Whether it was punching a bag, screaming at the top of my lungs, or breaking a computer, venting always sounded like the perfect remedy for the pent-up stresses in my life. The boiling point of my anger could be eased and controlled through these intense raging behaviors. Of course, I never did these things. But I knew many who often associate aggression with relieving stress. Venting was the remedy for our issues. Contrary to popular belief, venting may not be as effective of an outlet as you think it is. In fact, venting may surface more problems than it resolves unless controlled and accompanied by mindful progression.
Venting can be carried out in many ways to solve one common goal: release of stress. The strong emotions you express during that short-heightened period will supposedly help you get back to clear, logical thinking and non-clouded judgment. I’ll begin by saying venting may not be helpful for everyone. Some may feel it is functional to vent. However, venting is only efficient if it’s controlled. Limiting these “sessions” from time to time and doing them with a close friend or family member is “healthy”. Using these sessions as excuses to rid your stress without solutions may further fuel outrage. Otherwise, you’re expressing your anger out loud, which may just have a negative impact on your wellbeing. Expressing your frustrations and anger is crucial, but if you do, try to do so in a proactive way. In other words, perform functional venting or venting with a purpose.
What exactly is this, and what does it entail? These actions begin with a trusted individual, someone who is willing to listen even if they can’t necessarily offer any immediate solutions. This can be a close friend, partner, or family member. Find an environment where you feel comfortable discussing your anger and frustrations. Listen to the feedback that the trusted individual can give you during this time. They may see things from a different perspective you do. Reflect on your stress as you vent but seek to practice being mindful. It is a natural human tendency to dwell on past actions. However, focusing on the past may only surface more stress. Instead, look toward the present and near future. Are there immediate solutions for these problems you’ve encountered? What can you do moving forward? Although these answers may not come right away, venting is only as productive as you make it. To actively seek ways to learn and move forward is to effectively and efficiently deal with the heightened stress you experience. Venting may not suit everyone, but for those it does, find ways to effectively vent as you seek to handle stress more mindfully.

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Nathan Delacth is a recent graduate from California Lutheran University where he majored in Biology. He plans to attend medical school where he can pursue an MD/MPH in hopes of serving his community and joining the small but growing number of Black physicians in the medical field. Growing up with immigrant parents from Cape Verde meant two identities in countries he both called home. As an American, his desire to uplift the communities that helped him become the person he is means actively fighting longstanding healthcare inequalities plaguing African American communities while joining the growing 5% of Black physicians in the US. As a Cape Verdean, conscious of the tribulations and widespread poverty, his goal to establish clinics on the island of Fogo means residents will have access to basic healthcare regardless of financial status. Making resources accessible to those who need them the most has always been at the forefront of his efforts to strive for progression. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer with friends, spearfishing in Malibu, and mentoring others in options trading.


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