Crisis of the 30 years? It's just anxiety

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Robert Maurer
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Crisis of the 30 years? It's just anxiety

Last update: Augusts 06, 2018

Every decade of our life is characterized by changes: new habits, new experiences, but also new obstacles and goals to achieve. The pressure of 30, better known as crisis of the 30 years, is a phenomenon that triggers doubts and mixed feelings which must necessarily be addressed.

Everyone has at least once heard of the famous 40-year-old crisis, also known as the 'midlife crisis (the term was coined by psychologist David Levinson in the 60's to give a name to the vortex of existential feelings and doubts typical of this moment of life.). Later, the psychoanalyst Erikson also supported the existence of this crisis, stating that it is a moment in which the individual makes a sort of "revision" of the life lived up to that moment.



Although over the years various experts have presented conflicting opinions on the real reasons that trigger the 30-year crisis, the only certain thing is that it is a universally recognized phenomenon.

What is the 30-year crisis?

It is impossible to deny the stress that assails us around the age of 30. In this particular moment of life, a mechanism is triggered, fueled by social expectations, frustration and the feeling of having to "take our life in hand", but many times we fail.

We feel torn between the search for stability and the desire to maintain the dynamism typical of youth. A crossroads from which it is very often difficult to get out, especially if we consider that often and willingly, even the family and society with their expectations contribute to increasing confusion and pressure.

Having reached the age of 30 we realize that all the expectations we had about this period of life were nothing but utopias. The same expectations that others had projected on us and that for the other thirty-year-olds seem to be reality.



And here we begin to look at the life of our peers, to make comparisons and to feel even more frustrated because we have not been able to realize ourselves and the possibilities of stemming the damage seem to us nil.

The great anxieties of the thirty-year-olds

In this particular moment of life we ​​tend to evaluate different aspects of our existence. A negative outcome of these assessments can generate frustration, anxiety and even depressive states.

Find a mate and start a family

Erikson stresses the importance of having intimate relationships around the age of 30. This responds to the need (typical of this moment in life) for create close relationships, based on trust and reciprocity as a source of well-being.

In the wake of what Erikson said and reflecting on the expectations of today's society, it seems that the age of 30 is the age when every individual should have a partner, a family and plans for the future ... in short, something stable and safe. . Not having a stable partner yet for many people becomes the crux of the notorious 30-year crisis.

Having a job and your own independence

We study, we dedicate ourselves to what we are passionate about, we strive to find any job that has some affinity with the profession we want to do ... But at some point we stop looking for what we like and we adapt to what is proposed to us or we even look for any option to adapt to.

Maybe we have dedicated ourselves to several jobs at the same time or we have become entrepreneurs. The point is that we don't know if it's the fault of the economic crisis, bad choices or bad luck, but we have not yet managed to achieve economic independence, and yet, it seems that the time has come to "make a living".


Redefinition of priorities

This is a time when our priorities inevitably change. Although there are times when priorities are well defined (e.g. during adolescence where our friends, first loves, sports and other interests seem top priorities), as time goes by priorities change and become more "individual" and linked to the circumstances we live in, this leads us to distance ourselves from some people who have been close to us up to that moment.


Program changes

Free time begins to run out, while responsibilities increase dramatically, so it becomes essential to plan everything carefully. We prefer to plan well in advance and last-minute proposals begin to annoy us. It is common to feel a feeling of "emptiness" when we realize that we have no control over such changes. When we can't do something because of these feelings, we feel socially frustrated.

How to manage the 30-year crisis?

Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeling overwhelmed by the 30-year crisis.

Look from the right perspective

One of the secrets to not making this age a period of emotional vulnerability is to take a step back to look at things from the right perspective. Who determines when to do what? Who defines the yardstick of our achievement? Just us, letting others decide would make no sense.

Not everyone has to necessarily go into crisis around the age of 30.

To each their own goals 

It doesn't matter if the neighbor thinks we missed our train… we always have time to catch a plane. People always have to talk, ask, insinuate, doubt… But the people are the people, and we are us. It is with ourselves that we will spend 24 hours a day every day of our life.


We must try to meet our expectations. The 30-year crisis won't last a lifetime… Or maybe it will. It just depends on us, it is up to us to set our goals according to our needs.

Everything has a why

Despite the effort, willpower and hard work, there are many things that are beyond our control. There are very high walls and no steps, but it is still worthwhile to climb as far as possible to realize that something wonderful awaits us a little further on.


Each stage of life presupposes growth. Albert Einstein used to say that “to learn the important lessons in life every day you have to overcome a fear” and we certainly won't be the ones to contradict him.

Adapt to changes

If changes in the surrounding world disturb us, perhaps it is time for us to change too. how? By replacing complaints with proposals, regrets with the search for motivation. Maybe it's time to review our priorities, find something we're passionate about, meet new people, or just change the environment. The strength to do it is within us.

In short, we must learn to value what we have, because it will allow us to move forward. Most of the time health is enough to set out to discover oneself or towards a goal, an attitude. Even experiencing your successes as a crisis is a personal matter. Because it's true, we live in a society that tries to impose on us how to live our life and fleeing seems like an impossible mission ... But behind the 30-year crisis there are still autonomous people, and for each of us there are thousands of opportunities. Just grasp the right one.

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