Vent – to give free expression to (a strong emotion).
Some people still hold the belief that venting is a good way to release anger and frustration, but a 2013 study found “regular users of online rant sites are more prone to anger in real life…” as reported in Sciencealert.com. This means complaining begets more complaining and venting frustrations can actually make us more angry.
In one of our past articles, How to Diffuse Anger Mindfully, we provided some tips on how to dissipate strong feelings through mindfulness. Being mindful of the body’s reaction to stress and anger is important, as well as discovering ways to use the breath to bring stillness to ourselves.
Here are more suggestions to channel upset feelings into something productive:
1. Be proactive, not reactive. If you want to talk to a friend, rather than vent, use them as a sounding board to find ways to solve the problem. Try to work towards fixing or at least minimizing the issue.
2. Transfer the negative energy into something creative like painting, drawing or writing. These types of mindfulness practices help to quiet the mind.
3. Exercise to release endorphins otherwise known as our body’s feel-good brain chemicals. Physical activity can transform aggressive feelings into positive energy.
4. Do something relaxing like meditate, read or take a nice bath.
5. Walk in nature and focus on your body, the surroundings and just being in the present moment.
Managing emotions isn’t always an easy task. It’s a skillset that takes practice. If you are having a hard time redirecting your overwhelming feelings, therapy can aid with providing the extra support and tools to handle strong emotions.
To summarize, instead of venting, work on recognizing your feelings, taking deep breaths to calm the body and solving the problem or transferring the energy into a mindful or soothing activity.