Midlife Stress is on the Rise

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Stress and mental health challenges are increasing daily for those in midlife, between the ages of 45 and 64. Learn more. Get 4 easy ways to reduce stress.

Midlife Stress is on the Rise

Modern life is stressful, and it seems that stress and mental health challenges are increasing daily. While nearly every age group feels this added pressure, the people who seem to have experienced the greatest increase in stress from the 1990s to the 2010s are those between the ages of 45 and 64.

Researchers at Penn State interviewed a group of adults of all ages in 1995 and a different group in 2010 to compare stressful experiences. Middle aged adults showed the biggest increase in stress and decrease in reported well-being in that two-decade span.

The increase in technology, including smartphones, and the way it has sped up life and created 24-hour access to news and other stress-inducing sources affects all age groups (take our online stress test). Additionally, people in midlife have increased responsibilities to many people, including their young-adult children, aging parents, and people at work and in other areas of their lives. The stress is taking a toll on mental health.

Self-care is perhaps more important in the new decade than ever before. While responsibilities to others is intense in middle adulthood, people must remember to take time for themselves to destress. Some low-pressure ideas:

  • Pause every hour to breathe deeply for one minute
  • Keep a journal to record times of gratitude
  • Exercise, even just 20-30 minutes a few days a week
  • Turn off technology and screens at least an hour before bed every night


Middle age may be much more stressful now than in the '90s. (2020). ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 2020 from

Related Articles Dealing with Stress and Self-Care

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: What increases your own stress, and what do you do about it? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


Challenges of Recovering from Self-Harm – Instagram Live

Our guest, Hadley, landed in a psychiatric hospital due to self-injury. Now she’s sharing the challenges she faces in trying to recover. Join us Thursday, July 9, at 4p ET / 3 CT for our Instagram Live. Psychologist, Dr. Kristin Norwood, will also be providing coping strategies that may help you. Ask our guests your questions. Share your personal experiences. I hope to see you there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Never Tell a Person with Depression to Lighten Up
  2. On Overcoming Mental Health Stigma
  3. Unhealthy Relationships: Recognizing the Signs While Dating

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

"Your life isn't yours if you always care what someone else thinks."

Read more bipolar quotes.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, July 7). Midlife Stress is on the Rise , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: September 12, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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