Complaining about what’s stressing you out may seem like a good idea, but a study published in July showed that unloading about your problems to a friend may not always be helpful.
The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Kent in England, found that when people with traits of perfectionism faced daily setbacks, venting made them feel worse. These study participants felt less satisfied with their circumstances than before they talked to a friend about what was stressing them out.
“Venting is not an effective strategy for anyone trying to cope with daily stress, whether they have perfectionistic tendencies or not,” social psychologist Brad J. Bushman, who teaches at Ohio State University and has researched aggression and coping, told MyHealthNewsDaily. “Research clearly shows that venting increases rather than decreases stress.”
Instead, try one or all of the three strategies the study found to help people cope with setbacks; acceptance, humor and positive reframing, which means looking for something good in an otherwise stressful situation.