And what to do about it.
"One of the things that can happen and identify the onset of a midlife crisis is feeling ill-fit for the life you're leading," says Dr. Ludwig. "There's a tendency to stop and pause during midlife and question whether you're on the right track." In other words, you feel the need to give yourself a strong evaluation about where you wanted to be in life versus where you actually are.
Perhaps you realize you've been following the dreams your parents set out for you or you've been abiding by the "rules" of society. "There's suddenly a stronger desire to listen to one's soul, and perhaps the crisis comes when you feel off-track," continues Dr. Ludwig.
However, keep in mind that a period of self-reflection can be positive, she adds, "because it can get you to eliminate those things that are no longer in sync with who you are today." Also, a 2016 study from the British Psychological Society discovered that individuals who experience either a quarter or midlife crisis by becoming ultra-focused on their purpose in the world were likely to find creative solutions for their challenges.
"This enhanced curiosity may be the 'silver lining' of crisis," stated the co-author of the research in a press release. "Armed with this knowledge, people may find the crises of adult life easier to bear."