STRESS & the seasons of LIFE

Are you in your mid-thirties or early forties and feeling some kind of a vague uneasiness or inner restlessness?

I have definitely experienced phases like that but only made sense of it until recently when completing a coursera course on Emotional Intelligence by Richard Boyatzis.

According to June and Dan Levinson (who wrote about the seasons of a person’s life), around the age of 30 we’ll go through a period of transition that could last 2 to 7 years where we experience a cycle of excitement to boredom with our lives.

In the process we will try something new, do that for another 5 to 9 years until we enter another period of stock taking that leads us to questions like:

  • Is this going right?
  • Do I have to readjust it?
  • Do I have to find a new path?
  • Is this not the real me?

And then we do it again around 50, and around 60, and around 70, so it seems like a perpetual rhythm.

What I am trying to say:

Experiencing this sort of restlessness its nothing to feel guilty about even when everything is going well in your life or to feel ashamed of when your not as successful as you’d like to be. Its something to mindfully observe and navigate through by talking about it and reflecting on what is happening.

In her book, The New Passages (1995), Gail Sheehy interviewed men and women from different walks of life showing that this rhythm happens to all of us.

Staying in tune with where you are in the cycles is a very important part of building self-awareness and increasing your emotional intelligence.

The following exercise from Boyatzis, Richard and McKee, Annie (2005) “Resonant Leadership workbook”  will help you to invoke or elicit some of these different

  • If I won $50 million after tax in a lottery, how would my life or work change?
  • What values or virtues are most important to me,?
  • If I was acting with these values and virtues would I feel proud of myself?
  • Would I want my mother to be proud of me?
  • What are the things I would love to do and live through before I die?

When answering these questions go into as much detail as possible. For example if one of your answers is about travelling, state where you’d like to travel to, for how long? What are the places you’d like to visit? What are the places you’d like to go back to? What are the places you might like to live for a while?
You may not be able to reach all of your goals and dreams but if you don’t identify them the probability that you’ll manifest them becomes very unlikely. On the other hand setting and clearly stating intentions is very powerful and can change the course of your life.

So ask yourself, if your life was everything you hoped for in 10 to 15 years, what would it be like, in terms of

  • your key relationships, your family, a partner or spouse?
  • your contributions to the community?
  • your physical health?
  • your spiritual health?
  • your work (both paid and volunteer)?

After you have written down these answers incorporate them into a personal vision essay. And then share that essay which describes your personal vision, with several people in your life who are important to you and with whom you have mutually supportive relationships.

Happy creating!

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About Mensch - Connecting Mind Body Breath

I am committed to provide empowering information, to help you cope with painful emotions and support you towards personal growth and development. I combine my PhD in Psychology with 15 years of practical experience in counselling across clinical, corporate and community settings. Contact me on 0426 558 562 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation to talk about your needs or write me a quick email at
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1 Response to STRESS & the seasons of LIFE

  1. Pingback: Life Changing Transformations to become “UN-stuck”: | connectingmindbodybreath

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