Emotional ventilation: how does it help you increase your well-being?

Practicing emotional ventilation is equivalent to expressing our emotions and benefiting from what they want to tell us and teach us about ourselves.

Last update: September 19, 2022

The emotional ventilation technique Its purpose is to promote a healthy expression and management of emotions. And it is that, often, phrases like “it’s not that bad”, “You can’t feel that way” either “you’re overreacting” they creep into our heads and override the way we feel.

In turn, these seek to mark the “proper” path on how to express our emotions. However, they are phrases that function as obstacles, which lead us to think more in terms of the expectations of others and to disconnect from what happens to us and what we are going through. How to deal with it better with this technique? Let’s see.

about emotions

Emotions are the basis for good physical and mental health because they give us information about our internal states and help us adapt to a situation. In turn, they have a social component, through which we can communicate and connect with other people.

They also motivate us for action, since they guide our decisions. In this sense, to discard or avoid them would be to miss out on all their contributions.

Emotions play a fundamental role in physical and mental well-being. Therefore, it is convenient to learn to recognize and manage them.

What to keep in mind to apply emotional ventilation?

Emotional ventilation aims to open up to our emotions, recognize them, express them, “give them light” and bring them out. This does not necessarily imply transmitting them to others in the first instance, but refers to sharing them with ourselves, accepting them.

In order to perform this technique It is convenient to take into account some keys which are presented below.

Suspend prejudice about emotions

It may seem difficult not to associate happiness with a positive emotion and anger with a negative emotion. But if we were told that this association is learning, would we believe it? What happens is that emotions are part of that unread chapter or that we overlook during our development and learning.

For a long time, much importance was given to the cognitive, but the emotional – emotional intelligence – was left aside. So, along with other beliefs—many of them “genderized”— emotions that could get us out of control have a bad reputation and, for this reason, they became part of “the black list”.

But, attention! Emotions provide information about how we feel, they are not by themselves good or bad. They are based on their expression, their management and what they trigger in us.

Let’s look at an example; A well channeled emotion of anger allows us to set limits in the face of an unfair situation, such as preventing someone from mistreating us. Meanwhile, a poorly channeled emotion of anger overwhelms us and overwhelms us, as would be the case of insulting someone who mistreats us.

Another point around pausing what we think about emotions has to do with something we just mentioned; there are emotions that arise as more suitable depending on whether we talk about a man or a woman. For example, a classic is “men do not cry”which prevents them from expressing themselves and asking for help.

Don’t get confused. Emotions are universal and it is cultural factors that have established that men do not cry and that women are more sensitive. However, sticking to this idea and repressing our emotions implies paying a very high cost with respect to our well-being.

Emotions must be understood and worked on, not prosecuted or avoided right off the bat.

Now yes; crumble the emotion

We have the emotion “hot”; we are there, feeling very angry because we did not achieve the grade we expected in an exam. For what is this? How did I come to feel this way?

It is important to be able to recognize what factors may be present in that situation in order to understand why that emotion is triggered. Of course, in the same situation, two people would react differently, only because they interpret and live that fact in a different way.

Exercises and techniques to put emotional ventilation into practice

There are multiple ways to put emotional ventilation into practice. Here are some examples.

Start by giving it a name

Anger, rage, anger, jealousy, envy, joy, fear… the emotion as it is, without trying to disguise it or “beautify” it. We feel it and live that way; that will not make us a better or worse person.

Vent them verbally or in writing

This will depend on the style and preferred mode of the person. For example, there are those who prefer to write or draw them, while others are better at expressing themselves with words.

Around writing, we can «deposit» emotions in a post it, as a way to remove them, to take distance from them and the way they surround us; «I feel bad because my friend, today I want to cry because, I had a bad day because, I was happy when… ».

Assess the situation

Another exercise that is key can be to make an evaluation of a certain situation in order to integrate thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

We can do it at the end of the day or at the end of an activity. How did I feel doing this? What could improve? Trigger questions that they allow us to connect with emotions and achieve emotional ventilation.

Emotional ventilation proposes taking a break to recognize and externalize emotions.

do it for ourselves

As we mentioned before, emotional ventilation is a way of thinking and feeling ourselves. Many times we are able to empathize with the emotions of others, but we do not apply the same rule to ourselves.

We judge ourselves weak, stupid or too sensitive to our feelings in certain circumstances. Being able to connect with emotions is a matter of self-knowledge, limits, acceptance and self-esteem. It is giving us the place we deserve to be able to start from there and grow.

That “emotional pot” that we try to cover —sooner or later—ends up reaching a boiling point, and there appear psychosomatic illnesses, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders. Therefore, “friending” with our emotions is more than a choice, it is about health.

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