I’m grateful to have healthy ways to vent. When I look on social media, I see a lot of individuals who haven’t found healthy ways to vent their emotions. Instead of feeling things through in a healthy manner, they blame, bash, attack, and threaten others because of how they are choosing to see the world around them. It doesn’t matter if what they are reacting to is the truth or a lie. Their energy of fear, lack, and separation perpetuate violence internally and externally.This makes me SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL that I learned tools to vent in ways that diffuse the internal stirring of violent and toxic thoughts and beliefs (perspectives of truth), which are what ignites feelings revenge, hate, envy, rage, etc.
I remember a day when I didn’t have these tools and how painful life was drowning in the chaos of fear, lack, and separation. I can still get stuck in the feeling of being overwhelmed by what is going on, but there is a huge difference in how I process and vent to get myself out of it. The feelings before had led me into an abyss of darkness. Now, even in dark moments, I feel the light inside me trying to find the solutions to get out. I know the way is there, I just have to keep brainstorming, which is what my venting is now.
Today, I commit to venting in healthy ways. When I first became aware that the ways I was venting was unhealthy, I made lists of what healthy venting looked like. Those lists helped me to see when I wasn’t helping myself by how I was choosing to vent. Slowly, I started catching myself. My sponsor in AL-ANON (A 12-step program for friends and family of alcoholics) would tell me, I could have ten minutes for a “Pity Party”, then we were moving onto coming up with solutions to get me out of the thinking that was keeping me in the problem. Those weren’t the exact words, but the meaning has never left me, and that happened over a decade ago. I carry her voice with me today. Healthy venting is important. It’s a part of processing our feelings so that we don’t suppress, numb, avoid, or take them out on the people around us. When we don’t find a way to vent our feelings in a healthy way, they can do damage inside and out. Here are some of the tools in my venting toolbox:
- Venting with a loved one: I pick someone who won’t go down in a hole with me if we are going to both end up stuck down there. I have different friends I vent to about different things, it all depends on where their strengths are. Parenting stuff maybe one friend, political stuff is another, relationship issues someone else, etc. I don’t want to vent to someone that is going to make someone else a bad guy in my story. I want to be able to say how I feel and process the actual feelings, not get caught up in stories that will keep me in the energy of fear, lack, and separation.
- Physical exercises: I’ve use different forms of exercise depending on the level of emotions like fast-paced music and do a high energy movements or dance, punching the air with weights, moving fast on the exercise board, jumping on a trampoline, hitting a punching bag, swimming, and/or walking.
- Breathing exercises: Simple deep breathing where I take a long breath in and then push it out completely. Holding our breath helps toxic energy fester in our bodies. This is my way of visualizing getting it out of me.
- Writing it out: There are times when there is so much inside of me that I just need to get it all out because none of it makes any sense. I do this when I really don’t want anyone to hear the thoughts and feelings that are brewing inside of me. The last thing I want to do is help to pass toxic energy around. So I set my timer between 15-30 minutes and just write everything that is coming up. I don’t stop. I don’t edit. Sometimes, I don’t even look. I just free-flow write the thoughts and feelings out of me.
- Tapping (EFT): This is a great one for calming down the energy. I can tap out the perspectives that are creating chaos inside of me. A couple rounds of tapping can bring me back to calm pretty quick (check out tapping.com or the Tapping Solutions app for more information on the subject).
- Letter burning: If I’m having strong feelings about a particular person, I will write the person a letter getting it all out. Then I will burn it as a symbol of me turning the situation over to the Universe to let it go.