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The Five W's of Healthy Venting

Posted by on Apr. 11, 2016 at 2:24 PM
  • 1 Replies

Anger Management: The Five W's of Healthy Venting

Brad Waters \ Psychology Today

Yesterday I was peacefully walking my dog in the Chicago sun when all of a sudden: 'HONK' 'HONK'! I looked to my right and saw a woman enraged, arms flailing, because the car in front of her wasn't making a left turn fast enough. We've all seen that driver. Hey, let's be honest, most of us have probably been in her seat. I know I have my days- sometimes I have the patience of a saint, sometimes my hand happens to find its way to the horn....

Venting. Catharsis. Can feel good right? Actually, more and more research shows that venting isn't all that good for us. In fact, it can perpetuate problems, anger issues as an example, by reinforcing negative responses to situations. And when we enlist friends or coworkers in our rants, it can reinforce our position all the more. You vent, they agree. They share a story in return, it reinforces your story. The result is even more ammunition for getting angry next time you're on the road. We vent about everything, we do it often, and we do it everywhere.... But just because we can, doesn't mean we should

.....The good news is, we can learn how to react and act differently. We can practice and build brain fitness, that emotional intelligence that helps us maneuver through triggering situations. Our brains are not fixed unchangeable blobs; they are highly adaptable, malleable, and can learn new tricks. Here are a few ideas:

The 5 Ws of Venting:

1. Wait.  When you feel triggered, commit yourself to giving some time for the situation to process.... 

2. Why? Practice not jumping to conclusions....There are endless possibilities as to 'why' something just happened and we may not have all the information we need to make an informed reaction. 

3. Who? Whose business was it anyway? If someone didn't do something directly at you or intentially to you, is it really your business to react to it? Step back and ask yourself, "Is this any of my business?" "Is there a solution to this problem and, if so, who is responsible?" Why do we spend so much time getting our feathers ruffled over things we see that don't even involve us?

4. Write. Rather than rushing off to a coworker or yanking out that cell to gab, grab a pen and jot down some notes or email yourself about what you're angry about. ... jotting down some thoughts rather than blabbing them all over the office will engage your body physically and mentally and allow your brain to drain- to slow down.  

5. Witness. If you still need to talk with someone after you've tried the other ideas, ask a trusted friend to witness your venting and set limits. "Can I talk to you for five minutes? And I really mean five!" ...Setting limits will force us to keep it brief, sort out our thoughts, and then focus on to a solution. If the venting doesn't lead to a solution, a lesson learned, or an idea for next time you might just start to wonder what's the point?

Read full article here

by on Apr. 11, 2016 at 2:24 PM
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Greenbird15
by Bronze Member on Apr. 12, 2016 at 4:05 PM

I always wave "hi" if someone honks at me, like really insisting that I know them LOL....Leaving them wondering-do they really KNOW me Hahahaha

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