Venting is a great way to reduce stress, but venting in a healthy way makes all the difference. Violent outbursts, verbal lashings, and other unhealthy behaviors can make your venting dangerous and ineffective and cause more stress; the opposite of what venting is supposed to achieve. If you struggle to vent in a healthy way, you’ll want to consider these five tips on venting more effectively. We’ll go over why venting matters, how to do it in a healthy way, and where to start.
Keeping Things Bottled Up Is Dangerous
Have you ever kept something that was bothering you all bottled up under lock and key? The likely outcome was that those particular emotions compounded over time until they became nearly unbearable. Often, people who hold things in rather than venting end up exploding with anger, frustration, or sorrow when those emotions are left to fester. That doesn’t benefit anyone, and least of all, you.
Venting to a friend or family member helps reduce your stress levels, and grants a sense of belonging. When someone cares enough to listen, you feel valued, and your feelings feel more legitimate. We’ve all gotten in our heads sometimes, so it’s nice to hear our thoughts and feelings validated by a loved one. Some people choose a vent website so they can vent anonymously and to more people with similar thought patterns. Either way is fine, as long as you don’t keep it all bottled up!
1. Keep Your Voice Calm
While venting can bring out some pretty heated emotions, remember that the idea is to not stress you or the person you’re venting to out. The more worked up you get, the less stress relief you’ll get from venting. That’s not to say you shouldn’t display any emotion, but rather work hard to keep those emotions in check. Let it out, but don’t let it loose. The person you’re venting to is there to listen, but not there to bear the brunt of your fury.
Keeping your calm will actually help you achieve a much more successful venting session, and you’ll feel much more in control and satisfied when you’re finished. Plus, you won’t have to worry about stressing your loved one out!
Did you know that exercise actually helps to reduce stress hormones in the body and releases endorphins, which can make you feel happy? If you’re feeling stressed out or angry and feel like you need an outlet, choose exercise. The benefits of exercise on the mind and body are numerous and diverse, but the research agrees on one thing: it’s good for you!
If you vent via exercise, you’ll find yourself calmer and healthier, and that’s something we can all get behind. Anger and stress can have some pretty serious effects on both your mental health and your physical health, especially your heart. Blood pressure, heart rate, and more are affected by stress, so turn those negative emotions into workout fuel instead.
3. Let it Out; It’s Ok to Cry
Sometimes, there’s nothing for it but to cry. Crying is a natural response to certain stressors, but unfortunately, we’ve made crying something of a taboo in our society; especially for guys. Fellas, it’s ok to cry when you need to. It doesn’t make you any less “manly” to feel pain and to let it out! All the venting in the world just isn’t enough sometimes, and you need to be alone for a good cry.
Afterwards, you’ll be amazed at just how clear your mind is. If you’ve ever had a good cry, you probably slept better and felt much better about whatever was stressing you out. That’s because crying reduces stress levels, improves your mood (afterwards), and brings closure. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, let it out!
4. Creative Outlets
Creating is an effective way to vent your emotions because it can give you a physical representation of what you’re feeling; whether you draw, paint, or play an instrument. You can write down what you’re feeling to gain closure with it, draw it out to see it in physical form, or write a song about it to lend a voice to your feelings when you don’t have the words.
5. Confide in Others
Our loved ones provide a valuable support system for when we’re feeling down, and there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to someone to vent. Our loved ones can help by doing more than just hearing us; they empathize with our problems. This is much more effective and brings us closer together, and also helps lend validation to what you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to “burden” your loved ones with your problems, as they likely don’t see them as a burden at all. After all, that’s the nature of supporting someone; being there when they need you the most.