Healthy Venting

You are on your way to the bank, when you get pulled over by the police and fined for rolling through a stop sign…

Events in our day can cause a build up of pressure. In polite society, it is always inappropriate to publicly release this pressure. It is never acceptable for you to scream at the police officer, as you tell them why this has just ruined your entire day. Nor can you expect to be welcome if you then travel to the bank and harass the teller with your woes.

What do you do?

We all need a way in which we can release this pressure. I am saddened to hear of many teenagers today using self-harm as a form of release. They cite a precise feeling of the pressure being relieved through the cut. There has got to be a better way….

Other inappropriate forms of release include drinking, drugs, abuse, and violence.

There seems to be a world full of people out there who are frustrated, pent-up and about ready to explode.

Can the answer be something so simple?

I believe that, as children, we had it right in the first place.

A ‘normal’ child will alleviate this pressure by throwing tantrums. Unfortunately, these usually occurred at the exact time of the pressure-causing event (resulting in gross humiliation for the parent), but they were effective in relieving the anxiety in the child. Why do we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Due to the embarrassment caused to parents by their child’s’ tantrums, we will do anything to avoid their occurrence, and the child ends up losing a valuable and healthy skill.

Why not adapt our natural behavior for the society in which we now live?

With just a few tweaks, our childhood tantrums can be converted into healthy adult ‘venting’.

I was a tantrum thrower as a child and I am a tantrum thrower as an adult. The only difference is that now I do it in a safe way and I call it “Venting”. Sometimes I call it my 1 minute temper. Sometimes, I will discretely invite a trusted friend or colleague to a private space, where I will literally stomp the ground and say something like “I am so offended that she said that… Argh..” The role of my friend is not to get involved in a bitch-fest with me, but to simply be there, so that I can feel I can completely release my built up pressure.

~ Public venting is just bad form. You don’t want to make a spectacle out of yourself, so you want to make the least impact as possible.

~Venting should never include anything which can cause any injury to yourself, others, or to the world around you. I personally find stomping to be effective rapidly. Some people like to make bread (i.e. bash the daylights out of the dough) and really dedicated people will take themselves off for a run. We all can find a way to vent which works for us.

~ Please keep it brief. Your venting should be something that quickly releases the built-up pressure. For example… watching tv or reading a book are not venting strategies. They will help to relax you, but not to relieve you. Also, no friend wants to listen to her friend moan on for hours about her dramas.

~ Personally, I think there is nothing better than to have a good friend that you can vent to. However, it is important that this is a friend that will be there purely as a witness of your release, and not see your venting as an ongoing situation.

I highly recommend that each woman find her own Venting Strategy, as she refuses to ‘suck it up’ and turn herself into a over-inflated balloon.

Please share your strategies with us….

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