Considering the various ways to cope with stress, many individuals feel that "letting it all out" - that is, expressing their problems in a vocal or physical way - is a very productive way to deal with stressful events. They may be surprised to find that an individual who expresses painful feelings, which is defined as catharsis, may actually exacerbate his or her stress from a troubling situation.
Catharsis is a technique that fits under emotional control, a type of stress management, which is discussed in great detail in Chapter 12 of the textbook. Yelling, punching pillows and throwing balls against the wall, as well as the aforementioned "venting" are all forms of catharsis. As the textbook explains, catharsis can be beneficial when expressed in a constructive way, such as brainstorming ways to solve the problem at hand. But when used for problems with no solutions, catharsis can reinforce a sense of helplessness, which could effectively heighten anxiety or anger in the long run.
I find this very interesting because I've been told by many to simply "vent" out my problems, and I'm sure many out there have been told the same thing. But simply expressing nothing can be done at maximum volume and punching a pillow, though temporarily relieving, may be ineffective at eliminating stress.