Venting out your anger doesn't work. Here's why...

Contrary to popular belief, venting our frustrations in an overtly aggressive or hostile way -- whether by puncturing a pillow with a knife, punching a wall, or screaming at your neighbor -- doesn't help us feel better. If anything, it has the opposite effect. Studies have found we feel even more upset after doing these things.

Engaging in aggressive or destructive behaviors when we're upset not only adversely endangers our well-being, but it potentially puts others at risk. Some people have been known to get wasted and drive erratically after some disappointing event, whether it's a fight with their boss that ultimately led to their being fired or having their partner break up with them unexpectedly. You can only imagine how terrible the consequences of such reckless acts. Once it has all passed, we experience a host of emotions ranging from regret to shame.

Instead of reaching for a knife or bottle, there are other things we can do to channel our anger in more constructive ways, including:

  • Having a vigorous workout 
  • Playing sports or other competitive games, from chess to cards
  • Engaging in more relaxing or "therapeutic" activities from painting and writing to hitting up the spa
  • Seeking the advice of friends, family, or a counselor
  • Meditation and/or prayer
When we're stressed out or feeling enraged after an upsetting occurrence, it can be all too easy to lash out at people or things. It's a natural human instinct that many of us might presume helps us cope with said situation, but that's not the case. It's incumbent on us to reorient our energies toward more socially acceptable behaviors. In the end, it's a storm that will pass anyway. 

How do you vent out your pent-up anger? Do you punch or throw things at walls? Do you find such behavior doesn't help you feel any better?

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