A Quarter Life Crisis?

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The start of anything new, including a new year brings change and disruption. For many this feeling is also attached to defined age-related landmarks, typically at the end of different decades.

But…. change occurs at any age and managing the related transition can be challenging, raising stress responses, which if not adequately countered may generate disadvantageous and unexpected outcomes. The period – in many people’s mid-twenties – has attracted attention as a typical time for just such a transitional crisis.

Clinical psychologists define this stage of life’s journey as “a period of insecurity, doubt and disappointment surrounding your career, relationships and financial situation” in your twenties. In effect it may be a consequence of a desperate wish to hold onto the youth that is now slipping through grasping fingers whilst simultaneously wanting nothing more than the fabled stability adulthood brings.

Symptoms can manifest as a gut-wrenching feeling of fear, uncertainty, anxiety and an overwhelming desire for everything to just “be okay,” even if that status may be frustratingly difficult to define.

One of the strategic suggestions extracted from a slew of advice for those in this stage of life suggests working on improving the way situations that create unresolved stress are handled. The benefits of this process, known as emotional intelligence (a shorthand that psychological researchers use to describe how well individuals can manage their own emotions and react to the emotions of others) are well known and it’s a major and effective part of dealing with life whilst under duress.

According to two (pay to view) published analyses, one in the journal Psychological Perspectives and the other in the journal Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, emotional intelligence is the best skill to spend time on refining while going through this transition. If properly applied, it allows a reaction to feelings to emerge without loss of control and being overwhelmed by emotion.

The ability to regulate emotions should evolve with age and experience (I suspect you know clear examples of this being the case and others not!) and focussing on a few major components of this skill can speed up the process.

Invite your clients, family members or yourself to…..

  1. Start by being self-aware of ‘how’ you’re feeling, and ‘how’ you react to the people and situations you face. If you struggle with it, why not record your experiences by writing them down. Writing about how you feel has helped many people tease out change with reduced existential crises.
  2. Be aware of what you say. Listen to the words you use and or use repeatedly and reflect on them. How do you sound? How would you interpret what you said? Experience uncomfortable situations and be mindful of how you handle them. Aim to develop a healthy perspective on your life, stop self-pitying, and harness the reflective advantages of gratitude.
  3. Understand that everyone experiences challenges and associated perceptions of loss of control, but if you can step back and appreciate the good around you, you’ll see that life probably isn’t so bad.
  4. Remember you are not your emotions, even if at times it feels that way. Just because you feel lost right now doesn’t mean you are, or that you’ll be stuck feeling that way.

There may be times when the act of making these changes can seem too hard; anxiety, lack of sleep and capacity to act may be compressed under the weight of out of balance emotion, to assist in the unwinding of these barriers to change.

This may be when utilising a proven natural agent, devoid of side effects or addiction risk with a fast response time and excellent safety profile may present an opportunity for enhanced recovery outcome and speed.

For thousands of years garum, a concentrated extract of deep water fish has been used for improved function, mental resilience and fortitude; consider utilising its unique properties whilst also developing emotional intelligence.

Advise your ‘quarter life’ crisis clients to remember everyone has their own path in life, and they should focus on theirs, not someone else’s. This time of life also means becoming more aware of what their interests are, rather than the interests others might have in them. So, when they find something they like, go with it. The sooner they more intelligently qualify what others expect of them the better.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Michael Christie
    2, February 2019 16:46

    This is an interesting article. Stress is not easy to handle and being honest that one is under pressure is not necessarily easy. Emotional intelligence I suppose is admitting your feelings to yourself (and maybe to trusted others), recognizing them and then not holding on to them. There are always different emotions to remember! This article has given me something to think about for sure. Thanks!


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