How to Vent

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 Completely Different Approach to Venting

If you believe that screaming and punching a pillow will make you feel less angry, think again. Studies show that venting unpleasant emotions can reinforce those feelings. On the other hand, like Sigmund Freud said, bottling them up is usually even worse.

So, what can you do with your anger and anxiety? Try these tips for processing and expressing difficult feelings.

Preventing Unpleasant Feelings

  1. Take a deep breath. Tension builds up quickly. When another driver cuts you off, pause and pay attention to your breathing. Loosen up your shoulders and neck. Think about something that makes you laugh.

  2. Accept discomfort. Distracted drivers and earthquakes are part of life. Plan for delays and obstacles so they stop taking you by surprise.

  3. Care for yourself. Healthy lifestyle habits make you more resilient. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Maintain a consistent bedtime that allows for adequate sleep.

  4. Shift your attention. Stop feeding the flames. Catch yourself when you’re dwelling on last night’s argument with your teenage daughter or next month’s water bill. Lighten up by watching YouTube videos or meeting a friend for coffee.

Viewing Unpleasant Feelings Differently

  1. Question your assumptions. It’s difficult to resist blowing off steam if you still believe it will provide relief. Check in with yourself a half-hour later to see if your anger is gone. Read studies about how road rage can affect your heart.

  2. Set priorities. It’s worth fighting injustice if your child is being bullied at school. If another shopper wants to count four cans of cat food as one item, it makes more sense to be flexible.

  3. Assume responsibility. Indignation is less tempting when you face how you contributed to the situation. Did you criticize your daughter about her grades when you meant to discuss cleaning up her bedroom?

  4. Focus on solutions. Unpleasant feelings can be beneficial when they prompt you to take action. Acknowledge your anger, and then concentrate on fixing the situation.

Responding to Unpleasant Feelings Differently

  1. Seek validation. Talk with a friend or family member about your concerns. Receiving compassion and support will help you to cheer up and put things in perspective.

  2. Ask for feedback. Confidantes who have nothing at stake in the situation may also help you to clarify your perceptions and understand your options. Talk about how to deal with neighbors who throw noisy parties or keep borrowing your parking spot.

  3. Negotiate conflicts. When possible, approach the other party in a dispute directly. Work out compromises so you and your neighbors can be friends.

  4. Consider counseling. If you’re angry or upset more often than usual, there may be underlying causes that you need to explore. Therapy provides a safe forum for healing and developing new life skills.

  5. Write it out. Maybe a journal would help. Keep track of what is triggering your irritation or sadness. Are you working too much overtime or struggling with single parenting?

  6. Stay offline. You’ve probably read stories about employees who lost their jobs because they thought it was safe to complain about customers or their boss online. Even if you remain anonymous, prolonged griping is likely to leave you feeling more disgruntled.

  7. Create new patterns. The good news is that each time you decide to pursue constructive remedies instead of whining, you train yourself to become more calm and resourceful. Soon you’ll have little desire to vent.

It may feel gratifying to have a meltdown over your property taxes or snap back at a disruptive coworker, but indulging those impulses comes at a high price. Protect your physical health, relationships, and peace of mind by dealing with unpleasant emotions constructively.

You have the Power to heal your Shame

You Have the Power to Heal Your Shame

Shame is a complex human emotion that we all experience at one time or another. You might feel shame because of something about your appearance, events related to your family, or even a lack of education. You might feel you’re not worthy somehow. Shame shows itself in many forms.

Even if you struggle greatly with managing your shame, trust in the knowledge that you can heal it.

Consider the following methods to strengthen your emotional health and soothe your spirit:

  1. Identify shame’s presence. Because we tend to try to cover up that which embarrasses or demeans us, you’ll probably need to do some personal confrontation of your own emotions.

  2. Are there particular people in whose presence you feel embarrassed? If so, why?

  3. Perhaps when you’re in a specific type of situation, you notice that you tend to close down emotionally or feel numb.

  4. Begin to take note of when your emotions are either stirred up or flat (which means you feel nothing at all).

  5. Recognize you’re “only as sick as your secrets.” In the counseling profession, there is a saying: “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” This adage means that the things about ourselves that we keep to ourselves are the exact issues that we need to acknowledge and do something about.

  6. Consider discussing your shame with someone you trust. Because shame can be a tough emotion to handle, it’s helpful to have someone you can talk to about it. Whether it’s a close friend, your partner, or a professional, it will free you to put words on those feelings.

  7. The more you talk about it, the better you’ll be able to gain some understanding about what triggers your feelings of shame. Not only that, but also talking about your shame de-mystifies it and makes it something real that you can resolve.

  8. A mental health or counseling professional is trained to facilitate people in identifying their troubling issues and learning to understand and manage challenging feelings. If you believe you could benefit from this type of assistance, by all means, avail yourself of it.

  9. Be brave. It requires courageto share your insecurities with another person. Your bravery reveals your passion, strength, and optimism.

  10. Learn to love yourself. No matter what your shortcomings, you deserve to experience the uplifting feelings you can get from self-love. Even though you think you have a lot of spiritual “blemishes,” you must allow yourself to see your real beauty within.

  11. Connect with your spiritual power. Whether it’s your religion, an interest in Eastern philosophy, or a strong belief in Mother Earth, establish a connection with whatever spiritual power you believe in.
  • When you have a spiritual power you can lean on, you’ll likely find solace and the strength to face and resolve your personal shame.

  • Have confidence that you’ll overcome. At some point in life, we all have our difficulties to deal with, our challenges to manage. Reach deep within yourself and you’ll find the confidence to persevere.
  • Remember that you’ve resolved challenges before and know that you can conquer this one, too.

Shame is a normal human emotion that we’ve all felt. If you’re willing to do the work, you can resolve the hurt and shame you feel inside. Use the methods outlined above to move forward toward a happier, more rewarding life. You do have the power to heal your shame.