Boy, venting sure feels good, doesn’t it? There’s nothing like letting off a bunch of steam when somebody makes us angry. All that reliving of a crappy situation does wonders for our hearts and minds, not to mention our relationships, doesn’t it? Of course it doesn’t. When you find yourself reliving a negative experience, your body actually does feel it all over again. Those stress hormones start working in overdrive and you’re simply further cementing the negative feelings you had in that moment. Venting may provide a false feeling of temporary comfort, but in the long run that ruminating, complaining and out and out bitching isn’t going to help your mental health at all.
Instead of recounting and reliving your negative experiences, try reframing and refocusing your attention to something positive that may have resulted from the experience. What’s the learning you can extract and what will you do differently next time. When your monkey mind serves up the experience again and encourages you to start reliving it, gently tell it to back off. You don’t need to live this experience again. You’re ready to move on.
What are you going to let go of today?