisis in their mid-to-late 30s or even early-50s, it’s most common to experience one in your 40s.

Though both men and women experience mid-life crises, men are much more susceptible to these frustrating bouts. But the good news is that they don’t last forever. Studies indicate that happiness can typically be plotted on a U-shaped graph. People are most happy when they’re younger. This happiness declines and bottoms out during the mid-life crisis years. Happiness then increases again starting in a person’s 50s.

3 Ways You Can Fight Back

If you feel a mid-life crisis coming on – whether minor or serious – it’s important that you don’t just sit back and let it consume you. By proactively fighting back, you can protect your finances, health, career, and relationships from being compromised in what amounts to a temporary lack of perspective. 

Here are some ways we encourage men to fight back against a mid-life crisis:

1. Don’t Make Major Changes

When you’re in a mid-life crisis, don’t make major changes.

This might be the simplest yet most profound advice you hear during this time – and it’s one that you have to promise to follow.

When you’re in the middle of a mid-life crisis, it seems like the easiest way to get out of the rut is to buy a motorcycle, have an affair, move to Hawaii, quit your job, etc. However, if you were to examine men who’ve made these rash decisions on the back ends of their crises, you’d find that they almost all regret acting impulsively.

“The urge to do something drastic might feel really powerful and you will often feel like you are sure you need to listen to the urge,” life coach Deb Blum admits. “But I encourage you to wait as long as you can before you take any action and work with a professional who can help you see your situation more objectively.”

When the proper perspective finally emerges from behind the shadows, you’ll be glad you held off.

2. Address the Things You Can Control

While you shouldn’t make any drastic changes, you should address the smaller things that you have direct control over.

Take balding as an example. Millions of middle-age men suffer from premature hair loss, thinning hair, and balding. And all it does is add fuel to the idea that their world is crashing and burning.

Sound familiar?

One of the best things you can do is address hair loss head-on (pun intended). A laser cap from Kiierr is one easy option (and you can use it while sitting on your sofa and enjoying a cold beverage). 

Or maybe you’re unsatisfied with your weight. Well, you have a significant degree of influence over your figure. Try improving your diet and working out more.

3. Shift Your Mindset

Finally, make it a point to shift from a scarcity mindset (which underlies nearly every mid-life crisis) to an abundance mindset. This latter mindset says that the world is a place of abundance with limitless opportunities at your fingertips. Someone else’s success doesn’t limit your own, and you have every opportunity to achieve the things you want in life.

Your Best is Yet to Come

Remember that U-shaped happiness graph that we referenced earlier? Well, it can only mean one thing for you: Your best years are still ahead.

Don’t let a couple of years in the middle of your life wreck your outlook and perspective. Don’t’ let it compromise everything you’ve worked for up until now. Hang on tight and throw some counterpunches. There’s a lot waiting for you on the other side of this little storm.