Stressful Habits: Venting too much

An interesting talk

By Oliver Tacke (https://www.flickr.com/photos/otacke/12635014673/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In one of my previous posts I discussed talking to someone. I talked about how sometimes just having a sympathetic ear that is willing to listen to your woes can make a really big difference and help make you feel better. However there is such a thing as talking too much, which is something I mention in the ‘talking to someone’ post too.

While talking to someone and venting is good most of the time, too much of anything is bad and venting too much can be very bad. The thing about people who get stressed out often is that they get stressed a lot (obviously) and as a result they usually need to vent a lot. The problem is when you talk too much about sad and bad things that is all you think about; and as you think about them more, you feel like talking about them more, and then you end up in a vicious cycle where you keep thinking about it and talking about it and thinking about it and talking about it and thinking about it some more and talking about it some more. I have some personal experience in this sort of thing and I can tell you it is not fun. You basically start to obsess over all the bad things that keep happening to you and you stop being able to see any of the good, which is of no use to anyone in any way. It is no good to you, it is no good to anyone around you and what is worse is that if you don’t check yourself in time, you can sink pretty deep into the spiral of sadness, stress and depression.

It is very important to know when venting your stresses is actually helping you and when it is causing you more harm. When I was a teenager I would get stressed and depressed very easily and I would vent a lot about my woes to my mother who was the only person who would listen. At first I would feel good for a while but like I said, talking too much about my troubles just made me think about them more and before I knew it I was in a spiral. I like to think that I am better at venting now than I was then, but I might just be seeing things as I want to see them and since I can’t tell you from the perspective of an outsider looking in, I can’t say with 100% certainty that I actually am better.

The only real advice I can give you on when to know whether you should stop venting is to be mindful of yourself and your own feelings. If you are like me and you get stressed very easily and you feel like venting yet again, every now and then you have to look into yourself and see whether venting will actually help. Is this the 8th time you’ve been talking about the exact same thing that gets you stressed out? Then maybe talking about it isn’t helping you. When that happens, try doing something to distract yourself and get your mind off your problem, it works for me most of the time.

I’ll end this post with this, be aware of your stress and what is making it worse. I’m not saying you should stop venting, venting is important; but remember there are other ways to de-stress yourself. Don’t go venting too much and make a bad thing worse. If venting isn’t working then just try something else, you have a lot to choose from.

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