Posted by: Suzan | October 5, 2011

Relief from the Over 40 Monday – Sunday Blahs

Do your over 40 Monday blahs extend throughout the week? Do you wonder where your perky self is? Are your mood swings ballroom dancing across life’s floor?

 There is good news. This is absolutely normal according to a study reported in Social Science and Medicine in 2008. This study by researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the University of Warwick in                    Coventry, England utilized 35 years worth of data on two million people from 80 nations. They concluded that there is a consistent pattern of depression and happiness levels which result in people feeling down during midlife. They discovered that women in theU.S.are most unhappy at 40 and men at 50. Researchers speculate that this builds over time in most people rather than being caused by dramatic events.

 The best news is that this discomfort is only a temporary blip in life’s landscape. Most people emerge from it in their 50’s with a renewed life perspective. Ideas to support this include the reality that when we reach the 50’s often some of our peers have passed on. This helps us be more grounded in reality and appreciative of the lives we have. Other possibilities are we learn to accept our strengths, weaknesses as well as release unreasonable expectations. Essentially we realize what really matters and focus more of our energy here.

 So during our midlife dip how do we stay assured we’ll get back up? We begin by embracing our feelings rather than rejecting them. Understanding that it is normal to feel a bit down rather than berating ourselves for feeling this way is the first step. Learning more about Positive Psychology will definitely help to readjust. This science advocates that feeling happy isn’t just about experiencing pleasure. Real happiness, according to Positive Psychology, relies on living a purposeful life which has meaning and connection. It may help to volunteer for a cause you find worthy and/or spend more time in “quality relationships” with chosen family and/or friends.

 If you’re feeling out of sorts remind yourself it won’t last and it certainly doesn’t define you. You’re also in good company with the rest of us over 40 folks. Celebrate you’ve reached this milestone and eventually you’ll be counting your blessings too.

 For further support, check out the Father of Positive Psychology: Dr. Martin Seligman’s site. He has some terrific free quizzes for you to take:

 My research came from:


  1. A good reminder to be grateful and live life fully. Seligman’s authentic happiness site has some great tips to stay focused on what is truly important for life satisfaction. Thanks Suzan!


    • Thanks Gina. There is bliss in acceptance and the willingness to start right where we “are” to create our own happiness.



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