The Wonderful Brain of a Woman Over 40

April 8, 2016

The brain of a woman over 40 is fabulous. Every year of her life acts as a fertilizer for neuronal connections, which in turn means new thoughts, feelings, and interests.

As we already know, given that her brain undergoes constant change throughout her lifetime, the reality of a woman is not as stable as that of a man.

In this sense, they say that the neurological reality of a man is like a mountain that imperceptibly wears away at glaciers, time, and the movement of plate tectonics deep in the Earth. However, the reality of a woman is more like the weatherconstantly changing and difficult to predict.

Therefore, if the brain of a woman is capable of changing week to week, imagine what that means for a whole life’s worth of massive hormonal changes.

old and young

The magic of being a woman over 40

Usually, one’s forties start as a stage in which you find yourself between two generations that show how ephemeral life is. So as you would expect, you start to question the requirements that have led you to the place you’re at today.

In this way, you try to reconcile your responsibilities with assuming certain risks that let you discover the path towards all those dreams that once got away from you due to oppressive and emotionally exhausting demands and situations.

Similarly, as you get older, the fog seems to dissipate and you start to see in front of you things that you couldn’t see before. That is, your heart starts to beat to the rhythm of a distant, approaching drum.

old and young in a blanket

The pulse of the female brain

You could say that hormones form a large part of female reality, helping to join a woman’s experiences together with her values and desires. So the brain of a woman over 40 is a clear reflection of what’s important day to day for her.

Anyways, the brain is only a gifted, talented learning machine; meaning that despite the power of biology, our personality and behavior adapt to our world.

Generally, the female brain makes decisions about values that push connection and communication. So the structure, function, and chemistry of a woman affect her mood, her thought processes, her energy levels, her sex drive, her behavior, and her general wellbeing.

In the words of psychiatrist Louann Brizendine, “the female brain has tremendous unique aptitudes — outstanding verbal agility, the ability to connect deeply in friendship, a nearly psychic capacity to read faces and tone of voice for emotions and states of mind, and the ability to defuse conflict.”

birds on head

The power of feminine hormones to change the world

It may seem puzzling, but it’s as though her biological clock rings its bell so that she will take care of and please herself. This stage of psychological development is driven by a biological reality, one of a brain that embarks on its last journey of hormonal change.

If we could see the brain of a woman after 45 years, we’d see a completely different landscape than the one from a few years before. At this age, the constant flow of impulses replaces the hormonal roller coaster (of estrogen and progesterone) brought on by the menstrual cycle.

At this age, the brain starts to transform into a precise and stable machine. Likewise, we can’t see how the most fleeting circuits of the amygdala are altered by the effects of their hormones, making them see darkness that doesn’t exist or interpret something as insulting that wasn’t.

On the contrary, we’ll see how the circuits that unite our emotional processor (the amygdala) and the area of analysis and judgment and emotions (the prefrontal cortex) act in a coordinated and coherent manner.

butterflies on hands

Given that these areas are no longer overexcited by the disproportionate action of hormones, women are much more balanced, can think more clearly, and are not so overwhelmed by their emotions anymore.

So, especially at the end of their forties they tend to begin this emotional journey that pushes them to observe the reality around them in a different way.

Thanks to the reduction in the flow of dopamine and oxytocin, the woman will stop feeling so rewarded by caring for others and seeks to get in touch with herself.

In this search, the woman marvels at her own energy and starts to ruminate on a new view of the world that goes beyond the need to connect with and care for others. Now, the woman contemplates life with the premise of not making herself a prisoner and of finding a new balance.


So, this biological truth represents a new path to follow, a mystery that changes her thoughts and emotions while encouraging her to lead herself towards the redefinition of her relationships and commitments, as well as the assumption of new goals and adventures.

To end, we’d like to leave you with a quote from Oprah Winfrey that perfectly defines the power of mature women…

“I marvel that at this age I’m still developing, looking for things, and leaving my comfort zone to become more enlightened When I was twenty years old, I thought that there would be a magical adult age that would come, perhaps at thirty-five, and my ‘adult situation’ would be complete.

It’s funny how this number changed through the years, and how even at forty, classified by society as middle-aged, I continue feeling like I wasn’t the adult with the certainty that I thought would come.

Now my life expectations have surpassed any dream or hope that I’ve ever imagined. I am certain that we have to continue transforming ourselves to become what we need to be.”

Images courtesy of Claudia Tremblay