Handling Anger in Menopause

Are you feeling irritable, frustrated, or even angry lately? If you are a midlife woman going through menopause, you are not alone. In this blog, Menopause and Sexual Wellness Coach, Gabriella Espinosa explains why everything you are feeling makes sense and offers tips for embracing your anger as a force for positive change, empowerment, and healthy communication.

During midlife, yes we experience a variety of menopausal symptoms, and it’s fantastic that we are now breaking the taboo and opening up the conversation around the physical and mental aspects of menopause symptoms. 

But something that isn’t as readily acknowledged is the anger that we can feel as midlife women experiencing menopause. While there are physiological reasons this is happening with the decline of estrogen and its role in modulating our feel good neurotransmitters, we have also been socially conditioned our whole lives to be collaborative, generous, accommodating. This role has shaped societal and cultural expectations for us to be nice, to please and to not make a fuss. As estrogen declines in menopause that veil of niceness, people pleasing, putting up with injustices and caring what others think begins to lift and many of us begin to experience the anger, rage and resentment that we have suppressed for so long which can cause us shame or embarrassment.

Anger is a natural human emotion, yet women often disguise their anger with a smile or stoicism, fearing negative consequences, being labeled as "bossy,” “difficult” or "unlikable." However, suppressing anger can be harmful to our physical & mental health and even our relationships, we can only push it down for so long before it builds over to the surface and explodes. 

But what if we could use our anger as a force for good, for transformation and creating change in our lives? A healthy, robust and resilient nervous system is one that can be relaxed but can also handle an angry charge - what author and somatic experiencing expert Kimberly Ann Johnson calls “healthy aggression.” Working with our anger in a constructive way means meeting it with awareness and compassionately listening to what it has to say. Anger always has an underlying message. When we peel back the layer of anger, there’s usually another emotion hiding behind it like disappointment, fear, grief, or shame. Leaning into our anger without lashing out lays the foundation for healthy communication, assertiveness, and empowerment.

Embracing our anger can be transformative for midlife women, here’s why. 

  1. Processing anger in a healthy way instead of simply storing it in our bodies helps us to regulate our nervous systems and navigate our menopause symptoms more effectively. 

  2. Anger reveals our boundaries and values. When we feel angry, it often signals that something feels wrong or unjust. By acknowledging our anger, we can identify what matters to us and assert our needs.

  3. Anger fuels motivation and action. Anger can be a catalyst for positive change. When we're angry about something, we're more likely to speak up, take action, and advocate for ourselves and others.

  4. Anger promotes authenticity and self-acceptance. Suppressing our anger can lead to feelings of inauthenticity and resentment. By embracing our anger, we can accept ourselves fully and live in accordance with our true selves.

Navigating midlife can be challenging, but anger can be our ally. Let's harness its power to challenge the status quo, advocate for ourselves, and create lives that are authentic, fulfilling, and true to ourselves.

Here are a few tips for managing anger in a healthy way:

  • Identify your triggers. What situations or behaviors typically make you angry? 

  • Tune into your body and befriend the sensations or feelings of anger so you can meet them with compassion

  • Take a few calming breaths and use nonviolent communication to express how you are feeling

  • Find a safe container in which to express your anger. Join a community or online group, talk to a trusted friend, write in a journal.

  • If you're struggling to navigate your emotions on your own, a coach or therapist can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms.

  • Take a good look at your lifestyle and how you digest stress – nutrition, regular exercise and good sleep improve mood and help you manage anger.

  • Allow anger space to be felt, moved, and released with the power of breath, sound somatic inquiry and movement - take my yoga for menopause class ‘Fierce Power,’ available now on Movement for Modern Life (Try the class for FREE and then use discount code GABRIELLA20 for 20% off all subscriptions).

 It's time to challenge the stereotypes that surround women and anger. We have the right to express our emotions authentically, including anger. When we do so in a healthy and constructive way, we can use our anger to advocate for ourselves (& others) and create positive change.

Learn more about Gabriella at https://www.gabriellaespinosa.com/