Mastering a life crisis - this is how you do it!

Reading time 8 minutes
Mastering a life crisis - this is how you do it!

A life crisis can hit you at any stage of life. Learn from us why crises can arise and how you can master your challenging situation!

What is meant by a life crisis?

Most people who are affected by a crisis in life initially feel completely helpless. However, disorientation worsens the crisis situation. In this context, a life crisis can arise suddenly and abruptly. Among the reasons are problems at work and resulting unemployment. As well as the separation from the partner or the loss of a loved one.

Serious or life-threatening illnesses, family difficulties or the departure of children who have grown up can also lead to a serious life crisis. Learn here how you can help yourself in crisis situations and overcome your life crisis!

When a crisis is looming, your whole life can change in one fell swoop. An acute crisis is always a difficult situation. Especially a big crisis like a life crisis can be an existential threat. It is therefore all the more important for you to know how you can deal with this challenge and steer your life back on a safe course.

The most common reasons for a life crisis

Crises can be of different types. A single event over which we have no control can turn our lives completely upside down. Among the most common reasons for a life crisis are:

  • End of a Relationship, separation and divorce
  • Sudden job loss and unemployment
  • Financial hardship that threatens existence
  • Serious illnesses and accidents
  • Loss of a loved one

In addition, at each stage of life, specific problems can arise that can become a life crisis. Examples of these are changes. As they occur in the following stages of life and can lead to identity crises:

  • Puberty
  • During pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • retirement age

Often the causes of a life crisis are related to one's love life, one's values and expectations of life, and one's career.

In a severe crisis, many people lose their Motivation. The Hope of a rapid overcoming of the challenging situation is thus clouded. A better future hardly seems possible. Although life crises are caused by unfavorable circumstances and often seem fated, it depends decisively on you whether and how quickly you overcome a crisis.

A crisis in life can hit you at any time, even if you are very happy and not expecting it at all. Since life crises can be existentially threatening, they are rightly feared very much.

Coping with a difficult situation is not always easy. But it is possible to overcome a crisis and come out of it stronger. Crises are part of life. If you learn to deal with problem situations in the right way, a life crisis can be an experience that shows you new perspectives and brings you further in life.

Life crisis reasons

How does a life crisis manifest itself?

You can recognise a crisis when your normal everyday life changes and your life is suddenly called into question. Often such phases are accompanied by a feeling of insecurity, or they are caused by Fear of loss characterized. In a crisis, negative thoughts, hopelessness and depression dominate everyday life. Life crisis symptoms can manifest themselves as follows:

  • Fears of the future
  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Uncertainty and Self-doubt
  • Questions about the meaning of life
  • Mood swings and constant irritability
  • Sleep disorders

You can expect professional help in life crises from psychologists or psychotherapists. How you overcome a life crisis and get your life back on track, you will learn in our online seminar from Dr. Stefan Frädrich, the founder of Greator.

The individual phases of a life crisis

A crisis can begin suddenly and abruptly or develop over a longer period of time. In a life crisis, a distinction is made between different phases. These are in detail:

  • Shock Denial Phase
  • Great crisis with helplessness and hopelessness
  • Acceptance the crisis situation
  • Overcoming the crisis and reorientation
  • Restart

Shock Denial Phase

Every person deals with a life crisis differently. Most of the time we don't want to admit that our beautiful life is changing. We find it difficult to come to terms with losses or limitations. The first phase of a life crisis is therefore called the shock-denial phase. Depending on the situation, this state can last several hours or days.

Great crisis with helplessness and hopelessness

Before we accept a crisis as an important break in life, we feel helplessly at the mercy of this situation. Hopelessness determines our everyday life. We assume that we will not be able to overcome this crisis. Life suddenly no longer makes sense.

Acceptance of the crisis situation

The Acceptance of the crisis situation is the first Step towards overcoming of a crisis. When you start to accept the crisis, it will be easier for you to find solutions.

Overcoming the crisis and reorientation

To overcome a crisis, changes are often necessary. Reorientation is an important process that helps you to leave the past behind and to overcome a life crisis.


After the crisis has lost its horror, a new chapter in life begins. Even if you don't like change, the new start is a chance to set the course for a better future.

overcoming a life crisis

What can you do about a life crisis?

Every person goes through different crises in life. What can you do about a life crisis? First of all, it is important not to be discouraged by the crisis situation. Do not underestimate yourself and your abilities! You will manage to get out of this low phase again.

Motivate yourself. There is a solution for every problem. Uncertainty and hopelessness are normal at the beginning of a crisis. Negative feelings are not good advisors, however, because they obscure the view of reality.

In a life crisis, your whole life may be questioned. However, this is no reason to doubt yourself. Remember your successes and be aware of what you have already achieved. The following things can help you overcome difficult situations:

Overcoming a crisis with optimism

Optimism makes it easier and faster to overcome a crisis. Positive feelings have a motivating effect, so that solutions are found quickly. Of course, it is not easy to maintain optimism in a crisis situation that threatens your existence. However, a positive attitude makes it easier to persevere and helps you to cope with life's adverse circumstances.

Show healthy self-esteem

A healthy self-esteem is especially important in difficult life situations. The influence of a high self-esteem in coping with life crises is enormous and should therefore not be underestimated. Thus, the perception of one's own personality decides whether a crisis is assessed as threatening at all.

People with a healthy self-esteem are convinced that they will manage to overcome the crisis. Be aware of your personality! You have skills and qualities that enable you to cope with difficult situations!

Realistic thoughts help to solve problems

Negative thoughts can amplify problems. If you think negatively about yourself, you will not be able to think of solutions. Think about your situation realistically and check your thoughts! How likely is it that a crisis will last? Life is about change. The reality may not be so nice for a while, but you have the possibility to become active yourself and to give your life a positive turn.

Why it is important to accept change

Our Life is subject to constant change. Accepting innovations and changes is the first step to mastering crises. A well-known saying by the German poet Hermann Hesse says: "And there is magic in every beginning." Making a fresh start helps to finally overcome a crisis situation and come to terms with the negative events of the Past be finished. And who knows - maybe later you'll be glad that everything turned out this way and fate gave you a chance to start something new!

typical crises

The typical crises that (almost) everyone goes through

Almost everyone goes through some crises in the course of life. Especially often identity crises occur during these stages of life:

  • during puberty
  • in midlife
  • in late adulthood

Crises in childhood and adolescence

Childhood and adolescence are important developmental phases that have a formative influence on the entire life. It is usually family crisis situations, such as the separation or divorce of parents, that throw young people off track. Frequent moves can also have an adverse effect on children and young people. When moving to another city, one not only loses familiar surroundings, but also many friends. Therefore, increased changes of residence and location can have unfavourable consequences for adolescents and children in particular and can promote crises.

Puberty is another phase that can be associated with difficulties. Many adolescents have problems with their sexual orientation. They find it difficult to find their role within society. Often young people do not know what to do after leaving school. Lack of perspective can trigger a life crisis. Reasons for crises in youth can be:

  • Lack of integration into professional and social life
  • Negative experiences at home (domestic violence)
  • The first confrontation with reality
  • Infatuation and separation
  • Difficulties in identity development

Crises in midlife

Midlife is characterized by far-reaching changes characterized. These are mainly of a physical nature, but they have a major impact on the way we live our lives. When a woman enters menopause, the fertile phase ends. Pregnancy is now no longer possible. An unfulfilled desire to have children and the perceived loss of femininity can lead to a tangible life crisis.

A typical life crisis in men that occurs in the middle years of life is the so-called "midlife crisis". In this phase, men and women alike come to terms with the way they have led their lives up to now. In the process, a private and professional life balance is drawn. If the expectations of oneself are too high, problems with self-esteem can arise.

Life crises are often triggered by fear of failure. In middle age, health reasons are also a possible trigger for crises. When strength dwindles and general resilience decreases, many people worry about their professional future. Nowadays, success is linked to personal performance. Those who call in sick more often have to reckon with problems at work that can even lead to dismissal.

Often, minor health problems are enough to trigger a crisis in those affected. Other examples of life crises in this phase of life are separations or divorces. A life crisis after Separation often presents both spouses with major challenges. The departure of children who have grown up is also a change to which one must first get used. However, a life crisis can occur as early as 30. The most common reasons for crises in young and middle adulthood include:

  • Physical and mental Overload
  • Mobbing on the job
  • Expecting too much of yourself
  • Problems in the partnership
  • Financial difficulties

Crises in older adulthood

Life changes with increasing age. Mobility decreases, so many adults are no longer as active as they used to be. When retirement is in sight, many people enter a life crisis. At this age, it is realized that life is not infinite. One deals with dying and may have had first experiences with the end of life, for example through the death of a partner or another loved one.

Losses play a significant role in the development of life crises. These can include financial loss, the loss of youthful beauty, or the loss of a job. However, with time, it becomes clear that one can overcome any life crisis. Optimism and a positive attitude are the most important pillars that can help you to overcome even a deep life crisis!

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