screaming to relieve stress

Does Screaming Relieve Stress?

When’s the last time you had a good scream? I’m not talking about when you stub your toe on a corner table. I’m talking about going somewhere letting out a big loud scream at the top of your lungs. It’s probably been a while.

Screaming has a negative connotation to it. It’s usually associated with anger. You yell and scream when someone ticks you off, and it makes it seem like you have an anger management problem. But the truth is screaming and yelling can actually help relieve some stress and frustration.

Stress and Anger are NOT the Same

First and foremost, let’s get this straight. Yelling at someone because you’re angry is not the same thing as screaming to let out frustration. Yelling at people out of anger is projecting your emotions onto another person. On top of that, it usually doesn’t solve issues.

When you’re yelling at someone, it’s usually because you’ve lost control and aren’t able to express yourself in a calm matter. Notice that most conversations don’t start with yelling. Things may start out pretty peacefully but as you start becoming more frustrated and neither side seems to be “getting” the other, tempers flare and screaming starts.

On the flipside, stress-screaming is controlled. You’re purposely planning to let out some steam verbally. Think of it as another physical way to relieve stress just like running, squeezing a stress ball or boxing.

Why Screaming Helps Relieve Stress

Screaming can have a cathartic effect. For some, it’s therapeutic. When you have a ton of pent up stress brewing in you, letting it out verbally can give you a sense of relief. When you’re feeling flustered (not angry) releasing it out can make you feel a little more free and take some weight off.

In fact, some colleges actually encourage students to let out a “primal scream” to help relieve the stress of finals. The screaming helps them feel better, even if it’s only temporary.

On the same note, primal scream therapy is a legitimate form of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety, trauma and even stress. It’s based on the theory that repressed memories can actually be used to treat these conditions. Here’s a video from Dr. Author Janov that breaks down primal therapy.

Obviously, all of your stress isn’t necessarily linked to a traumatic event, but the research shows that screaming can in fact, be therapeutic for some people.

How to Scream to Relieve Stress (Without Seeming Crazy)

Let’s be honest, you’re going to look insane screaming in the middle of the office, even if you do it in a fancy scream box. We don’t advise you just start yelling in the middle of a crowded room.

You’re going to want to find somewhere private to scream. Ideally, somewhere other people can’t hear you. Screaming in your apartment is a good way to have the police knocking at your door. Some good options are:

  • Your car (assuming nobody else is around)
  • A mountain or somewhere high up
  • A sound proof room, if you can find one
  • Near a train track, just wait for the trains to go by so it can drown out your noise
  • A beach or park early in the morning when nobody is there
  • Into a pillow

The most important thing to remember is to look for places where nobody is around.

Next is the actual scream. How loud should you scream? How long should you scream for? Do you have to scream out words or just yell? The answer to all of these questions is the same. It doesn’t matter, there are no rules!

You’re just trying to let out some stress. Scream as loud as you want, for as long as you want and however you want. As long as you feel some relief afterward, that’s all that matters.

What if Screaming Doesn’t Relieve Your Stress?

Like all stress management techniques, screaming isn’t going to work for everyone. If you just feel weird and awkward after letting out a good scream, but still stressed out, maybe it’s not your thing. Try something else.

We know the idea of screaming seems silly, but give it a shot. It’s free and could be the perfect solution to relieve your stress!