How many of us have white-knuckled our way through a staff meeting, traffic jam or endless wait at the doctor’s office? Five years ago—heck, five months ago—these would have been irritating, but chances are we would have handled it just fine, greeting the overdue doctor or line-cutting driver with equanimity, even a smile.
Now it’s all we can do not to scream and throw things and use colorful language and wave with just the one finger.
It doesn’t take big irritations like a traffic jam to steam up our brand-new bifocals. An uncleaned kitchen. Incomplete homework. Being interrupted at work once too many times by that new kid with the shiny hair and perfect skin. Suddenly we’re snapping at our loved ones, barking at our staff, chewing out the barista, and feeling like an ogre for the rest of the day.
What’s going on here?
In perimenopause, it isn’t just estrogen that’s declining. We also see dips in feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine and lose the emotion-dampeners that keep the fight-or-flight hormones (like adrenaline) in check.
Until your body adapts to its “new normal” level of hormones in perimenopause, emotions can be heightened – just in time to raise some teenagers, cope with aging parents, and compete with those younger, shiny haired kids at work.
Download the Rage Checklist for tips on how to stay calm in the center of your storm.