How to Face Midlife Crisis

The middle-aged characters in films and television are always inseparable from the narration of the mid-life crisis. It makes me wonder, are there any middle-aged people who have survived a midlife crisis?


Midlife crisis is a modern psychological concept coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques, a 40-year-old Canadian psychoanalyst. By looking at some of the greatest artists, Jaques found that after the age of 35 they either changed their style significantly or went straight into a career, suggesting that midlife is a time of intense psychological upheaval. He then extended the observation to ordinary people and found similar psychological changes.

In his paper, Jaques quotes a middle-aged patient as saying:

“Now suddenly I seem to have reached the crest of the hill, and there stretching ahead is the downward slope with the end of the road in sight—far enough away, it’s true—but there is death observably present at the end.”

By standing in a transit station between youth and elder, middle-aged people are more sensitive to the passage of time, creating an identity crisis. They may suddenly feel lost due to changes in their physical health, intimate relationships, career progression, and even depressive symptoms.


The midlife crisis that comes with anxiety is often accompanied by regret, and an important part of the midlife crisis is doubting past choices and life.

On the other hand, the regret over the past is also nostalgia for the possibility.

Nowadays, information is overloaded, everyone sees a bigger world and more life possibilities. But the possibility of a stampede, if not paid attention to, carries negative psychological implications: “Why can’t I live this life?” “, “Is my life so difficult because I did something wrong? “And” Would I be better off now if it hadn’t been that way?”.

Sandwiched between the walls of someone else’s success on the left and anxious self-regret on the right, middle-aged men tend to overlook what matters most.

The people tried too hard, would not 100% have a peaceful life. Time can never be rewound. A more effective way to retrieve the past is to focus on the NOW, the people, and things that are around with us.


Maugham said. “Beware Of the Little Things … The bible says that the hardest thing for a man to do is to control his tongue.”

In a way, the midlife crisis is such a psychological transformation.

Middle age is the point at which the possibilities of life begin to shrink. The biggest difference between the life of the “young generation” and the life of the “old school” is that the “young generation” has many opportunities to start again, while the “old school” only has NOW.

Just like young have curious adolescence, the middle-aged immersed in the utilitarian society for a long time, of course, also experience a period of life burnout.

Especially in today’s digital world, young people are active on various platforms, expressing themselves in various forms such as text, video, and audio. Every click seems to say that the world belongs to young people, let them build it. Their life is full of hope. Youth represents the chance to do the trial and make mistakes.


It’s human nature at different stages of life to be able to throw away the established life for the things you love when you are young and to yearn more and more for stable material and company when you are older.

Even if we were born again, we could not be sure that we would live a better life than we do now, because our personality, behavior tendency and social environment are all quantitative. Therefore, cherishing the people around us now is the best key to a better future and a way to a “new” self.

Good luck with your midlife. Do not forget to “like” this blog.

Thanks for reading ❤

Yanfei ~

Author: Anfy

Dream(ak)er. Graduate of the University of Toronto. Studied Architecture, Visual Arts, and Art History. Freelance fashion model, video maker/ social media manager, UX/UI designer. Being expressive makes me alive, being creative makes me curious.

9 thoughts

  1. Feeling of “ midlife” happens even in daily lives, especially in this unprecedented pandemic era. The constant thought of what I’m doing, how I’m doing it or even to Whether to pursue certain goals. Asking these questions and not coming up with clear answers…It is a constant struggle or a chance learning about oneself? Maybe it is not all bad to go thru the “ midlife crisis”. Thanks for sharing


  2. Honestly, sometimes I feel like us youth these days start a quarter life crisis and it never stops. When there’s so much information and data being pushed on us by technology, it’s important to center ourselves. Make peace with our pasts and vows for the future ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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