Venting to manage anger? This might work better

We can all feel angry from time to time and people often think that venting anger will help us.  This might not be the case.  A recent study looked at what worked better to manage anger: activities that increased arousal (venting) or activities that decreased arousal (calming activities).

What was the study? (1)

Bushman and Kjærvik reviewed 154 studies including 184 independent samples involving 10,189 participants.

What were the results? (1)

The authors found that effects calming activities were more effective at managing anger than venting activities.

What are examples of calming and venting activities in this study? (1)

Examples of calming activities that helped manage anger, or activities that decreased arousal were: deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation.

Examples of activities that increased arousal that did NOT help manage anger were: hitting a bag, jogging, cycling.

What are some caveats? (1)

  • See the full study for further details (1).
  • The authors found that the results were stable over time for participants of different genders, races, ages, and cultures (1)
  • It also did not matter how the activities were delivered or taught:  (e.g., digital platforms, researchers, therapists),  group or individual sessions, field, or laboratory settings (1).
  • This means that one could teach themselves calming activities to help manage anger or learn it from technology or others, including professional settings (1).

Where or how can I learn these calming techniques? (1)

Check out previous posts or this link (3).

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By Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.


  1. Kjærvik SL, Bushman BJ. A meta-analytic review of anger management activities that increase or
    decrease arousal: What fuels or douses rage? Clinical Psychology Review
    Volume 109, April 2024, 102414.
  3. Mental Health: Proven Techniques (lifehacks, biohacks) and Expert insights  for specific tools and techniques to learn calming strategies such as deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, etc.