Anger is red hot. Like other instinctual drives, existential experiences and primitive affects, anger can be denied or repressed. And when anger is chronically repressed, it becomes problematical, pathological, toxic and potentially dangerous to self and others. The solution, however, is not to hit a punching bag: This will not make the anger, resentment or bitterness disappear. But it will likely provide some momentary release of tension. The misconception that was held for long was that venting anger is an effective way to reduce stress. Venting feels great. It feels like if you get the bad stuff out you’ll return to normal.
An experiment was conducted in the year 1984. In the experiment the subjects after being deliberately annoyed were given placebo pills which according to the instructions were supposed to calm them or at least make them believe the same. When these participants are artificially infuriated and then given the fake pill, they both reduce their angry outbursts and – importantly- say that the feel better. This brings up the concept of mood freezing.
Mood freezing is the ability of an individual to alter their emotions when they are conscious and pensive. The method used showed that once people were convinced that aggression would fail to give them relief, they actually tried other methods which made them feel better! As a result, it was concluded that expressing unpleasant feelings doesn’t actually help to release them in the ways that other methods can. Sometimes having a few minutes to yourself or finding a distraction can help you see things in a different light.