Log In

How to Control Emotions in Midlife Years (Over age 50)

Emotions are an effective state of consciousness where a long list of feelings (sorrow, joy, confusion, depression, hate, fear) are experienced.  These sensations control almost everything about us – the decisions we make, how we respond to one another, etc.  Emotions are also connected to a combination of midlife issues (midlife crisis depression, middle age depression and anxiety – just to name a few).  Because coping with midlife involves our emotions and takes such impact on our well-being, our ultimate goal should be to educate ourselves in this area; but, surprisingly, very little attention is given to the subject.

Emotions affect our bodies in various ways.  One, I have been touching base with every chance I get, which is ‘Emotional Intelligence’.  I discuss this topic a lot because I think it is not being publicized enough.  I believe emotional intelligence should be taught in the early stages of our educational process, right along with learning the alphabet – that is how important I think this stuff is.  Emotional intelligence is learning one’s emotions, the emotions of others and then using that knowledge to act accordingly.  It sounds a little complex but all this really means is to be able to control your inner thoughts and your environment.  If you are not versed on what is happening within yourself, which is rampant among society today, you can have total chaos in your life at home, work, etc.

Another part of the body that is affected by emotions is our nervous system.  This would explain why we experience anxiety and digestive problems during highly stressed periods.  Our nervous system is made up of two parts (the sympathetic and parasympathetic system).  When we are relaxed, we are in a parasympathetic state; when stressed, we get thrown into a sympathetic mode.  During the sympathetic period, we go into a ‘fight or flight’ phase which, typically, gives energy to run to safety.  What happens here is the body prepares for action with dilated pupils, racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, and accelerated breathing.  The ‘fight or flight’ response can turn into a vicious cycle for those that suffer from anxiety disorders.  We will go more into details on this in the ‘stress and anxiety’ article.

Emotions are feelings and many of them can affect the way we think and behave.  For example, if we have sadness for a long period of time, it could throw us into depression.  Uncontrolled emotions can bring on personality disorders where a person behaves differently to how society believes they should.  Emotions are responsible for a lot of sicknesses that fall under mental illness.  Not having the ability to identify symptoms of midlife crisis depression or any one of these conditions can really disrupt one’s life.  This topic is a lot more serious than we are all willing to admit.

I came across a very interesting video by a marriage expert named ‘Larry Bilotta’.  He outlined what causes a midlife crisis and went through the steps on how our childhood experiences could affect emotions in our adult life.  He explained ‘the Amygdala (a small part of the brain that controls our emotions) can take bad experiences from our past and store it for later usage.  It can then come back as a small voice in our head and grab those memories to do a private playback – bypassing regular brain functions to create a negative story – causing one to act based on his or her imaginative television.  The individual then follows through by playing out the bad feelings to whomever is close; in most cases, a spouse or partner’.  This was fascinating to me because what is being explained here is that the brain can trick us into believing what was experienced in the past should be applied to our present situation – throwing us into a delusional state.  What is more disturbing is we don’t know it is happening because we have not trained ourselves to do periodic self-evaluations.  I think the worst thing that could happen to a person is to not have insight to the way he or she behaves.

Everything we do involves our emotions one way or the next.  Our environment and the people we are close to are a great part of our makeup.  This is where it becomes a little dangerous because that gives others the power to interfere with our balance.  Not having control of our emotions can really set us up for disaster if we are not able to cope when it’s time.  Some of the strongest people I know have fallen for making bad choices in this area.  This occurs simply because we are connected to one another by nature – whether it’s family members, a spouse, friends – the ones that are in our circle make up our world.  Any kind of change in the group could affect us.  Having the skill to adjust to the change is what’s going to count. There are innumerable areas to this topic, but we are going to focus on midlife and the skills it takes to effectively move through it all.  From adjusting to our changing bodies to witnessing aging parents and experiencing losses, it is very obvious why so many of us are unhappy and are turning to drugs and alcohol just to get through the day.  Simply having emotional intelligence will do the trick.

Emotions are very powerful and should be managed with great care.  This can only occur if the awareness is there, and it is not.  Rather than deal with our individual situations head-on, most of us are basically doing the robotic thing – ignoring what is really happening around us.  I don’t believe we will have full stability among us unless these issues are recognized and tackled.  It is my strong feelings that if we place more focus here – if we all take the responsibility to educate ourselves in this area, we could possibly lower the plaguing outcome that uncontrolled emotions are causing in our society today (manic depression, anxiety disorders, narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar, etc.) .  When this is addressed (controlling emotions), I think we all will be better prepared for not only our midlife years but the golden ones as well.








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter:

Log In or Create an account