They call it a mid-life crisis, because it’s supposed to happen in the ‘middle’ of your life. So unless all of me and my mates are gonna die at 50, something’s up. Why are perfectly healthy 25-35 year olds having panic attacks, severe anxiety and emotional breakdowns? Perhaps it’s because we all feel such huge amounts of pressure from not one – but every aspect of our lives? We work really hard because we want to be successful – not to mention sustain living in one of the world’s most expensive cities; we’re gradually realizing how quickly life passes us by and we’ve haven’t experienced even half of the things we want to; we’re concerned that our future of finding The One and settling down is getting bleaker by the day, and we’re constantly feeling pressure to look good and have impeccable bodies.
It’s exhausting just reading all of that, let alone actually living it. Are things more stressful now for mid-mid-lifers than ever? Sure, we might not realize how lucky we are, with what we have compared to the older generation, but is evolution actually stifling our mental health?
We live in a world where teenagers are millionaires, fools get famous for having fit physiques, and travellers experience the most beautiful parts of the world without seemingly working at all. As we watch their perfect lives unfold via social media, it wouldn’t be natural not to aspire to what they have. Our desire to live life through an Instagram filter has never been stronger. And while some might argue that it’s good to be motivated, it seems that too many of us are cracking under the pressure.
You’ve heard of the term ‘rat race’, and that’s exactly what it is. A race to be rich, so that we can sit back and enjoy life with all of our money – when half the time we’re not even realizing that it’s passing us by. But we’re not just racing for riches anymore, the hunt for a husband is all too real, and every day that passes is a day that we’re closer to losing our looks, and bodies, and dying alone. Team this fire for fortune and boy drama with everyday stresses, and all while trying to be gorgeous and buff as we do – and it’s no wonder none of us want to leave the house anymore.
Many people underestimate the power of stress. It can manifest itself in a number of ways that can be crippling for it’s victim. Severe anxiety seems to be an increasingly common problem; I have truly beautiful friends (inside and out), that are struggling to walk down the street without feeling like the non-existent walls are closing in on them. And it breaks my heart. Anxiety and the like, stem from various root issues, but it’s the stress in our lives that trigger it.
Surprisingly, another factor that seems to be contributing to fall of fabulous mid-mid lifers, is loneliness.We can be surrounded by friends and have loving families, but dating is arguably harder than it’s ever been, and everybody seems to be trapped inside their own smartphone. Sure, we have millions of apps to connect with each other, but it’s a world less personal than real life interaction. Followers aren’t friends, and it’s the quality of your relationships that matter, not the quantity. You can have a 3 million Instagram stans, but if you’ve got no real relationships – you’re bound to feel alone.
Honestly, I thought I was one of the few with my shit together, until last month, I had an unexpected panic attack in the streets of Cyprus. Something that occurred because of such a minor incident. But that wasn’t really why – that was just the final straw that broke the camel’s already overwhelmed back. And it is overwhelming. Perhaps we’re our own worst enemy for buying into that lifestyle and wanting to have nice things; but is that really so bad? The internet can make people famous overnight, and so the competition to have your talent seen or heard, or to be rightfully recognized in your field of work has never been fiercer. And believe us, we can feel it.
So perhaps it’s simply because there’s more pressure for young adults to succeed these days, or perhaps we’re just more aware of our mental health nowadays (which is a good thing!), or then again, maybe my generation just took a shit load of legal highs that are now eradicating our mental stability, who knows. Just bare in mind, you’re not nuts and there’s a ton of us going through similar things. Many people can help themselves just by recognising/adjusting certain triggers or lifestyle choices, while others that find the symptoms longer-lasting or interfering with their day-to-day life may find help in counseling.
Don’t worry though, it’s not a crisis, it’s just a slight (albeit unnerving) hiccup.