Venting is so old fashioned

Many of us have been led to believe that it is good to 'let it all out'. To talk about our problems. To vent or 'ventilate' our issues.

Just think about it - have you an issue or a problem that you have been venting about for a while? A long time? More than a month? A year? Several years?

Has venting helped or has it, in fact, solidified the problem, made it grow roots so that is now firmly established as a 'thing' in your life?

While talking about a problem can SOMETIMES help, more often than not, it does little good. It grows roots for the problem and it can actually stop us from engaging our brain in finding solutions for the problem or the issue.

The latest research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that is more helpful to talk through your problems, that is discuss them with a view to looking for solutions and alternatives.

So while venting occasionally about an issue may help you feel better in the short term, know that it is not an effective strategy for happiness in...

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Dealing with negative feelings

Are you desperately trying to get rid of negative feelings so that you can be happy?

Good luck with that!

According to research on happiness by Russ Harris (The Happiness Trap) it is unrealistic to expect that we can get rid of all negative feelings.

In fact, emotional wellbeing entails experiencing and embracing a full range of human emotions, sadness, grief, happiness and joy.

We cannot selectively turn off certain emotions. When we try to suppress negative emotions, we end up putting a blanket on all emotions. We cannot really feel joy if we do not allow ourselves to experience sadness.

A more useful approach to emotions is to recognize and label the emotion we are feeling and to acknowledge it, knowing that all emotions are transitory.

Happiness and sadness come and go. Let us practice noticing and labeling the emotion we are experiencing.

A simple but very powerful exercise.

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