11 ways to find relief from negative emotions
Everyone experiences negative emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy, hatred, guilt and frustration — especially if you’re human. Many of these emotions occur in daily life and sometimes they are so overwhelming and difficult to handle, that it takes a healthy outlet to bring relief. As a general rule, any type of negative emotion can be effectively extinguished by strengthening your coping mechanisms, engaging in positive behaviors, changing the way you think, reducing stress and dealing with negative emotions as they arise.
Simply getting adequate sleep, exercising and eating healthy can be enough sometimes to boost mood. People who feel overwhelmed with anger or stress may try to get rid of unnecessary stressors in their lives, while others may benefit from spending time with friends, talking to someone they trust about how they feel, going outside and getting sunlight, or listening to upbeat music.
These are some activities a person can do to find relief from negative emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness or anxiety:
1.Exercise. Exercising can ease frustration, sadness, anger and anxiety. Research indicates that people who regularly engage in vigorous exercise are “25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder” in the next five years, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). This is because exercise increases endorphins, brain chemicals that act as natural painkillers and mood boosters. For those having difficulty finding the motivation to exercise, websites such as Meetup can be useful for finding like-minded people to exercise or play sports with.
2.Attend a stress or anger management class to learn techniques to deal with stress and anger. People can attend anger or stress management classes online or in person.
3.Learn how to use cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques, which can change the way a person thinks and improve coping mechanisms in response to anger and stress.
4.Practice relaxation and breathing techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation and mindfulness, which can reduce stress hormones, improve concentration and mood, and reduce anger and frustration. Relaxation and breathing techniques can be useful for coping with everyday stress as well as improving mental health and well-being.
5.For those feeling stressed out, frustrated or angry, consider a place that allows people to break things in a controlled setting for a fee.
- The Anger Room in Texas allows people to destroy real-life rooms resembling an actual workplace, living area or kitchen, including dummies, TVs, tables and other breakable items.
- The Smash Shack in Jacksonville, North Carolina, lets people vent frustration and anger by writing and drawing on plates before smashing them.
- The Rage Room allows people to spend five minutes breaking furniture and other objects in a room, and then unwind with relaxing music.
- The Paintball Park at Camp Pendleton in San Diego helps relieve stress by allowing people to battle with others on an actual Army base field.
- Dig This Heavy Equipment Playground in Las Vegas lets people operate heavy machinery after proper training, such as driving bulldozers and operating cranes, to destroy things on a larger scale.
6.Try writing, journaling or drawing to help you deal with sadness.
7.Join a team sport like soccer, a kickboxing class or get a punching bag to use whenever you feel frustrated or angry.
8.Go to a concert with upbeat music for a mood lift or to combat sadness and depression.
9.Go into nature, such as on a hike or to the beach, where you can feel calm and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are dealing with. In Japan, “crying rooms” are available for people who just need a good cry. Allowing yourself to feel the negative emotions may help release some of them.
10.Go to a comedy club or a stand-up comedy show to lift your mood, gain a more balanced perspective and help defuse rage.
11. Volunteer or do something nice for other people to boost happiness, make friends, increase your social skills and have a sense of purpose, all of which can combat depression.
There are many resources available online and in the community to help people deal with negative emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness and stress. If you feel overwhelmed, try participating in some of these activities, as they may boost your happiness, help you deal with stress and anger, and hopefully provide some relief.
If your anger, sadness or stress is overwhelming and begins to interfere with your daily life, do not hesitate to seek help from a licensed mental health professional. The Sovereign Health Group provides behavioral treatment options for people affected by substance abuse, mental illness and co-occurring disorders. Please contact our 24/7 helpline for more information about our programs.
Written by Amanda Habermann, M.S. clinical psychology, Sovereign Health Group writer