5 Harmless Ways to Release Pent-Up Frustration

Hoarding up our anger and frustration will always result in nasty outcomes. Anger is a natural human emotion, but it does not always have to come out negatively.

No matter how much of a peacekeeper you are, everyone gets upset, and you cannot hold it in or else there will be damage to yourself and others.

Now, it’s easy to understand why you would be afraid to release some frustration. Maybe it’s because you’re a naturally temperamental person or you hate confrontation. Maybe you genuinely don’t want to hurt your loved ones, or you suffer from a guilt problem.

But there are ways you can release it without doing harm to yourself or others.

1. Write a letter.

Perhaps you’re like me who is terrified of confronting people and communicates much better through the written word. In that case, write someone a letter.

Often times, the act of writing down how you feel can be enough, and sending it to the person isn’t necessary. But if say, it’s an overstepping of a boundary you’re addressing, it should be made known.

This is a good alternative because it allows you to lay everything out without being interrupted and it allows the other to hear or read it, and have time to think about it.

2. Destroy something trivial.

If you’re a little on the destructive side, and it does help you release, then destroy something that’s of no value that you will not regret later.

Tear up pieces of paper, punch a pillow, throw towels or blankets at the wall, break sticks, or maybe even raid your recycling bin for material to bust.

You were already planning to throw it away, so use this stuff to your advantage. Be sure to remove yourself to a space without valuable items or people to avoid making some regrettable choices.

3. Talk out loud to the wall, or to a pet, or to yourself.

If it’s something you want to say to a person, pretend you’re rehearsing a monologue to the wall, putting in all the energy and emotion that you would display.

If you need an ear to complain to, talk it out to your pet. There’s no danger in hurting feelings or having secrets revealed. If there’s no pet, then talk to yourself (we all do it, so you’re not crazy), using a mirror if you want to see a physical face.

4. Get artistic.

Art is a powerful outlet, a worthy distraction, and a productive use of impassioned energy.

Write a story, paint a picture, make a craft, sing your soul out, choreograph a dance to a favorite song, or do whatever it is that will produce art.

Reflect your feelings in the art. You’d be amazed at how well it works at releasing pent-up frustration.

5. Get moving.

Exercise is fantastic for so many things: depression, anxiety, insomnia, tiredness, anger, tension, frustration.

Put on music and dance it out, go for a brisk walk, grab your skates and head to the rink for a couple hours, bike through the neighborhood, play a one-man game of catch, or work the anger out of your system with some swings at the racquetball court.

Any kind of physical activity will help you blow some steam, and let’s not forget of the great health benefits it comes with!


Being angry and frustrated is normal. What we do with it determines whether we deal well with life or not, because it is unavoidable. Find a healthy outlet and practice using it. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself.

Image: iStock

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