Imagine your partner invites you out for a special date night to surprise you with something different. You end up in a room all by yourself dressed from head to toe in safety gear. You’re given a huge mallet and spend the next 15-30 minutes smashing things like plates, cups, glasses, and even furniture.
You have just experienced your first visit to a rage room. Sometimes called smash rooms, rage rooms are a fun, new way to blow off steam and destress, and it’s gaining in popularity. You’re placed in a safe, controlled environment and let loose to smash your way to relief.
Where It All Started
The idea is based on a concept called the catharsis theory that says if you express your anger safely, it will decrease your overall anger. It’s backed up by several studies including one conducted in 1959 in which subjects were given the task of hammering nails for 10 minutes after someone insulted them. It suggested that anger subsided more quickly in those allowed to vent physically than in those who did not.
Several other studies back this theory up, but other research suggests that it may not be the best way to conquer stress. Some health professionals suggest that more traditional stress relief techniques such as muscle relaxation and social skills training may be more effective in the long term.
Why Stress Should Be Controlled
Controlling stress has been important to health professionals for a long time. Stress has undeniably been shown to have drastic negative effects on our overall well-being. Chronic stress takes its toll on the body both physically and mentally in many ways. In addition to a general bad feeling (headache, upset stomach, insomnia), chronic stress can lead to diseases and other pathological conditions.
It all begins in the musculoskeletal system with taut muscles and affects every other system in the body. It’s extremely important to take steps to manage stress whether through relaxation techniques, exercise, counseling, or other methods.
Doctors and scientists have been studying approaches to prevent and reduce stress for decades. During the 1970s, Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School introduced the concept of “relaxation response” calling it the opposite of the stress response.
How To Relax
At least six relaxation relaxation techniques will evoke the relaxation response. One powerful technique instructs you to take long, slow, deep breaths and disengage from negative thoughts. Another interesting one is guided imagery in which you imagine yourself in a soothing place.
For a more physically challenging technique, the ancient arts of yoga, qigong, and tai chi can be combined to help you mentally focus and escape distracting or racing thoughts.
Rage rooms are a fun way to temporarily destress and allow you to release aggression. Embrace it and try other creative ways to destress such as escape rooms, axe throwing, and art, music, and dance therapy.
Just remember, rage rooms are not the end-all for stress relief. But when combined with other stress-relieving methods, they are a fun way to get rid of your stress and lead a happier and healthier life.