Say it Loud “I’m Unhappy” is an article on how to be happy after age 40 and 50. It is to help women identify their unhappiness and do something about it — basically, how to find happiness in midlife (after age 40).
Support for women in midlife is a huge goal for MidLife Rises, Inc., which is why we dedicate ourselves to helping women identify all of the factors that might hinder them from blooming. We recognize that our emotional state, along with other things, start to go awry after the age of 40.
I define happiness as having a piece of mind. Whether it is with money or just feeling settled within ourselves, it is having that comfort level of knowing everything is the way it is supposed to be. When we are not comfortable with something (our family life; relationships; job, etc.), it can really interfere with our well-being. Turning the other cheek on this discomfort can eventually take a toll on our health. No matter which one it is (relationship, job, family life), it tends to be more challenging when we are in our midlife years.
I mentioned in an earlier article that it is natural for us to adapt to our immediate environment. I am not one of those people. I examine my feelings on a regular basis, and I do that to make sure I understand how I feel at all times. This is the way it should be, but it is not the norm for most people. They will not make a move to address their situation.
Years ago I had to make a very hard decision to separate from the man I had intended on growing old with. It was not an easy one because we have three beautiful boys. At the time, they needed both parents because they were, yet, very young. I was not in my original hometown, so my family and friends were limited. I am naturally a happy person, but I had an experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy. I was living in Miami during this period and was very unhappy. Because of the boys, I lingered in the situation as it was not clear how to make the move without destroying lives. At first, my instinct was to just keep on going with my regular routine (work, home life, school (I was trying to complete my degree at the time as well)). It is not easy to make abrupt changes to your life when it is at this level — you just know it is going to be disruptive. But when you have faith and allow the universe to determine your steps, things just have a way of working itself out (Psalm 91:14-16). It’s best to make decisions that feel right, and you will know what that is when it’s time.
I remember opening up to a friend at school, describing unexplained symptoms of sickness (communicating your feelings to others are very important), and he said to me “I don’t really want to say anything, but this is stress”.
It is very common to try and hold on to something you are used to — even though it is taking a toll on your health; we are all wired that way. Some have developed more of a resistance than others to continue to ignore the body’s negative signals — that is, until it starts to breakdown. Luckily, I have the habit of actively questioning my feelings. Periodically, I would stop and say out loud “wait a minute, I’m unhappy”! When I do that, I immediately start looking at why and begin making adjustments to fix things. I do this by playing in my mind what I need to do, and once I start to feel happy sensors, I would begin to move towards that goal. I take my comfort in life very seriously — which is why I do not interfere with anyone that threatens my balance/happiness. In plain words, I try to surround myself with people that have the same disposition as me (being happy, pleasant, joyful, displaying self-control and so on). If you have people in your circle that are unhappy; miserable; bitter; angry and envious, these energies can affect you as well. It’s best to choose your friends and limit even family members that are not lining up with the way you are.
The next part is to educate yourself on who you are as an individual. Having emotional intelligence will go a long way here. It will help you become aware of yourself and the way, in which, you treat others. You will also get a good understanding on what you need to make yourself happy and fulfilled as you grow older.
We often seek out someone or something to define us and make us happy when all we really need to do is understand where the source of our happiness lay. It simply starts with knowing there is someone higher than us out there (God); in addition, being content and having a grateful heart. This removes the darkness of depression, bipolar and all of the other emotional battles that we endure in midlife, bringing in the light to gear us to achieve the peace, joy and happiness that we all deserve (Isaiah 60:1). See our article on ‘controlling emotions’.