80 8th Ave #600, New York, NY 10011
photo of a young adult male sitting on a bench writing in a notepad

Yes, Quarter Life Crises Are Real; Here’s Why And How To Deal With Them

In modern times, children are being forced to grow up earlier and earlier. While their maturity levels progress on a typical timeline, certain responsibilities are placed on them sooner than some are ready for. 

By the time you go through high school and college (or the equivalent), you often feel prepared for the adult world. Then reality sets in and you realize nothing is what you have expected it to be and you feel vastly unprepared for what’s ahead. 

This moment is often referred to as a quarter-life crisis. 

What is a Quarter Life Crisis? 

This common experience during the transition from childhood to adulthood feels somewhere between existential and identity crises. You’re just not sure of your place in the world. 

In your early twenties, you’re still in the pre-reality phase. It’s when you reach your mid-twenties through your early thirties that a quarter-life crisis can set in. 

Uncertainty about being an adult, your identity, and life in general can cause enough stress to trigger this problem. You may feel lost or stuck in a rut with your job. You may feel uninspired by or unmotivated for things that typically bring you joy.

Signs of a Quarter-Life Crisis

When you’re at the point of consistently feeling unsettled in your current position or uncertain about your own abilities, it could be a quarter-life crisis. Additional signs include:

  • Feeling more impulsive than normal
  • A constant need or longing for change
  • Reliving that teen angst feeling 
  • Commitment issues
  • Difficulty with decision-making
  • Feeling lost and not having a clear plan 
  • Feeling behind when comparing yourself to others
  • Feeling short on time for your personal or career goals
  • Feeling trapped
photo of a young adult male sitting on a bench writing in a notepad

Why Do They Occur?

Each person experiencing a quarter-life crisis will feel symptoms differently and have varying causes for the onset. For most, however, it will come down to disillusionment. 

When you spend any time in the adult world, adulting like you’re supposed to, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and lost. For many, there is also a component of change that is hard to grasp. Maybe you always had a plan and thought you knew what you wanted, only to find out it’s so far from the truth.  

How to Get Through Them

Navigating a quarter-life crisis can be an interesting and challenging experience. If you believe you’re in the midst of one, here are some options that can help. 

Begin by engaging in self-reflection. Remember, this is quite normal, and you’re not alone. Re-learn about yourself and re-evaluate what your goals are now during this phase of life. Spend some time alone. Keep a journal in which you can look for patterns of thought. 

If you have any thoughts you may have previously had, find a way to let them go. Free yourself of constraints that may keep you in crisis mode. 

Be mindful of the language you’re using. To reduce pressure, avoid phrases like “I should” or “I must.” 

There’s a phrase that comparison is a thief of joy. There’s a lot of truth to this. Avoid comparing yourself to your peers and friends because it can trigger a negative spiral about your identity and existence. Easier said than done, but something worth practicing. 

Finally, give yourself some grace. Allow yourself to be unsure, not to have every answer, and to want to explore additional outlets and avenues. 

A quarter-life crisis can be a tough thing to navigate. Some people can handle the roller coaster on their own, while others need a little extra help to overcome the challenge. You’re not alone in this. Contact us to learn how anxiety therapy can help you.




Related Posts

female sitting on dock looking at water

What Are The Benefits of CBT For Depression?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a preferred treatment approach due to its benefits and fast results. CBT doesn’t involve deep diving into the past, nor does it follow the concept that external factors heavily influence behaviors and feelings. 

Are you worried you might be suffering from anxiety?

Take our free online Anxiety Questionnaire

This easy-to-use self-administered questionnaire is used as a screening tool and severity measure for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).