The Effects of Emotional Dysregulation: “You’ll have difficulty connecting your emotional world with your rational logical brain. All the choices that you make will be based on emotion and much of it will be subconscious.”


The emotional template we received growing up will have us swinging wildly between two polar emotional opposites. The first being emotional suppression, unconsciously walling off our emotions and keeping them hidden (or trying to), and the second leaves us at the whim and control of our emotional energy, which often leaves us a puddle on the floor and feeling like an emotional wreck, unable to balance our head and our heart.


This week, I’ll be delving into emotional resilience, particularly during midlife and perimenopause. As we navigate this transformative stage of life, it’s crucial to understand the impact of emotional conditioning on our well-being.


From societal cues to family dynamics, we’ve been taught to either suppress our emotions or be overwhelmed by them, both of which have profound effects on our physical and psychological health.


Join me as we unravel the complexities of emotional resilience and its connection to hormonal shifts during perimenopause.


I’ll be sharing insights into how we can rewrite our emotional experiences and cultivate a healthier relationship with our emotional selves.


This phase of life presents an opportunity for deep internal change, paving the way for authentic confidence, emotional regulation, and empowered decision-making. 

Are you ready to reclaim your emotional empowerment and thrive in the vibrant second chapter of life? Tune in as we unlock the path to emotional resilience and celebrate the transformative journey of midlife and beyond.


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Please note: The content of this podcast does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider.

Full Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Meegan Care: The thread that’s been showing itself to me in my work with clients recently, and in some group work is around emotional resiliency And is what we’re going to uncover today. And it starts with understanding how we are conditioned to actually not relate with our emotions.

So we’re actually conditioned to either suppress our emotions and shut them down, keep them at bay, not let emotion inform our choices, our experience, how we relate to people. You’ll uncover that if you think about some of the languaging that was used. When your parents talked to you when you were emotional.

Oh, don’t be so silly. You’re just being emotional, don’t be ridiculous, stop crying, don’t be such a baby, and of course some of this wasn’t coming from your parents, it was coming from peers and siblings and the wider community.

So on the one hand, in one bucket, we’re very much taught to suppress our emotions, and I would say, for men that is much stronger and to the fore to be very cut off from your emotions, to be logical and rational, although there’s a big part of that for any gender as well, that somebody who is in authority is certainly not emotional.

So we use that you know, women being emotional as a derogatory term or something that’s looked down upon in the workplace. And then the cost around that is when we suppress our emotions and we’re taught and modelled, it’s modelled to us from a young age to suppress our emotions,

it ends up becoming a toxic environment to live in, within your own body and your own family. It’s not something that’s sustainable because relating to our emotions is as natural as a seed that shoots into a sprout that breaks through the earth and grows into a plant.

The cost of suppressing our emotions is our health, actually. So, if we’ve had early life challenges and disruptions, and we have not dealt with that, not gone through that therapeutic process of working through that and integrating that,

statistically you’re more likely to suffer from disease, illness, immune system dysfunction and dysregulation. Just as I did with Crohn’s disease, a lot of what I had to go through to heal Crohn’s disease in my early adult life was to

reconnect and integrate, i. e. heal, this suppressed emotion that was in my psyche and therefore in my body. So that’s a massive cost.

It steals our energy. It takes a lot of vital energy to keep your emotions at bay and to manage them. And it’s, it’s a subtle piece, but as someone who’s worked with women for, you know, a good few decades, I can see it, easily see it. And if you’re having, Not having to, but if you’re in that pattern of suppressing emotional energy and keeping it at bay,

there are certain signs and signals that are very subtle, so subtle, but also visible to an experienced therapist that this is going on. And by the time we hit midlife, we’ve become so bound up with first of all having to keep these barriers in these walls inside of our psyche to keep that big emotional volcano at bay.

And then we’ve got all of the, some of the, physical symptoms that arise in perimenopause and our body just doesn’t have the resources to deal with the shift in hormones that’s moving us into postmenopause to a woman who no longer has menstrual cycles and moves into her wise woman years, but our energy is so locked up and having to manage this emotional loop.

volcano that’s underneath the surface that we find ourselves very depleted, very fatigued, feeling very stuck and overwhelmed and full of self doubt and don’t know how to get out of it and don’t know how to change the patterns, all the rest of it. Now, so that’s one swing of the in terms of how we are conditioned to be.

with our emotions. And now here’s another in the opposite direction swing of the pendulum in how we are with our emotions. Very likely, you’ll recognize your, yourself at both polarities, right? And the second one is that we are at the whim of our emotions. If emotional energy shifts and changes and arises in us, we will emote.

We use all of our emotional energy as relationship currency. We are frequently Discharging or falling into our emotions. So our emotions become the boss of us and just lead us round really in our lives that all of our decisions are Based purely on emotion.

That if I wake up one morning, and I’m feeling like absolute shit, then I emotionally, then I feel like there is nothing I can do about it, and I just collapse into it. And this is not your fault, right? If you’re recognizing yourself in this experience, this is not your fault. How we relate to our emotions has been modelled to us by our family, by our parents, and a little bit by our peers. When we were young, it is never taught in a conscious way. And so we just pick up cues and behaviours from the world around us. Subconsciously, think to ourselves, well that’s how we behave. If I feel sad, this is what I do. If I’m angry, this is what I do. So we just model our behavior on, based on those around us.

And so when we’re at that other end of the pendulum swing, and emotions are just leading us around, and we have no control over it, you may well feel like your life is. chaotic, that it’s very up and down emotionally, that if you fall into a difficult emotional state, then all hell breaks loose and you just cannot Shift your focus into anything else for a period of time until that is resolved.

You will have difficulty self soothing and calming yourself. You’ll have difficulty connecting the, your emotional world with your rational, logical brain. All the choices that you make will be based on emotion. And much of it will be subconscious. So you can hear that that is also not a particularly healthy way to be.

It’s exhausting and you will feel emotionally dysregulated and frazzled a lot of the time. So you see, that’s quite different to somebody who has in that pendulum swing to the other direction, who’s more. who suppresses their emotion. So they might not necessarily consciously feel emotionally frazzled a lot of the time, but the cost for them is that they’ll feel disconnected.

They’ll feel very lonely. They will have trouble expressing themselves in a way that they feel that it’s met or heard by the other person. And because these are Very different polar areas in terms of how we are without emotions, we can often find ourselves on the day to day, so this was me working from that place, living from that place of very suppressed emotion. And then every now and then the suppressed emotion would burst through and the pendulum would swing all the way to the other side.

And I would be, feel quite like a hysterical mess. Like I really needed someone else to resolve that for me, especially in relationship, close relationship with others that I, I couldn’t soothe myself. I couldn’t calm myself. I needed someone else to change something, to fix something. And it was all very fast and, and quite chaotic.

And we see that in our teenagers. So that’s a very normal phase that we go through. And if we think about what has been modelled to us, like, who in your family of origin modelled to you healthy relationship with their emotions? Was there someone and who was that? Or was that not modelled to you on the day to day?

And that’s going to give you some clues as to how your emotional nervous system has been templated. And I’m talking about it like this because it’s very, very important that we don’t blame ourselves, right? If I recognize myself as being very much led around by my emotions, I’m very much at the whim of my emotions and I feel very chaotic and overpowering a lot of the time.

And my life has always been that way. It does not help me to then go and blame myself because I’m doing my emotional nervous system wrong. I need to just understand, well, okay, so this is the territory. that I grew up in. This was what was modelled to me. I didn’t have any other experience for how to be with emotions in a healthier way, in a more resilient way, and so I just didn’t know it.

I didn’t have any template to go off of. Well, now I’m an adult and I’m starting to become more psychologically aware. I’m much more focused on empowering myself at this stage of life. So now I’m going to make the choice to learn how to do it differently, but I’m probably not going to be able to learn that from my parents.

So you can feel how that’s a healthier way to support ourselves as we learn how to relate to our emotions differently.

And so the challenge is, in midlife, particularly when we’re in perimenopause, is that we’ve got these hormonal swings, and they’re going to set off waves of stress. emotional shift and emotional difficulty, sometimes anger, frustration, rage for some women, sometimes tears and sadness and grief will come out of seemingly the blue from nowhere.

And they can absolutely come because of the hormonal changes they create. a different chemical balance within our brain and within our body, so we just have these emotions arise seemingly from nowhere. So, bear with me on this, because there’s a few pieces of the puzzle that we need to pay attention to, that’s going to help us to be way more empowered in our midlife chapter and beyond, because there is a whole lot of amazing living that we still have to do in this life, right?

I know you’re with me on that. So when the swings of hormonal changes happen in perimenopause, this is why it’s such a ripe time to create a different and healthier and more regulated relationship with your emotions. So if you’ve been someone that has suppressed emotion in your life, perimenopause may bring you to a place where it’s all coming up.

Where it’s all coming up and out and into your consciousness and you might at times feel flooded by emotion. Well this is the time to do that deep work. Maybe there’s some early life trauma. Maybe there’s some early life experiences. Maybe there’s some templating of how to be with your emotional self that wasn’t as healthy as it could be.

This is your time to rewrite that

and I know that it’s not easy that we’ve gone so many decades of our life being a certain way, mostly unconscious, because we’re programmed, we’re conditioned to be very unconscious around how we are with our emotions, right?

But, if this is coming up for you in midlife, we have to understand that there’s a hormonal part which affects how our brain is functioning. There’s a big shift and a potential for an upgrade here that when you’re in your post menopausal years, You get to have a brain that has been upgraded and rewired.

If we put in just a little bit of effort, if we put in just a little bit of work through perimenopause in terms of how we understand ourselves and relate to our own psychology, then our potential to be that authentic, confident, courageous self. is huge for every single one of us. And we’re not all going to function at the same level of emotional resilience and emotional intelligence.

That’s just not what it is to be human, but we can absolutely change the course,

change our own level of emotional resilience perimenopausal years. So, whilst perimenopause and early postmenopause can feel like poison for our emotions because they’re making everything change, we don’t really know who we are, our emotions are up and down, we feel so flat because our physical energy is so low, you get the picture, on and on, it’s a very, very difficult This time that is so difficult, the poison is also the medicine, is also our alchemy for change and for transition into that authentic, courageous, confident, you can insert any descriptor here that you want to be woman.

in your midlife, in your postmenopausal years. And it is my absolute joy to support other women to do just this in their midlife.

Because on the other side of it, there’s a little bit of magic where you get to be in charge of your emotions very differently Very differently to when you were a menstruating woman, because your behaviors and drives were way more driven by hormones then, then when your postmenopause and all the ups and downs of perimenopause has settled, you’re on a much more even keel hormonally, which means you’re not being driven by those hormones in the same way.

So you get to engage skillful will in terms of how you want to show up in the world more easily, much more easily. If we take that chaotic up and down change time of perimenopause and turn it into our medicine, we use that as a medicine for deep internal change.

And from this place, remember at the beginning of the podcast, I talked about these different swings of the pendulum from one end. where emotions are very suppressed and we’re very shut down to the other end of the swing of that pendulum where we’re totally at the whim of our emotions and collapsing into them all of the time.

Imagine yourself in that middle ground and you are the magician, you are the sorceress, you are able to Adapt and direct your awareness and your will. You will have access to creating space with your emotions at different times. You will have access to letting yourself really feel your emotions. at other times.

You will be able to access your emotional intelligence, partner it with your logical reasoning mind. And make wise decisions from there, without having to overthink every single thing. This is a powerful place to live from. And it doesn’t mean that we won’t ever feel grief, or devastation, or frustration, or anger,

or in fact be bowled over by it when, for instance, a loved one dies. That is not our goal here,

our goal is to be able to access emotional resilience. Emotional resilience means feeling our emotions, able to create space with our emotions, able to slow ourselves down and stay at home within ourselves even when we’re feeling difficult emotions and very challenging emotions.

Emotional resilience means I might be very upset in this moment, but I’m not going to lash out and make rash decisions that will alter the course of my life until I’ve come home to myself and soothed myself. That I don’t abandon myself when I’m going through a difficult place. Emotional resilience means being able to feel our emotions, to direct our awareness, to make choices based on emotional intuition and logical reason.

Emotional resilience means you become the director of your life.

Emotional resilience means being able to access optimism.

It means being able and willing to face your fears. To be authentic and honest with yourself and with others.

And emotional resilience means bouncing back from a very stressful and difficult situation. And it is something that we can grow,

that we can develop throughout our life. Your emotional resilience bucket is not just filled when you’re a child, it is a skill that you grow throughout your life. And perimenopause can be a fast track to growing our emotional resilience. Now if you want to know how to grow your emotional resilience more quickly, to create change within yourself, that you will experience and notice on a day to day basis.

Then this is one of the core principles of my Midlife Upgrade course,

and we’re enrolling for the next course soon. If you feel that little tug at your own heartstrings, that you know you could show up differently in your life, you could feel better in your life, you could feel more on purpose, more alive, with more capacity to love and find joy.

Then take a look at the midlife upgrade course on my website. This is like my life’s work wrapped up into a course for this age group that I’m absolutely driven to help. This is our age group, us, midlife women. It is time we found our power and it is time we reconnected to the magic in our lives.

Let me know what this triggered inside you, in a good way, or even a difficult way. What doors did it open?

 I look forward to talking with you again next week. Go well. And so much love to you.