Women’s Negative Emotions: Stages, Symptoms, and Preventions


women's negative emotions

Women must sometimes be mad about their negative emotions because those emotions never ask for permission before fluctuating. When we talk about women’s negative emotions, we try digging deeper into the useful sources to understand more about this.

Negative emotions affect both men and women, but women seem to be more vulnerable to negative emotions in response.

How do negative emotions affect women in general?

Women’s negative emotions result from complex biological, physiological, and environmental processes, leading to either positive or negative reactions. Women are naturally softer than men. Thus, they’re prone to deal with negative situations emotionally rather than analytically.

The reason why women are vulnerable to negative emotions is their sensitivity. Their feminine traits inspire them to act more compassionately than men whenever responding to negative experiences.

Why Do Women Experience Negative Emotions more than Men?

Women have the instinct to smell the rat quicker than men.

Ever found your mom catching a lie you’ve been telling for a long time? Have you ever felt something was amiss in the subway when everyone else didn’t have a clue, and something bad happened?

Maybe not you, but you’ve seen such occurrence in other girl’s or woman’s life. And it’s a fact.

How so?

Researchers suggest women may have a neural advantage in identifying negative expressions quicker than men. Maybe that’s why women can catch the negative vibe in a person or a place more swiftly than men.

Women are prone to encountering negative emotions and responding to them emotionally as well. You’re a natural in pouring down your emotions than analytically understanding something. It’s like you’re letting an octopus wrapping around you with its ominous tentacles.

Common Reasons behind Women’s Negative Emotions

  • Domestic Violence is Prevalent Worldwide

women's negative emotions
Domestic Violence is Prevalent Worldwide

Women’s negative emotions are indebted to domestic violence worldwide.

Sadly, domestic violence doesn’t only take place in developing countries. Even top economies like Europe and the USA share the same stories of victimized women.

A survey during the lockdown for covid-19 showed that 243 women had been the victims of femicide from March to August. August had been the worst month as 63 femicides took place alone in this month.

Domestic violence includes verbal abuse, physical and sexual harassment, mental pressure, etc. Such unwanted behaviors toward women develop negative emotions and mostly leave them at their peril.

  • External Abuse Leads to Unhappy Life or Suicide

women's negative emotions
External Abuse Leads to Unhappy Life or Suicide

The abusive chapter of women doesn’t end at home; rather, it extends out in the streets and workplaces.

Women come across malicious male gazes, bad words, teasing, and even physical harassment on the road and public transports. Generally, girls and women don’t rebuke such people for maintaining their dignity and mostly, out of shyness.

Things become intolerable when these odd remarks get too far. In many developing countries, young girls get kidnapped, mugged, and even raped to death if lawful actions aren’t taken timely.

Undoubtedly, these ill-fated and sometimes less careful women experience multiple series of panic disorders, schizophrenia, extreme depression, etc., leading to unhappy lives. Sadly, thousands of women attempt suicide globally due to external abuses. 

  • Puberty Brings A Natural Change in Mood  

women's negative emotions
Puberty Brings A Natural Change in Mood

Puberty is a variant period in women’s lives, but it brings some physical and mental upheavals when it comes.

If you’re a teen and suffering from some unexplainable messy days or a mother who’s dealing with her daughter’s sudden tantrums, be patient and check if the inevitable time has come.

Puberty is natural, and the side effects that come along with it are biologically genuine. Girls may get crankier as days pass, observing the physical and emotional changes in them. The most common scenario, in this case, is rapid changes in mood throughout the day. 

Reaching this natural hormonal change point, girls may experience headaches, body ache, sleeplessness, short temper, etc.

  • Menstrual Cycle Regulates Women’s Emotional Slide

women's negative emotions
Menstrual Cycle Regulates Women’s Emotional Slide

Puberty is followed by the menstrual cycles where women’s hormonal changes are highly active. Women experience tenderness in mood and often end up in depression and irritable temper.

Some symptoms of Post Menstrual Syndromes may include:

  • Suffering from simple headaches to stress and anxiety.
  • Being irritated in the presence of people.
  • Getting angry on little matters or simple suggestions by others.
  • Tears brimming eyes occasionally on unpleasant situations.
  • Finding it hard to fall asleep.
  • Menopause Ends the Reproductive System in Women

Women's Negative Emotions
Menopause Ends the Reproductive System in Women

Menopause doesn’t come out of anywhere in a woman’s life. It has its preceding signs:

  • There will be lighter menstrual discharges.
  • Hot flushes will be common encounters.
  • Some women may sweat occasionally.
  • There may be sleeplessness and headaches. 

After a series of the above signs, a woman reaches menopause point. It’s the stage where you’re detained from the menstrual cycle for good.

Menopause is the stage when a woman becomes less able or completely unable to bear a child. Since menopause starts at about the age of 45-55, women’s physical health already starts to deteriorate in many ways. Hence, it affects their emotional being heavily.

The initial days of menopause are depressive, empty, and somewhat lonely. Although women lose their reproduction ability at menopause, this completes their womanhood in another way round.

From this point on, a woman turns more human than just a biological being.

  • Malnutrition Affects Elderly Women’s Emotional Being

Apart from losing a vital part of womanhood biologically, women suffer from malnutrition in their old ages. They experience a lack of vitamins, calcium, iron, and other essential components in the body.

Physical well-being is one of the primary conditions of staying mentally fit. Naturally, when a woman goes through her menopause or post-menopausal state, she may suffer from various emotional complexities.

A study in 2011 showed that both older women and men who’re suffering from mental impairment carry the risk of malnutrition.

How Differently Women Handle Negative Emotions than Men?

Women's Negative Emotions
How Differently Women Handle Negative Emotions than Men

Women are more expressive than men while encountering negative images or incidents. You may gasp, shout, panic, run away, or shrivel at the face of an odd situation, which men usually tackle being comparatively less reactive.

Similarly, when women go through the stages of negative emotions, they tend to creep into the shell. Conversely, men stay active while somewhat ignoring their hurt feelings.

But this scenario doesn’t need to be the same worldwide. Time, geographic locations, culture, religions, etc., have records of valiant women who took on daunting tasks even when their emotional states were seemingly perilous.

Women being a strong mother, a war hero, a social worker, an animal rescuer, or an ideal teacher always come upfront to guide, maintain and support the family or a community more efficiently than men.

The very recent account during the covid-19 pandemic has shown us how selfless, courageous, and diligent the frontline health workers, doctors, and nurses had been to serve the patients, working day and night putting their own life at risk.

Hence, there’s no absolute reason to believe women can’t fight emotional, physical, or even national and global turmoil standing shoulder to shoulder with men. It completely depends on a woman’s upbringing, education, self-awareness, etc.

Surprisingly, men encounter negative emotions more strongly than women. Still, they’re more analytical to the emotional counterpart of women in dealing with them, as per “Gender Difference in Emotional Response: Inconsistency between Experience and Expressivity.”

Men and women can respond through different emotional traits to a similar negative situation. A survey in Sweden showed that 87% of women felt angry seeing others consuming alcohol. 73% of men felt insecure in the same situation.

Types of Negative Emotions a Woman Experiences

Some common negative emotions a woman may suffer from are:

  • Stress: It’s a constant pressure that one receives through external actions such as behavior, work pressure, sad incidents, etc.
  • Depression: It’s a mental state containing unspoken and unaddressed emotional issues.
  • Short-tempered: It’s a reactive mental state where a person becomes or shows anger or agitation, even in less complex matters.
  • Anger: It’s a common trait of negative emotion where a person may show verbal or physical aggression to others.
  • Fear: Fear represents a person’s combined mental crisis, including stress, unresolved issues, unsettled thoughts, etc.
  • Mood Shift or Mood Swing: Mood shift or swing runs almost like an auto-pilot in women. It comes and goes without warning, leaving the observant scornful.

Encountering Negative Emotions at Different Stages

  • Childhood Is Susceptible to Physical and Mental Abuses

women's negative emotions
Childhood Is Susceptible to Physical and Mental Abuses

Childhood cannot be kept as a pure and safe place in a woman’s life anymore, provided all the notorious acts are prevalent worldwide.

A little girl as young as 5-7 becomes victim to various emotional and physical abuses, starting from the family to the outer world. A survey in Canada in 2018 reports more than five thousand female children being sexually abused by family members.

Mental or physical, both types of abuses leave a deep scar in a child’s mind. It’s something that may not fade away over time in everyone’s case, depending on her environment, care, education, support, and healing strength.

  • Women are Most Vulnerable at Teenage and Adulthood

The teen years fly away like birds migrating from one location to another. Everything is vibrant at this stage for both girls and boys.

Still, this age level may also bring some negative emotions as this is where people falter the most. Domestic violence, drugs, affairs, crimes, etc., can compel young women to come across uncertain and unwanted life circles.

What makes the teenage (12-19) most volatile in a woman’s life is its emotional ride. A teen woman is emotionally at her peak at this age level, and you never know what ideas about life may occur to her as momentarily lucrative.

Regardless of the good or bad outcome, a teen woman may plunge into a challenge she can’t handle properly later on, such as a relation, running away from home, premarital intimacy, etc.

All these accounts may seed negative emotions in women, sprouting strongly in the later parts of their lives.

  • Workplace May Inspire Negative Emotions in Women

women's negative emotions
Workplace May Inspire Negative Emotions in Women

Dealing with workplace disparities and unfair appraisal isn’t as easy as it sounds. Women’s negative emotions may originate significantly from the mentioned issues.

New or old, a workplace is an ever-growing challenge for a woman. Whenever she lands a job, there will be odd situations like gender discrimination, inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, underpayment, slow promotion, etc.

Researches suggest that one out of every two women experiences sexual harassment at the workplace, making it a major threat to women’s mental stability.

Such physical and mental oddities at the workplace not only bash a woman’s dignity but deteriorates her mental state significantly. Many women end up in depression, substance abuse, alcoholism, malnutrition, etc.

  • Married Life May Turn into A Grudge

women's negative emotions
Married Life May Turn into A Grudge

Something that should’ve been a safe and certain place to have mental peace can become the complete opposite for women.

Not every husband can become a life partner, nor every woman can walk side by side with her man. Incompatibility in the emotional purge, lack of trust, tendency to become impatient, or inability to control anger– all apply to both the partners.

Keeping the judgment aside of who’s wrong or who’s right, let’s see what goes through the married women:

  • The wife may experience fear, anxiety and develop insomnia.
  • More sensitive wives may break down in tears often.
  • Extreme fear for life may compel a wife to seek refuge in substance abuse.
  • A woman tolerates everything from her husband only to raise her kids under a shelter. According to a survey in 2016 in Italy, about 40% of women couldn’t file a case against men’s violence due to fear of retaliation.
  • Women with a lack of education and support suffer most from domestic violence.
  • If a wife has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) in the doubtfulness category, things may get from good to bad and, subsequently, worse for a marriage.
  • Motherhood Is A Blessing Followed by Its Consequences

women's negative emotions
Motherhood Is A Blessing Followed by Its Consequences

Motherhood comes into a woman’s life naturally, but maintaining it takes a lifelong effort. Starting from the pregnancy and its other physiological complexes, delivering and raising a child takes its toll on a woman’s health and mental aspects.

Husbands may not be able to support their wife from dawn to dusk in nursing a kid or stay up late at night to change the diapers, leaving a mom on her toes almost 24/7.

A mother may be elated to raise her child, ignoring all these messes alone as it gives her a sense of responsibility, but it ebbs away her physical gifts subtly.

The problem densifies if the mother is a single parent, bringing up her male or female child through emotional, societal, and life struggles.

Read WomenMind’s article “What Does It Take for A Single Mother Raising A Boy?” to know elaborately about a single mother’s dream, expectations, real-life struggles, and appropriate ways to deal with a male child’s upbringing.

  • Senility Loads up with Emotional Whirls

Women's Negative Emotions
Senility Loads up with Emotional Whirls

In the above sections, we’ve mentioned that a woman loses her biological womanhood through menopause, and she falls into a whirl of old memory lanes, regrets, loneliness, etc.

The senility or old age in a woman’s life becomes critical if she lives alone, without kids or her husband. The emptiness feels heavy, and many old ladies seek refuge in indoor or outdoor activities like social work, reading, gardening, or peer workshop.

An old lady who’s fortunate enough to live with her family may not feel the same as those who don’t, but some natural traits are common in all. Women aging above 60 often become forgetful, irritable, and cranky. She may even fall asleep out of place.

Patience, love, respect, and proper care can alleviate a woman’s emotional emptiness greatly. Spending time with her kids and grandchildren can act as natural healing. Some oldies also love petting dogs, cats, or birds to keep them company.

Symptoms of Women’s Negative Emotions

  • Mood Swings are The Most Common Symptoms

women's negative emotions
Mood Swings are The Most Common Symptoms

The shift in mood is a common phenomenon in women. One moment, you’re emphatic about something. The very next second, something else agitates you to your foulest mood.

Possible causes behind women’s mood swings include premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, pregnancy, menopause, puberty, etc.

These are the stages where a woman’s hormonal changes affect her greatly. Such ‘hormotional’ reactions are very normal, and people around them must cooperate in responding to their mood swings.

Remember, be it yourself or someone else from your family, relatives, or friends, these small but effective stages are just transitional parts of life. A woman has to go through each fold of such biological phases.

Response to such biological changes varies from woman to woman, and one must deal with women’s mood swings from an individualistic perception.

  • Emotional Suppression Puffs Depression

Emotional suppression is a natural symptom in women as they go through negative emotional chapters in their lives.

Research has shown that women with a physical threat such as breast cancer tend to experience depression in an attempt to suppress their negative emotions. [Emotional Suppression and Depressive Symptoms in Women Newly Diagnosed with Early Breast Cancer]

Although women from different geographical or cultural backgrounds may respond differently to their diverse emotional downfall, suppressive emotional behavior can ubiquitously lead to depression and even worse conditions.

  • Emotional Outburst Is Surprising But Helpful

women's negative emotions
Emotional Outburst Is Surprising But Helpful

Women’s negative emotions can become a ticking time bomb if suppressed for a long time. Hence, it comes out as an emotional outburst, leading to many strange or irrational situations.

A woman’s emotional outburst maybe her frustration, tears, or anger due to anguish, depression, and emotional breakdown. The outburst can be very uncertain because you never know when the meltdown would start.

Experts suggest that it’s okay to cry out sometimes since each woman has her limit to let her emotions brim the tolerance level. Letting it out naturally helps a woman start her life and take the necessary measures to succeed.

Whenever an emotional outburst is there, the woman doesn’t need to be quarrelsome by nature; it may be something she’s been bearing insidiously for long.

  • Physical Impediment May be Symptomatic to Negative Emotions

Researches aren’t conclusive yet to determine if women’s negative emotions affect their physical condition.

But it’s observed over the years through medical diagnosis that long term emotional impairment can deteriorate women’s lifestyle and health quality.

Many women reported suffering from chronic pain in their bodies, having suffered from emotional turmoil also. So, there could be a missing link between these two conditions, and we can only wait to see it forth.

  • Being Physically Aggressive Is an Alarming Trait

women's negative emotions
Being Physically Aggressive Is an Alarming Trait

Although women are soft and compassionate, they can show signs of aggressiveness time and time. These women may develop such actions due to different lifestyles, regular substance abuse, alcoholism, or too egoistic.

It’s not that women can be threatening to others when they’re physically alarming. The opposite is true in many cases, where women break household stuff or, worse, harming themselves.

This trait may result from an unsupervised upbringing, being abused constantly, a careless lifestyle, etc.

  • Workplace Hazards May be Obvious

Women who’re emotionally impaired may show these signs at their workplaces:

  • Becoming slow at work, taking 3 hours in one job instead of 1.
  • Becoming forgetful and miss schedules more often.
  • Overall productivity may fall.
  • The absence rate may be higher than ever.
  • Frequent sick leaves.
  • Correlation with workmates may worsen.
  • Top-level position holders like CEO, Director, Finance Manager, or a political leader may become less active in taking viable measures.
  • Inability to Face Social Issues May Impair Her Daily Life

Women with negative emotions may show the following signs when it comes to societal maintenance:

  • A woman may cower in the face of speaking with relatives and strangers.
  • She may block herself from everyone and also from social media platforms.
  • She may show doubtfulness in meeting and trusting someone.
  • Regular social interactions may seem a pain to her.
  • She may consider anything and everything unworthy of appreciation around the place she lives.
  • Spiritual Emptiness is A Significant Sign

women's negative emotions
Spiritual Emptiness is A Significant Sign

If a woman is religious, she will suffer from a spiritual emptiness due to facing negative emotions.

Many women lose their faith in higher power due to failing in life. It turns their lives into a dark abyss from where they feel reluctant to return. But addressing this crisis should improve women’s mental condition slowly and incite a positive notion in them for life.

Such emptiness makes her suffer from detachment from God and separates her from various charitable activities. Even watering a plant may sometimes seem pointless.

Do Negative Emotions Indicate Mental Illness in Women?

Not all doctors will agree to this point that negative emotions can indicate a mental illness in women. Since researches aren’t fully conclusive yet, it’s difficult to give a verdict.

Besides, each woman has her perspective about life, and thus, she responds to each situation differently than others. A woman’s responses to her negative emotions may seem odd, but that doesn’t medically term her as ill.

Negative emotions may sprout in women variably, and it’s necessary to understand their nature, upbringing, medical history, and lifestyle before concluding something serious.

A Chemistry between Negative and Positive Emotions

Emotional variance is quite unfathomable for regular people, but common states of mind make it easier for us to determine which one belongs to what.

The point I’m trying to make here is, you would know if you’re having a good time by observing your cheerfulness, spontaneity, willingness to do anything, etc. These are the positive emotions, in other words.

Conversely, if you’re depressed, frustrated, anxious, or feeling like nothing’s going to improve your situation, it’s a state of negative emotions.

But surprisingly, both these emotional duos have opposite reactions.

Negative emotions can alert you, make you more caring about yourself, and take effective measures to improve a situation.

Women's Negative Emotions
Chart-1_ Chemistry between Negative and Positive Emotions

On the other hand, positive emotions can literally ‘break your leg’ sometimes. Often, you may be doing things a bit ahead of yourself when you’re elated. It’s a common emotional phenomenon that almost every person experiences.

Women's Negative Emotions
Chart-2_ Chemistry between Negative and Positive Emotions

Preventions for Women’s Negative Emotions

Though we’re identifying this section as prevention, dealing with negative emotions may not be as preventive for most women as it sounds.

Controlling negative emotions and dealing with their circumstances depend on individual awareness and capacity. Simply, you have to understand what state of negative mindset you’re in at this moment to overcome it appropriately.

Below are some preventive as well as survival actions you may follow when dealing with negative emotions:

  • Accept to Deal with Negative Emotions

Humankind has the innate strength, so he or she can fight the negative situations being stoic.

Not everyone has the same ability, nor each person can apply it to the same degree. But once you start accepting your negative emotions, that latent power would start to kick in.

How to deal with negative emotions positively?

  • If you’re hit by a car, the immediate action should be taking you to the nearest hospital rather than creeping and crying down the street. Similarly, take action when suffering from distress. At least, make up your mind to stand back.
  • Think about what worse situation could befall you than this. Millions of women are suffering from conditions beyond your imagination. So, be content with what minimal crisis you’re in.
  • If staying positive isn’t your solution, talk to reliable people to consult your emotional state. Spilling your mind out without any fear of distrust can make you feel better and confident.
  • Write down your problems. Please, Do It. Writing your situation on a paper can clear your mind and enable you to perceive the situation from a different angle. People find effective solutions through this self-repairing tactic.
  • Consult a psychiatrist if a reliable conversation isn’t available nearby. Expert supervision and instruction may help improve your emotional turmoil more effectively.
  • Assess Your Surroundings

Understanding the environment in your daily life is necessary to keep yourself away from unpleasant situations.

Since women’s negative emotions may arise from bitter talks, threatening body language, death of loved ones, etc., one should learn to wisely handle the situation.

It’s not easy to assess the surroundings every time. But at least, try the following:

  • Don’t go to a place where people are always ready to pounce at you with ill remarks. If you still have to, steel your nerve for tolerance.
  • Avoid people who’re discouraging your dream or talent.
  • Unfortunately, your family members are triggering your negative emotions, and plan a vacation for a couple of days alone. Take 1 or 2 friends with you if you like.
  • Renovate your room and workplace. A physical change makes things neat and tidy, which affects the mind positively to make a refreshed start.
  • Be Active in Daily Life

Negative emotions feed in the women who’re couch potatoes. If your mind and body aren’t active, the high chances are that you’ll suffer from various emotional distresses.

Laugh, workout, meditate and work on your passion. If you’re unsure of what passion you should work on, explore your potentials. Start with anything that gives you peace of mind, no matter how small it is. But do something meaningful.

Regular activities ebb away the emotional loads and enable a person to move on.

  • Connect to Your Spiritual Side

Researches have shown prayer enables you to minimize your anger while responding less aggressively to someone after encountering a provocative action.

Your religion may vary from others, and your faith may be at any level; sharing all your grudges peacefully with God may ease your mental sufferings.

Even if you haven’t been religious all your life, don’t shy away from praying when in need. God helps anyone who seeks help sincerely.

Only praying may not help. Do some charities regularly, be it daily, weekly, or monthly. Regular charities through finance, shelter, clothing, food, mental or legal support, etc., develop your sense of humanity.

Show kindness in your talks, body language, behavior, and deeds. Be smiley. You’ll rediscover yourself by feeding your spiritual being. And such kind acts would keep you away from negative emotions or their subsequent encounters.

  • Improve Your Economic Condition

The developing countries see more downgrading of women if they’re not economically solvent. This economic crisis deprives them of food, home, education, hygiene, and many other basic supplements.

The poor financial condition worsens a woman’s health, beauty, characteristics, life expectancy, etc. 104 world economies out of 189 still deprive women of economic independence on various grounds, as per a survey in 2018. [Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment- UN Women]

Thus, it’s vital that you educate yourself, master necessary skills, and gain experience to work and earn for yourself and your family if required. It’s precedented that economic independence removes many emotional negativities from women’s life.

Final Words

You may not be able to make your life more meaningful than it is now, but having the skill to turn your negative emotions into something productive may give you a space to change.

Accept the fact that there will be good days and bad days. Life to some women is a roller coaster ride, while some see it as a steady boat kayaking through the channel. Clear your mind on how you want to idealize your life and its related matters.

It may sound too cheesy, but learn to neutralize your negative emotions, at least, if you can’t befriend them.

Take ample rest, consult your doctor regularly, and take proper medications in time. Maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle. Confide your emotional stresses or turmoil in someone trustworthy, be it your mom, father, siblings, husband, or a very-close-to-heart friend.

Mohammad Anique

Mohammad Anique is the editor at WomenMinds who writes informative and helpful blogs on various topics, including beauty, skincare, parenting, etc. He's a bookworm, an animal lover, and an aspiring writer.

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