Screaming: why it can be good for you
People might scream because they are in pain, angry or scared. Like crying or laughing, screaming can provide a moment of relief from an intense situation. The therapeutic benefits of screaming were first documented in the seventies by psychotherapist Arthur Janov PhD and he named it Primal Scream Therapy. Facilitated by a trained professional and used in conjunction with other therapies it can be beneficial to mental health. However, there are also other ways of screaming for stress release that you can do by yourself.
Benefits of screaming
Improves mood and motivation by causing a release of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain.
Decreases stress by releasing the stress hormone cortisol.
Fosters a feeling of calm after the scream due to the oxygen that has been used.
How to scream
For all these techniques try to find a space to scream alone or a way to block the noise as it can be distressing to others hearing it.
Lying down technique
Lie down on your back in a comfortable position.
Think about the things that are currently frustrating and stressing you out.
Now scream and loudly.
Allow yourself to settle and your breathing to return to normal. You will now feel like a weigh has been lifted from you.
Some yoga therapists have people:
squat and imagine they are pushing out all their frustrations and stress as they scream loudly.
stand in warrior pose to feel the strength and power of stress release as they scream.
Put on some energic music and just scream to the tune.
Or try experimenting with the pitch of your screams. The wider your mouth, the higher the scream will sound, the narrower, the lower the scream will sound.
The scream box technique
The scream box is a hand-held box with foam that absorbs sound waves and reduces the noise by 90%. Or simply scream into a pillow. Remember to keep releasing the box or pillow to come up for air.
The Traditional Chinese technique
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that screaming is beneficial for your lungs and liver. They believe that Liver energy should flow but often gets obstructed by frustration. To alleviate this, they do the The tree shake:
Stand tall like a tree then flop down towards the floor and slowly come back up shaking your body and arms like a tree in the wind.
Now stretch your arms up towards the sky like the tree’s highest branches, think of all your frustrations and release them with a big loud scream.
Another traditional Chinese practice is to just let out a good scream daily before undertaking any form of exercise.
Words of caution
Screaming may bring up emotions that are difficult to process alone. If feel that your frustrations are beyond minor daily irritations, it is advisable to work with a trained therapist. Consult your doctor for therapy advice.
Bear in mind that your scream could have negative effects on the people who hear it so always try to do it where others can’t hear you or dampen the sound with a pillow, folded towel or scream box.
Over to you
Whether you do a facilitated scream therapy session or simply scream yourself using one of the techniques above, it can benefit your wellbeing by releasing stress and anxiety, creating a renewed sense of energy and also be lots of fun.