Experiencing unexpected changes to your normal mood during perimenopause is as common as catching a cold. In fact, with the natural shift in hormone levels, the looming identity crisis of what life will be like in post-menopause, and reconciling the aging process; it’s almost impossible to avoid some sort of turbulence.
A study found that 80% of menstruating women experience irritability and anger as their most prevalent emotions. Especially if you have had intense PMS symptoms throughout your life you are more likely to have a similar experience in perimenopause.
On the spectrum of temper, a mild sense of annoyance might be manageable but on the extreme end, developing perimenopausal rage can wreak complete havoc on almost every aspect of your life.
Since the transition to menopause could be lengthy, maintaining your quality of life can be a hard-pressed effort. You may feel out of control but there are things that you can do to take back your power.
Rage is defined as, “violent, uncontrollable anger.” Its severity is the hallmark of mass shootings; trigger-happy, non-discriminating, close proximity fatalities that are not just self-inflicted but brings down anyone or anything that is near when it strikes.
When this is persistent, over time, this condition can result in:
- High blood pressure
- Increased anxiety
- Erosion to cardiovascular system
- Bruising or breaking body parts
- Excess belly fat from extra cortisol
- Unnecessary confrontations in public which jeopardizes your safety
- Impaired relationships personally and professionally
- Social isolation
- Compromised professional reputation
The Armed Forces
Persistent anger has its consequences in society and it also takes a physical toll on your body. Any type of fury is perceived as a threat which activates certain parts of the brain to prepare for a possible attack and stress hormones are released.
This physiological response may sound as if it’s quite helpful but actually the opposite is true. These guys can be very toxic when they are constantly being turned loose and absorbed into your muscles and tissues:
- Norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline)
Each has a specific effect but overall they tell the cardiovascular system to flood your physique with blood to expediently deliver the battle plan priorities which are for a physical response strategy. Therefore, glucose (sugar) is delivered to amp up your energy and digestion and the immune system takes a backseat.
While this initially gives you a burst of stamina, it slows your metabolism and leaves you vulnerable to infections and disease.
While decreased estrogen and progesterone aren’t supplying the good vibes they used to, this phase around menopause can also be psychologically and spiritually demanding.
Your identity is largely associated with what it’s like to be fertile and having hundreds of periods under your belt can lead you to wonder what it’s going to be like on the other side of not having them anymore.
You might also be fearful for how society and your workplace will possibly view you as you’re getting older. Will you experience ageism? The AARP found that 25% of workers over 45 received adverse remarks about their age at their jobs.
Additionally your sex life could be a point of contention as well as you physically have a low libido without the aid of your hormones and mentally you could be questioning if all these changes are altering your attractiveness.
Being scared and confused are states of agitation so you’re already carrying around forms of tension. When you encounter yet another difficulty, it can escalate your temper to a boiling point.
How to Cool Off
You’re not hostage to your hormones. There are ways to help you to moderate your wrath. Try joining a menopause community group or consult with your doctor, or a menopause specialist, to see if you could be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Here are other things that you might want to consider:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) - no one is aware of what they don’t know. Working with a therapist can help you pinpoint those unknown, subtle thoughts that trigger a reaction and why it’s happening. They can also assist in providing guidance on how to develop positive coping skills.
Meditation - you may not want to sit in silence and that’s ok. There are plenty of other varieties such as guided meditation or yoga nidra (yogic sleep). Hearing and following someone else’s instruction will help you to distract your mind away from whatever was aggravating you.
In general sitting in a quiet, dark place removes stimuli from your senses so you can relax and reflect.
Phone a Friend - you may feel embarrassed or ashamed by your behavior but venting about it to a trusted confidant can help you to let go of that pain and move on. They may even help you to have a different perspective or share a similar experience.
CBD - cannabis has long been studied to ease stress and anxiety because it calms the place in the brain (the amygdala) that is producing the flight-or-fight response. It’s widely available and comes in a bunch of varieties from supplements to creams and oral oils.
Go to Yoga - most yoga incorporates breathwork which is a natural technique that teaches you to focus on the length and speed of your breathing. It works to lower your heart rate and blood pressure by activating the parasympathetic nervous system to take you out of being on the defensive.
Check Out Acupuncture - this ancient practice taps into the meridians in the body to rewire and reroute your energy. The needles are tiny and are only inserted at a superficial layer of the skin. Acupuncture is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and even addiction as Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the philosophy that when your energy is blocked is when you experience extreme imbalances in your behaviors and emotions.
The important thing to remember is that you do not want to burrow yourself into a deeper hole by developing a dependence on alcohol or other substances that could lead to long-term damage. You want to nourish your body, mind, and soul with content that supports your overall well-being. The important thing to remember is that you do not want to burrow yourself into a deeper hole by developing a dependence on alcohol or other substances that could lead to long-term damage. You want to nourish your body, mind, and soul with content that supports your overall well-being.