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The psychology behind Rage Rooms
As the growing trend of Rage Rooms looks set to continue in 2020, we take a look at the psychology behind Rage Rooms and why giving people a ‘place to go and smash things’ is so popular.
Acting on impulse
Every human acts on impulse on a daily basis, whether that be quickly putting your foot on the break to avoid a reckless bird or going to the shop for bread and coming out with fifty pounds’ worth of shopping that you didn’t really need. While some impulse reactions are a necessary and helpful part of our daily lives, many others should be avoided.
When we experience anger or frustration, we have learnt to hold back on impulse reactions of rage or passive-aggression. What many of us haven’t been taught is how to channel that anger in another direction, which often leads to a build-up of tension and stress. In order to tackle this pent-up frustration, Rage Rooms gives people a safe place to go and relieve their anger through the good old-fashioned technique of… breaking things.
Rage Rooms as a form of stress release
Now, while this technique doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, there are plenty of people who regularly attend Rage Rooms as a form of release; a cathartic experience which would be deemed unacceptable in everyday surroundings. While it’s all very well to adopt techniques to curb and channel your stress, many people find that the primitive act of destroying something without purpose allows them time to truly let go of their stress.
Some therapists have recommended Rage Rooms to their clients as a way to relieve anxiety. They’re not deemed as solely a quick way of releasing anger; many Rage Room clients believe that it’s a fun way to relieve tension and tangibly release their frustrations without consequence. In a way, they are adopting a physical approach to taking charge of their own mental state.
In a recent article by The Guardian, Jahte Le tells them that “[…] going to the gym is about getting healthy, looking good, but when I’m smashing up toasters, the intent is different. When I behave like a caveman, I leave any negativity behind.”
Release of chemicals
Furthermore, intense exercise, such as smashing something up, releases chemicals in the brain which are known to improve your mood. Clinical Psychologist, Dr John Ratey, says in his book ‘Spark! How Exercise will Improve the Performance of your Brain’ that, “all your nerve cells are working overtime, there’s a prolonged release of neurotransmitters – dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine – and endorphins.” During this this type of physical activity, endocannabinoid receptors are also released into the brain’s reward centre and your brain will start to produce nitric oxide which acts as an antidepressant. This chemical cocktail combines to make clients feel pretty great after their session.
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