Where To Turn When You Need To Vent

Updated October 27, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you need to vent, you aren’t alone. At one point or another, everyone needs to release inner turmoil and emotions. Without the willingness or the ability to vent, you may carry negative emotions around with you. According to psychopharmacologist Candice Pert, humans store pent-up negative emotions in their very cells and tissues, which can eventually cause declines in physical health. However, you don't need to proclaim your emotions and anxieties through a megaphone to be heard; there are many healthy ways to set these emotions and anxieties free, including connecting with an online therapist.

Need To Vent?

The Importance Of Letting It Out

Letting out your emotions is very important. When you ignore your feelings, it can be harmful.  Negative feelings can fester and turn into larger problems if left unchecked.

Here are a few tips to help you express and cope with your feelings:

Know Whom To Trust

Your first instinct is likely going to be to talk to your loved ones, which is a good idea, but you should put some thought into your conversation partners before proceeding. It’s important to trust whomever you decide to talk to. You can protect yourself from embarrassment and frustration by voicing your concerns to trustworthy people.

Not everyone is, nor should they be, a trusted confidant. Know who your trustworthy friends are by entrusting them with a little information at a time. If this information becomes public gossip, you may not want to trust them with bigger issues. 

If you want to vent to someone, it also helps to seek out a person who is an active listener. If you go to vent, and the recipient dismisses your feelings or offers unsolicited advice without hearing you out, it might make things worse. Make sure the person lends a listening ear and can respond to your words with empathy. Venting helps most when you feel you are in a safe, supportive space. 

Build A Support System

People who have a robust emotional support system tend to be mentally and physically healthier than their peers who lack one. Research has revealed that people who have a strong support system are at a significantly lower risk of fatal heart disease than those who do not have adequate support.

In addition, people who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease can better manage symptoms with the help of positive relationships. Having a chronic health diagnosis can be challenging and it’s natural to want to vent to another person. If this sounds like you, talking about it with a licensed professional, a trusted friend, or a support group can be therapeutic. Finding a safe place to vent or express your concerns can complement and support existing your treatment.

Often, to build a support system, you must first support others. If you take a genuine interest in the lives of others, and they can see that you truly care, they tend to reciprocate your care and concern. To get support, you  should first give support.

Join A Support Group

There are many support groups available in-person and online. A simple web search can lead you to a supportive community that is built around shared experiences. When you start from a place of commonality, it is easier to form a lasting bond. It can also be easier to express yourself or vent amongst people that can better understand your experience.

Journal Regularly

Journaling has proven mental and physical benefits. The best part about journaling is that you can do it anywhere at any time. It is a healthy, easy-to-implement coping mechanism. And when you write down your fears and negative emotions, you don't have to worry about the possibility of judgment or criticism from others. Some studies have even shown that gratitude journaling can reduce mild depression. Sometimes, simply writing down the words to describe what’s bothering you can help you release that emotion.

Ensure Balance In Your Friendships

Having close friends or family members whom you feel able to confide in can make all the difference. We all have times when we just need someone to listen and validate our feelings. However, it's important to balance venting with other positive interactions. Make sure you don’t seek out people solely to vent – consider spending time doing enjoyable things together as well. And show your loved ones the same respect in return by lending them a listening ear when they need one.

Also, don't assume a friend always has ample time to listen. If you need to talk about a big problem, ask them if they have the time first. They will likely be able to provide better support if you are respectful of their time.

Try Other Coping Skills

At times, you may need to try other ways to express yourself and feel better. In fact, trying other coping strategies may even help you come up with the right words to articulate your emotions.

These coping skills can include the following:

  • Getting Active: When we need to vent, we are often filled with uncomfortable energy. You can burn off negative emotions by doing something physical, like taking a walk or a run, dancing, or going to the gym. The resulting endorphins can help you regulate your emotions and think more clearly.
  • Taking Your Mind Off The Problem: It isn’t avoidance to give yourself a break while you calm down. For example, you can listen to music, watch a favorite movie or television show, take time for self-care, or practice mindfulness techniques. Any of these activities can help you calm down and feel more in control before you vent to a loved one.
  • Stay Off Social Media: When we feel upset about something, it can be tempting to turn to social media to vent our frustrations. However, this can be counterproductive to your ability to solve the problem, and it may create new problems. Once you vent online, it’s hard to take back those words many people have already seen. Venting social media posts can also wear on loved ones who follow you on social media; they may even feel less willing to engage if they heard your problem first through a social media account instead of straight from you.
  • Listen To Yourself First: Focus on what you can solve on your own, instead of immediately asking others for solutions. Sometimes, when you vent to others, you may end up with more potential solutions and opinions than you need, and that can feel overwhelming. Give yourself time to mull over possible answers to a problem, and then you can take your most likely actions to a trusted loved one for their opinion before you decide.

Need To Vent?

If You Need To Vent, Talk To An Online Therapist

It's important to keep clear boundaries when venting to a friend or loved one. You don't want to end up treating them like a therapist. Also, friends may naturally want to offer advice when all you need is to be heard. If you are able to vent to a therapist first, you may find that your other relationships become healthier and more reciprocal. Also, a licensed therapist has the expertise to help you understand and process your feelings and emotions, as well as learn to solve problems independently.

Online therapy can be a flexible solution for anyone who may benefit from the validation of being listened to. In fact, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Council of Representatives has released a resolution citing more than 50 peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the treatment of a whole spectrum of mental health issues. If you have any type of diagnosis, talking about it with a therapist can be a great method of support in addition to your current treatment. Furthermore, online platforms like BetterHelp can provide you with the space you need to feel heard, take positive action, and seek advice when needed.

You might wonder what makes online therapy so different—namely, its flexibility and accessibility. Online therapy can be arranged around your life, on a schedule that suits yours. With no need for transportation to an appointment, you can save time and hassle. Online therapy can also help you to release unwanted emotions and anxieties in a safe space so that they will no longer burden you. And it’s been proven just as effective as in-person therapy. Below are BetterHelp counselor reviews from users who have dealt with similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Shelly has been my biggest support since joining BetterHelp. She is alert and attentive, knows when to talk and when I need to just vent. She allows me to express myself without fear of being criticized. She's taught me so much in such a short time and I still have much to go. I'm glad Shelley is the person beside me helping me through it all."

"It's been many months that I'm talking to Katie now. She's done so much good for me and helped me through some tough times. Even if nothing particular is up, it's great having someone who you can vent to openly. Thanks Katie!"

Takeaway

It’s natural to sometimes feel like you need to vent. Expressing your emotions, rather than keeping them inside, can be beneficial both mentally and physically. If you are feeling the need to vent, there are a variety of coping strategies you can employ to help improve your mood. Online therapy with a licensed therapist can provide a safe place to vent and work through your emotions.

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