People in their thirties seem more prone to depression than in past decades. A little surprising, since this segment of the population appears to have much to celebrate.
The majority of thirty-something's have established relationships and thriving families. Single persons in their thirties, who have elected to focus their energy on a career, are upwardly mobile and nearing the pinnacle of their success.
By mid-thirties, most are enjoying their prime earning and spending years. They have an active role and voice in all areas of life. Politically, socially and financially, this age group are the pivotal movers and shakers of society.
So why are they not benefiting emotionally from their success; enjoying the fruits of their labor?
Sometimes, with the big 40 looming ahead, thirty-something's will come down with vague, unidentified feelings of discontent. A case of the "blues" becomes an all too common and frequent occurrence.
We are a society ruled by priorities. People in their thirties have developed the self-discipline to gauge their priorities and focus on their immediate and long-term goals. This can result in creating imbalance in other areas. All work and no play does not necessarily make Jack a dull boy, but it might make him slightly depressed.
By the time an individual is well into his thirties, he may feel dissatisfied with the direction his life has taken. He might be suffering "burn-out," from focusing too heavily on work, or disappointment, if his dreams and goals are not fully realized.
Men measure their value by their job performance. If they have not reached their goals, or circumstances dictate a change in career path, their identity is shaken. The current financial crisis has put many an up and coming thirty-something into a tailspin. The last couple of decades have been boom years and they assumed it would always be that way.
Women measure their worth by their relationships. Whether they are "stay at home" moms, or in the work force, suddenly their children are half-grown and more independent and women feel less needed. They feel the pangs of an almost empty nest. They can see this as an opportunity to explore educational or career options, or they might mire in their feelings of uselessness.
Unmarried individuals and single parents suffer the same doubts and fears, only they are going it alone, which only magnifies the issues.
Many couples are experiencing the "7 year itch," which can realistically occur at any age. Life has reached its peak of stress with the demands of jobs, growing children and new-found signs of age progression; a stray gray hair, or a wrinkle that wasnt there yesterday. In our youth-oriented society, the struggle to maintain youth at any cost takes its toll.
The question inevitably comes up: "Is this all there is?" How the thirty-something responds is crucial to his well-being. A pessimistic view will bring on depression. This is when the saying, "Glass half full" comes into play. They can either lament what is lost or on decline, or count their blessings and face the next phase of life with enthusiasm.
If you are in your thirties and experiencing occasional bouts of the blues, take steps to avoid full-fledged depression, which could require medical intervention, by adopting the following practices:
* Learn the 5 easy stress-relief techniques: Deep breathing exercises, full body stretching, aroma therapy, daydreaming, and a brisk, short walk. Any of these short, distracting activities will reenergize the spirit.
* Save. By having a "rainy day" fund, the downturns in the stock market, and drop in housing values reported daily on the news will not have as devastating an effect on your feelings of well-being.
* Develop a spirit of optimism. Create a gratitude journal where you record daily blessings and happy events.
* Practice living in the moment. Don't clutter your mind with regrets about what might have been, or concerns about what negative issues might be looming ahead.
* Get plenty of rest, adequate exercise and drink lots of water and eat nutritional foods to ensure you will remain in optimum health, both mentally and physically.
Each decade of life comes with its particular set of stresses. While you cannot control every facet of life, you can embrace each new phase as an opportunity for growth. How you deal with being thirty-something can make for great memories to cherish when you are "elderly-something" and looking back.