Sublimation: What It Is and How to Use It for Your Purposes

Sudden interest in some activity in childhood and in adulthood may be associated with an emotion or desire that cannot be expressed in another way. Then it’s sublimation. Let’s analyze it and how you can use it.

What Is Sublimation

Sublimation is a switch. This is when instead of hitting the offender, a person signs up for boxing and pounding a punching bag. Or writes sad poems about love when breaking up. Or plays real money slots NZ when it seems that control of life is lost.

Often a person sublimates strong emotions, the manifestation of which can harm him or others. For example, he is angry, but cannot afford to do it openly. Or to express anger in the way he wants to. Because it’s fraught with ruined relationships or job loss. Or maybe it’s just “that’s not the way it’s done.” So he goes and yells into a microphone. And that’s where the anger comes out. It becomes easier, and the feeling that you are about to explode disappears.

Automatic Defense

Most likely, this happens unconsciously. It’s unlikely that a person thinks: “oh, something I am torn with anger, I will go to karaoke”. Although it happens. But most often it works automatically. Sublimation is a built-in defense mechanism of our psyche. One of your friends suggests that you go singing, you check with yourself and realize that this is exactly what you need now.

Sublimation helps you express your emotions in a socially acceptable way.

At the same time, it helps the person himself: the anger goes away. And you don’t want to take it out on the cashier at the supermarket.

Sublimate not only emotions but also desires. Especially if they are forbidden. 

When and How Sublimation Can Help

Sublimation can be a useful tool. If you do not wait for the defense mechanism to turn on, and take matters into your own hands. You feel that you are experiencing a strong emotion, you realize that there is nowhere to spill out, you think of a way. Let’s look at a few examples.

Physical Activity

Let’s say you are angry. But you can’t express your anger in such a way that no one gets hurt. Physical activity can help. It’s unnecessary to hit a punching bag in the ring, but yoga is unlikely to work here. You need something more intense. For example, cardio training, brisk walking, wrestling, or dancing. Contact sports, such as volleyball, can help with feelings of loneliness. If you lack support, try running a marathon. You will get a lot of support from the fans.


Creativity helps when you are sad and hurting. Anything from writing poetry to molding clay will do. You don’t have to create yourself: just play sad songs, immerse yourself in this state and stay in it. This will also help. Singing helps you to shout, and dancing helps to remove excessive anxiety.

Getting the Emotions You Need

If you, on the contrary, lack in life bright emotions, they can be obtained by watching movies or TV series. Want adrenaline and shaking? Watch a horror movie. Not enough romantic experiences? Turn on a romantic comedy or drama.

We usually relate ourselves to the characters in movies and get involved in what is happening on the screen. And this allows us to get the same emotions as if the events were happening in life. If you’re watching a horror movie, you’re probably scared. Your heart starts beating faster because your body is releasing adrenaline.

Finding Meaning in Work

Work can be used to regain a sense of control in your life. When nothing seems to depend on you, you can try to find that feeling in work. You probably have a task that depends on you to complete. Or maybe more than one. Take care of them. This will allow you to realize that you are in control of the process. And if at least some of the process you do manage, then something depends on you. Cleaning the house and cooking can help.

All these are just examples that can tell you where to go. It’s unnecessary to go through anger in the gym, and sadness – with the help of writing poetry. Everything is, as always, individualized. So try to observe what activities bring you relief, what works and what doesn’t.

What Could Go Wrong

Sublimation is still not a cure-all. Here’s an example. Imagine a man who wants to start a family. But in his personal life something doesn’t go well, and he decides to go with his head to work, that is, sublimate. For some time, sublimation will work. Career will go uphill, a person will get satisfaction and prosperity. But if you devote all your time to work, you won’t be able to start a family at all.

Another example: a person doesn’t want to openly conflict with a colleague and pound the punching bag. A month of pounding, another month. And the conflict is still not resolved. Here you need to find the strength and resolve the conflict. Talk to your colleague and find out what’s going on. Sublimation will help one time, another. But it won’t solve the problem. It’s still a “roundabout way”.

Whats Then?

Sublimation helps put out a fire, release an emotion or satisfy a desire. It’s a useful tool for maintaining inner peace, but only temporarily. Sublimation works well with one-time outbursts of experience. But if the problem is chronic, it doesn’t get solved for a long time, and the desire doesn’t disappear – here you need active actions, not switching.

Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.