Wednesday, April 6

Venting: It's Just Not Healthy

Just venting? Despite popular belief, turns out it's not healthy. At all. The research says it reinforces and exaggerates one's negative beliefs.

And worst of all? It disconnects you from the people you're trying to communicate with. They shut down their rational brain and go into fight or flight.

Better strategy? Breathing so deeply that it activates the vagus nerve -- the one that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system and impacts everything...including immune response. It'll calm you down, help you think calmly and rationally, and quiet the impulse to raise your voice.


Bushman, B. J. (2002). Does venting anger feed or extinguish the flame? Catharsis, rumination, distraction, anger, and aggressive responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin28(6), 724–731.

Lohr, Jeffrey M.; Olatunji, Bunmi O.; Baumeister, Roy F.; Bushman, Brad J. (2007). The psychology of anger venting and empirically supported alternatives that do no harm. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 5(1), 53-64.