Listen, we all get angry sometimes. Whether you got a parking ticket after being gone for five minutes or you stubbed your toe and it really hurts, it’s understandable that you’re angry and want to vent. That’s fine; vent out loud or to the wall or to your spouse who understands you and vowed to deal with your angriness through better or worse. Speaking of worse, the last place you want to vent is on the Internet. It’ll only make you angrier.

Studies have shown that venting does the opposite of what is expected: Instead of making the venter happier and calmer, venting leads to focusing on the subject for longer and eventually leads to even more anger. “Just because something makes you feel better doesn’t mean it’s healthy,” Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, told The Wall Street Journal.

Bushman did an experiment in 2002 that was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, which involved asking 600 college students to write an essay about abortion. The essays were criticized by a partner — actually, it was a researcher — and then Bushman split those 600 students into three groups. The first group hit a punching bag and was told to think of their critics. The second group hit a punching bag and was told to think about fitness. The third group wasn’t given anything to do.

After hitting the bag, each student was asked to rate their mood based on angry adjectives (mean, hostile, and irritated) and happy adjectives (calm, relaxed, composed). The students who hit the bag and thought of their critics were the angriest and most aggressive of the group. The students who sat around and did nothing showed the least amount of anger and aggression.

So, before you rage against the machine or whatever thing has made you mad today, consider taking some actions to reduce your rage.

Get Some Exercise

As in the Bushman study, go out and hit something. No, not the dog or your spouse: Hit the gym. Pound on the weights, run until you can’t breathe, hit that punching bag in the corner that was just asking for it. Physical activity can relieve stress and releases endorphins that actually make you feel happier.

Take A Timeout

You’ve heard everyone say count to 10 when you’re angry, but it actually works. Thomas Jefferson said count to 100, so if that works for you, go for it. Taking the time to think before relaxing will keep you from doing something you regret.

Practice Relaxation Exercises

Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be OK. That guy on the Internet didn’t mean it, and even if he did, who cares? He’s a thousands of miles from you, so just take a breath, do some yoga, or meditate.


Laughter really is the best medicine. Turn on your favorite comedy and have a chuckle. Read the comics in the newspaper. Go on r/funny on Reddit and see what glorious things the Internet has come up with.