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Six Great Ways to Vent Your Frustrations

Six Great Ways to Vent Your Frustrations

We all have ups and downs to life. How do you deal with the downs? Do you numb yourself and avoid them? Or do you find the hidden gift held within them?

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Each time a painful emotion is felt, it provides an opportunity.Pain gives us the gift of growth in a hidden package.Something is shouting out for a change.If we pause and open this gift, a great secret of freedom and love can be revealed.Sometimes when the pain is large enough, we have no choice but to look at it anyway. My largest pains have helped to open the greatest growths in my life.Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

Finding a healthy way to vent can even help to relieve anxiety, something more and more of us are suffering from in these times. Those who don’t find a healthy way of venting often stuff it inside until they explode one day or get into the habit of finding ways to numb themselves, such as eating. Venting can help to truly relieve stress, which is known to cause many ailments and “dis-eases” in our bodies.

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Before true clarity can be reached on why something is happening, it is best to free up the strong energy that arises from the frustration of the situation. Once that energy has been expressed, you can rest in the stillness, while still connected to the power of emotion, to reach the greatest levels of clarity possible. It is here where our insight is at a natural high. With the power of the openness we have after pain, our greatest growth can happen. We can release the ties to these situations and grow beyond them.

Here are some ways to vent out the frustrations, sadness, and anger that arise as a normal part of growing and a healthy life:

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  1. Cry. When you feel deeply sad, crying works beautifully.Often when we cry, we want a shoulder to cry on.If none is available, cry to yourself and receive it with love.Either way, allowing yourself the space to cry can work wonders on freeing up the stored up energy inside that is too much to contain within.While crying connect with the pain you feel and cry into it.
  2. Punch. If you feel very angry, you may feel the desire to hit something. A very healthy way of exerting this powerful energy is to punch a pillow. Hit the pillow like it’s the person/thing you are angry at. Yell and cuss at it as well if that helps to release that tension. Cuss words are great at opening up that stored up energy and getting to the root of your emotions. As you hit, smash into that frustration and feel exactly what aspects of it are making you angry.
  3. Write. Writing can help to clear the overwhelm of information in your head. It allows a pouring out of what is going on inside. Once you’ve written all you can, some things will still stand out or certain feelings may still be felt strongly. These are the largest lessons in the situation. Writing provides a great clarity that other ways may not give. You can easily reflect on what you were feeling in the situation once the emotion has passed in an effort to keep the lesson fresh in your mind and heart. Some people enjoy tearing up the pages after they’ve written as a way to exert their frustration. Molly Cook suggests capturing the emotions and negative energy in the paper, for your eyes only, as a private way to vent. Laurel Sutton recommends online communities such as Asshat! They allow a platform for transforming your frustration into an amusing rant and provide the opportunity for anonymous feedback, if desired.
  4. Exercise. Some of your most frustrating days in your life may turn out to be your best days in the gym. As Jen Olewinskiso beautifully puts it, “Plus, getting in shape can’t be that bad right?”Running, boxing and walking all allow great ways to vent.Many spiritual people find their way into their deepest connections through opening the door to regular exercise.Exerting energy in this way, with aregular commitment to their health, opens them like nothing else.
  5. Talk. One woman told me the story of a nurse who rode the bus every day. She found a way to stay remarkably young-looking by letting go of anger immediately. She did not direct it at her family or others. Instead, she got on the bus and waited for a passenger to sit near. She’d ask if they minded listening to her and if not, she’d share her dilemma. Once she’d talked it out, she’d thank them and get off the bus. Often times, we can learn so much just by hearing ourselves speak and we don’t need much feedback at all. If you have a trusted confident or teacher, even better.
  6. Create Art. What better to do than to channel this energy into creating something beautiful? Pablo Solomon is an artist who bangs a hung of stone with a hammer and chisel to release his tension. He used the frustration of 9/11 to make it one of his most productive times ever.

So how do you vent? Please share. You may help someone else who will connect with what you do…

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

Curiosity

Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

Patience

Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

A Feeling for Connectedness

This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

How to Self-Taught Effectively

With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

1. Research

Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

Learning the Basics

Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

Hitting the Books

Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

Long-Term Reference

While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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2. Practice

Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

3. Network

One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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4. Schedule

For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

Final Thoughts

In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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