So, you’re middle aged and have been looking up an old flame on Facebook, flirting with people half your age, and have suddenly taken up extreme sports!

The so-called “midlife crises” is a widely mocked cliché where sports cars, hairpieces and Botox is something that people tut-tut over.

Studies show that the great majority of middle aged people believe in the reality of the so-called “midlife crises” and that almost half of adults over 50 claim to have had one. But, is it real?

Here’s the thing, midlife is a perfectly normal and ultimately beneficial human transition. The truth is that our attention shifts from the past, to time left, and that requires a process of adjustment.

However, the presumption that productivity and creativity rapidly declines, and that happiness ebbs due to the fact that your best years are behind you, is simply a myth. In fact, research shows that life satisfaction actually declines from our early 20s until we hit our 50s. After 50 it turns around and rises, right through late adulthood.

U.S. studies found that people 55-65 are more likely to start companies than those aged 20-34 and that older workers are just as productive as younger ones. You’d never guess this from the way we talk about midlife, right?

Truth is, how satisfied you feel at any given time will depend on many things. Age is never the only factor. Age is just a number, simply stating the number of years you’ve existed on earth. (Sorry for the cheeseball moment, but it’s warranted … I think!)

Contrary to popular view that youth is the best time in life, present findings suggest that the peak of our emotional life may not occur until well into the seventh decade. At midlife we shift our priorities towards deepening our connection with the people and the activities that matter most to us. And, believe it or not, most of us get through the “midlife crises” without acting out.

So, forget about the stereotypes and embrace the change. Midlife is not about ticking life experiences and successes off a checklist. This is your chance to live a life align with who you are, not who you plan to be. Do what makes you joyful every day.

Love your partner and your kids for who they are and not for who you wish they were. And if you’re alone, live a little, you can still kiss a few frogs before your prince (or is it king?) arrives! Learn new things; take a class or join a book club (ahem … wine club).

Say no to the things you don’t want to do and appreciate your good health and amazing body, even if it’s not the ideal size.

Forget about the peanut gallery, spend your money on experiences, not on things. Travel to places you’ve always wanted to see. The spirit of adventure will open your mind and prove that impossible is just a word.

Change is inevitable, so make the most of it.

You’ve got this!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.