Have you ever heard of a mid-life crisis? Many people become concerned around middle-age because they realize that they no longer enjoy some of the things they did when they were younger. Music may irritate them, or even entertaining friends or family members can become exhausting, and this may cause them to re-evaluate life, and call it a mid-life crisis.
While you can call it anything you like, a “crisis” shouldn’t be one of them. This type of mid-life realization of maturity is more simply an opportunity to explore new options. Call it a mid-life makeover instead, and do these 5 things that you’re NOT too old for.
- Have a Vision. Many people claim that by simply visualizing something they want out of their lives, that they can make it happen. And that may be true. Some studies reveal that visualization works! And it may even help to boost your motivation, coordination and concentration as it has been shown to do for athletes. At any age, if you feel like your life is changing around mid-life, you may want to sit down and simply visualize what you want out of life right now. That way you can direct your focus onto those things and create a life you love.
- Kick it to The Curb. As we age, it can become difficult to break out of old patterns. But usually, those old patterns aren’t even useful anymore. For example, if you wake up every morning and have 2-3 cups of coffee because you used to work in an office, you may not need to do that as you get older. Take an inventory of your current “bad habits,” and ask yourself if there are any behaviors you really don’t want in your life any more. Then work towards kicking that bad habit to the curb! On average, studies have shown that it takes only about 2 months to form a new habit.
- Get Physical. Incase you didn’t already know that regular exercise is good for you, studies have shown that performing physical activity benefits everyone in terms of longevity. So, no matter your gender, race or weight, you too can gain a longer life expectancy by just doing more exercise! Choose something you like including brisk walking, running, hiking, or even a relaxing meditative workout like yoga.
- Become Mindful. You can perform mindfulness meditations anywhere you like. It’s as easy as setting aside 5 minutes to focus all of your attention on your breath.
Also known as Pranayama, try this 5-minute mindfulness breathing exercise:
- Sit in a comfortable position and fold your hands in your lap, resting them on your legs. Face forward and gently close your eyes.
- Take a long deep breath in through your nose, and then count to 5 silently in your mind as you inhale.
- Then, take a long exhale and blow all of the air out of your mouth (1-2-3-4-5).
- Continue this process with the intention of only becoming mindful of yourself. The process is known as mediation, and it has been used for centuries across cultures to reduce stress and boost brain power.
As you continue the breathing meditation, if you notice any distractions from inside your body like thoughts, or physical irritations, or if you notice a sound from the outside world simply focus on your breath and repeat this mantra, “One day at a time” silently in your mind as you exhale.
NOTE: In order to devote more awareness to your meditation, you may choose to set a timer so you do not have to estimate 5 minutes of time (about 100 breaths).
Mindful breathing exercises like this one have been shown to be highly effective for slashing stress, and easing anxiety. While it may seem like a strange thing to do, focusing on your breath is a tried-and-true way to chill out. So, why not try it?
- Learn to Love. Did you know that one of the most common characteristics of human beings is their need, and desire to love? While recovery may seem like a time when happiness should come easily, loneliness may creep in and happiness may not come automatically. Reach for joy where you can find it. Some of the best friends come with four legs! Studies have shown that pet owners are also more likely to live a longer life than people who do not own pets. Oddly enough the health benefits of owning a pet were clinically linked to improvements in heart health specifically. This could be due to the fact that pet ownership is associated with more exercise, support and companionship, or simply the love they give and receive.
Preventing the Mid-Life “Crisis”
Many people worry that they could experience a mid-life crisis around middle-age. And maybe that’s true for some people as the realization of mid-life can be startling. However, there is no reason to let a term such as mid-life “crisis” take ahold of your behavior or define you. Eliminate the word crisis altogether from your vocabulary and realize that if you have made it to mid-life – you’ve done great!
Now all you need to do to enjoy it gracefully is to take on your life with intention. Do all of the things you’ve always wanted to do but never before had the wisdom to conquer. Take it all on because the reality is that you are not too old to do it!