The what, when and why of Scream Day
Tips & tricks by Radhika Ghosh
Scream Day is an annual celebration of the health benefits shouting, wailing and bellowing can bring. Radhika Ghosh explains how screaming can help manage your mental health, and how best to give it a go yourself!
Screaming has long been associated with something negative and therefore to be avoided in all circumstances. So much so that most of you reading this have probably been warned by your elders or loved ones against screaming and shouting.
But many of you have likely also experienced how effective screaming can be in giving you a way to release your emotions. The reason for this comes down to its 'primal' nature, according to clinical psychologist Arthur Yanov. Back in the 1960s, Yanov suggested that screaming was a natural way for human beings release pent up tension and emotions.
However, many psychologists and mental health workers in recent years have questioned this form of therapy. Screaming is not even acknowledged as a legitimate method of psychosocial intervention. However, just like cognitive-based therapies, which are primarily evidence-based, practising screaming can also have certain benefits.
How can screaming help with mental health?
Our emotions are reflections of our current state of mind. Just like love, anger, and sadness, screaming helps in expressing suppressed emotions. Here are some ways in which screams can be helpful:
Relief from frustration
When you scream, the pain buried in your heart comes to the fore and gets released. This gives your brain a temporary indication of being free from pain. As a result, it brings some immediate relief.
A mode of catharsis
Screaming, at times, can have a therapeutic effect. Expressing your internal tension through your vocal cord is a good way to reach the cathartic phase. Once the feeling of catharsis dawns upon you, peace and calmness are just a few steps away.
Brings calm after the storm
A good episode of screaming often leads to a much more restrained and controlled self. Venting out your fears, insecurities, and grief prepares you to rise up once again. You wake up from the ashes of your pain, rise against all the obstacles, and face life, all over again.
Where can you scream?
Having a really good scream is actually not the easiest thing to do (there tends to be at least one person nearby you'll scare the life out of!). To scream out to your heart’s content, choose a space where you feel safe, where you can be yourself, and where you feel you have the freedom to be vulnerable. Here are some screaming-friendly locations:
Terrace or balcony
If you do not find peace in your room, step onto your balcony or your rooftop. Make sure there is no one else in your vicinity. Now, scream to your lungs’ content. Let all your pain and frustrations disappear into the void of nature.
We all have been there and done that. From failing exams to our first heartbreaks, bathrooms have often given us the much needed respite from the chaotic world outside. Lock yourself up in your bathroom, turn on the shower and release all your emotions through a good scream.
If you are lucky enough to have a room to yourself, switch on your favourite music and scream. Let the music calm your nerves and make you feel more peaceful once you have flushed the negative emotions out of your system.
Go for a long drive alone. Stop your car at a safe place and just scream it out. Let all your emotions release themselves in the closed chamber of the car. Shout your lungs out, wash your face and head back to your home, ready to take up your challenges, yet again.
If your house cannot give enough privacy to let your frustrations out, move out into nature. Travel to the meadows, walk into the woods or go to the hills. Scream out as long and as much as you want. Nature has healing properties – you will always come back feeling energised!
Screaming is not the only solution
Screaming will no doubt make you feel relieved, as often happens after a good cry. But once you have expressed your emotions, it is time for a little introspection.
Have a close look at your problem and try to find its source. Screaming is often a temporary solution to your issues, so it is always a good choice to visit a therapist and seek professional help when it comes to dealing with anger or stress management issues. An expert mental health practitioner is the best person to guide you in your journey of becoming a better self.
Ready... steady... S-C-R-E-A-M!!!
Screaming is helpful for your health. So, why not just do it and feel less burdened, less anxious, and less stressed? Life is pretty hard as it is. Let’s not impose extra hardships on ourselves. Therefore, the next time when someone or something gets on your nerves, simply scream and let it out. Gone are the days of crying into your pillow or sobbing in the rain. There’s nothing worse than pent-up emotions and muffled pain. The time has finally come to acknowledge your emotions. So, step up, and release your frustrations through a violent and cathartic scream.
Learn more about Scream Day here.