Emotional ventilation: what it is and how to apply it to gain well-being
Aug 11, 2022
Emotions are the way in which human beings give meaning and form to our feelings, without them we would act as a kind of automaton. Emotions are reactions of our body in response to things we see or experience.
The cause of the emotions is usually identifiable to ourselves and usually this feeling occurs for a limited period of time. At first the emotion may manifest itself intensely, but as we continue to experience it, its strength diminishes.
Some people habitually bottle up their emotions, hoping they will go away. But far from being a good practice, systematically containing our emotions does not diminish their intensity; rather, it can put us at risk, as our emotions and how we express them are crucial to maintaining our physical and mental health.
There are different techniques in the field of cognitive behavioral psychology that help with the management of emotions. In this article we specifically talk about emotional ventilation, a new psychotherapeutic technique that helps express our feelings and also how to apply it.
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What is emotional ventilation?
emotional ventilation is a psychotherapeutic technique that allows us to give an outlet to the emotions that we try to ignore. Through emotional ventilation we can express our moods and feelings, to avoid getting physically or mentally ill.
Stress, anxiety and other mental health problems appear when we are unable to express what we feel. The main goal of emotional ventilation is to reduce the harmful effects that emotional repression has on health. This psychotherapeutic technique uses different physical and mental processes to help the acceptance and expression of feelings. It also makes use of positive affirmations.
If as children we grew up in an environment where emotions were not often expressed, or where showing them was considered a weakness, it is very likely that as adults we will choose to repress them in an usual.
In addition, also From a very young age we learn how our emotions affect our environment. We see that the people around us respond differently when we are happy or angry, sad or joyful. The reactions of our environment to our emotions make us classify them as positive or negative, and this is how we begin to hide, already as children, certain feelings that we consider invalid or defective.
But as we grow we must understand that there are no bad emotions. Human nature involves going through different emotions and accepting them, even those that we consider negative or are frowned upon according to our interpretation of the world.
Enjoying good emotional ventilation means accepting all our emotions and being able to express them.
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Why do we repress our feelings?
All human beings, without exception, go through bad times throughout our lives. Loss, failure, frustration are part of the human experience, these moments are accompanied by pain, sadness, anger, among other feelings considered negative. Some people habitually resort to repression as a coping strategy to get through difficult times.
These people often hide and avoid the pain they experience, either pretending that everything is fine or distracting their minds with other thoughts. They do their best to try to avoid the unpleasant feelings that come with negative experiences.
However, ignoring or hiding emotions does not make them go away, they are still inside. Emotions that are hidden or repressed often find a way to manifest themselves, sometimes as physical symptoms or even as an episode of anxiety or depression.
If we repress our feelings inside, they will eventually come out in the worst possible way.. By being able to express them, we are able to free ourselves from them. This will not only help improve our mood, but it has been shown that talking about what happens to us It has benefits in general health, both physical and mental, in addition to improving the relationship with the rest of the body. world.
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How can we apply Emotional Ventilation?
There are many different ways to apply emotional ventilation, the main idea is that people are able to to express their feelings and emotions to anyone in their inner circle who they think can understand them. This does not mean that we have to share our pain with the whole world, but rather that we can choose someone with whom we have a connection and who we know will understand us to free us.
However, some people are afraid to let go of their emotions because they fear being judged or because they don't have a friend available all the time. If there is no one in our environment with whom we feel comfortable sharing our emotions, self-expression can also function as an emotional window.
Taking time to validate our emotions, understand where they come from, and listen calmly and nonjudgmentally to what we feel can also allow us to unload. In some cases, writing can be useful to release emotions, especially when we are going through difficult times.
A specialized psychologist or therapist can help us process our feelings and accept them. This specialist will not only practice active listening, but can also teach us techniques to perform a better emotional ventilation, helping us to understand what we feel and also why we feel.
As we can see, there are different ways to free ourselves from our emotions. Emotional ventilation can be done orally, through dialogue with a friend or a specialized therapist, or in written form, where a third person can also intervene or be done individually through self-expression, for example thanks to a diary.
The important thing is that we choose the option we choose to express ourselves, we must not forget that all emotions fulfill a specific function, and the goal of ventilation is to give them space to be able to Free us.
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emotional ventilation techniques
There are many ways to release emotions, and some are more beneficial than others depending on what is needed. Next, we will see some exercises that can be very useful to use emotional ventilation.
1. Identify your own emotions
Most of the time, people are able to identify what we feel and the specific causes of our emotions. But in some complex situations it seems that we lose this perceptive capacity, for example we can show anger in the face of a loss. In these cases it is important to take time to identify the true feelings, and explore the situation in order to deal with it appropriately and recover our well-being.
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2. accept emotions
Accepting and embracing emotions is one of the most effective emotional ventilation techniques. Allowing yourself to feel different emotions, even if they are negative, is natural and necessary in life. Only by accepting that you have the right to feel each emotion, it is possible to achieve emotional balance.
People who do not allow themselves to feel are usually quite self-demanding with themselves. That is why it is also important to lower the level of demand with oneself and allow yourself to be a human being with all your feelings, including the negative ones.
3. talk to others
One way to free ourselves from our emotions is to talk to others about what happens to us. But this it will only work if we feel heard and understood. Active listening involves preparing to listen, observing nonverbal messages, and then responding appropriately. When this happens, it shows that our interlocutor is paying attention to what we say. This way of listening demonstrates a mutual connection between the speaker and the listener.
4. bring out the emotions
Emotional ventilation allows us to vent the emotions that we try to ignore. Some people have more difficulty than others in opening up to others or showing their emotions. In this case, you can find ways to release emotions that do not involve third parties, for example, playing a sport or finding a form of artistic expression.
To better manage emotions, you can also use different relaxation techniques, such as yoga or mindfulness meditation. In addition, these practices report great benefits for physical and mental health. Another technique for releasing emotions is to keep a personal journal. Diaries help to vent the deepest emotions, allowing us to get to know ourselves better and helping us to be more assertive with ourselves.
Finally, each experience and each emotion can broaden the understanding of situations and ourselves. Appreciate what we feel, and even why we feel that way, even if it isn't at first enjoyable, can help us understand ourselves better, and even allow us to get through difficult times with more ease. Expressing what happens to us is necessary for our emotional well-being.