Tuesday, April 16, 2024

FYI :RAGE THERAPY- DOES SMASHING IT OUT REALLY WORK?

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Anger management has been a big task, especially for the current generation. While it becomes difficult to control your anger, there are different and unique ways coming up for anger management. One such example is “rage therapy” or “smash therapy”, which has also been trending on social media. But is it actually effective? What is this therapy like? Does this actually happen? The Pioneer’s Tejal Sinha brings the answers to all your questions for this segment of FYI.

There’s no denying that, in comparison to our forefathers, we current generations are easily irritated. Be it not getting your food on time, a broken relationship or your boss criticising you in front of your colleagues, getting irked over the smallest of situations has become our instant reaction.

In order to vent their anger, many either punch a bag or pillow or sometimes even break things up. But does that actually get you relief? According to research, expressing your anger, even toward inanimate objects, doesn’t make you any less angry at all. Whacking a punching bag or attacking a pillow actually seems to increase anger, not tame it.

There are various ways that one can control or deal with anger, according to psychologists, including going for a walk in the park, reading a book, trying out some meditation, or even listening to music.

We are sure you have seen videos on social media for quite some time now where people simply smash a television set or a microwave oven. This particular smashing of things has been termed “rage therapy” or “smash therapy”. In simple words, smash therapy lets you vent your anger physically.

Before we get into the effectiveness of the therapy, let’s understand how it works. So all you have to do is pick what you want to smash, and it’s always funnier to add your own stuff to the package! Your group will get its own room to smash. Currently, our rooms can contain up to six people. After you enter the store and pick up your package, you will be taken to an orientation room for a quick explanation of our rules and safety guidelines. You will be taken into your smash rooms after orientation, and you may begin smashing!
But is this actually therapeutic? Is this recommended for someone in order to control anger? Psychologists immediately deny it.

When you spend time thumping an inanimate object, like a pillow, or beating nonliving things in a rage room, you are conditioning yourself to quickly become aggressive the next time your anxiety levels rise.

Let’s hear what Dr Kalpana Sringar, a medical health professional based in Hyderabad, has to tell us about “rage therapy”. “Smash or rage therapy is relatively new. People who enrol themselves in this activity vent out their anger by smashing different objects, like TVs, washbasins, etc., with a hammer or a crowbar. Therapists and specialists who’ve come up with this method have noticed that people usually turn calm soon after they end the session. People who bottle up a lot of rages subscribe to smash therapy. Professionals like me do not encourage this kind of practice because it is extremely destructive. By indulging in such activities, one can physically harm themselves despite wearing protective gear.

Usually, when people are angry, we ask them to calm down, go for a nice little walk, meditate, or play with their pets. All these things help people calm their minds. I don’t really advocate people going into a room and smashing things down. It is a very harsh method to calm oneself down. I believe in the old-school method of taking up hobbies.”
While some of these rage-management practices sound fun, there may be cause to be wary. Venting can be helpful; however, rage is often violent and uncontrollable.

Seconding Dr. Kalpana, Dr. G. Srikanth, a clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience based in Hyderabad, says, “You can smash and scream all you like, but it won’t necessarily address the underlying issues. Rather than simply seeking to express and expel the emotion, it’s more important to seek strategies that allow us to bring our negative feelings into balance. Rage or anger rooms are one way to discharge feelings of anger, but they likely won’t make much of a difference in the long run.

There probably is a discharge of pent-up emotion in those moments, but I think it’s probably short-lived. Not only do rage rooms provide only short-lived benefits, but they may also pose a danger to some people. Those with serious anger problems who have become violent or destructive in the past might seem like the perfect customers for anger rooms. A rage room, on the other hand, would almost certainly reinforce those negative coping mechanisms. Anger rooms and other physical outlets for anger may temporarily expel the bad feelings. But they don’t address the underlying cause of anger or help people learn healthier ways to manage their emotions.”

Should you stay away from rage rooms entirely? “Not necessarily,” says Dr Srikanth.
He continues, “It’s fine if you want to go have fun with it, but I don’t think it’s particularly therapeutic. Some people get a kick out of smashing stuff just because it’s usually forbidden, and that’s completely fine. But if you are struggling with a serious anger issue, skip the anger room and find a therapist. Working with a therapist on relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring (a way of changing your thinking), and communication skills can help you feel more in control of your emotions in the long term.”

For the Hyderabadis, the city recently got its first-ever “Rage Room”, located in the Ayyappa Society in Madhapur. The brainchild of 25-year-old Suraj Pusarla, who says, “I would never go to an extent to say what we’re doing at The Rage Room is therapy. It is just a fun-filled group activity, and we’ve never promoted it as some kind of therapy.

When we were kids, we all really enjoyed breaking toys into two, right? Even after growing up, at one point or another, we all must’ve broken a phone or a remote. Why we started this business: Because we thought people would really vent their rage by breaking things.

Not just rage, but we think it’s an enjoyable group activity. We started this business two months ago, and we also give our customers the option to ask for specific objects they want to smash. For example, one customer asked for a guitar, and we got him one. We buy stuff that is scraped, and we sell it for recycling.”

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