Rage rooms are popping up all over the world.
There are rooms in Toronto, Dallas, Houston, San Diego, Missouri, North Carolina and even in Serbia and Japan. Now Simply Smashing is to be Arizona’s first rage release room in Tempe!
I actually came up with the idea about 14 years ago while watching the scene in the “Blues Brothers” movie where Jake and Elwood, played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi are driving their huge black Lincoln Continental through a shopping mall and shattering everything in site — including tons of glass and crystal.
I was envious that actors get to do things like that that the rest of us could only fantasize about.
That’s when it hit me. What if there was a safe place with permission to go nuts smashing dishes, glasses, printers, computer keyboards, TVs or car windshields for stress relief and just plain fun.
Then about 8 months ago I saw a report on MSNBC talking about the Rage Room in Toronto. At first I wanted to kick myself for not following through years ago but, then I realized that now I have a couple of models to learn from. I spoke with Tim at Battlesports who owns runs the Rage Room in Toronto. He was more than generous answering all my questions and being very supportive. For a small licensing fee they would let me use their name, operating manuals, financials and even promote the Phoenix Rage Room on their website.
So, what is so great about Rage Rooms?
I don’t have to tell you about the stress epidemic plaguing us. The vast majority of us don’t know how to deal with it in a healthy way. It has to go somewhere. It comes out in so many unhealthy ways; usually sideways behavior like road rage, overeating, over exercising, kicking the dog, yelling at the kids or turning it inwards on ourselves often resulting in depression and worse, disease.
I don’t know anyone whose parents made it a point to teach them how to manage their frustration and anger. We all experience that judgmental chatter that’s always at the ready. Men typically have more avenues to release the anger through sports.
Women on the other hand typically are taught that anger is not an appropriate emotion to display.
Women don’t have permission to let it out. Where do they find the release? Kickboxing or Karate lessons?
Why take lessons when you can enter a rage room and immediately let it out without training? Interestingly enough over 60% of the rage room participants are women. Many are teachers, housewives and nurses to name a few. High stress occupations with heavy burdens.
That being said, imagine yourself standing over a thick, clear, foot-tall vase on a table. Your arms raised above your head with a baseball bat in hand. You imagine the source of your anger within the confines of the vase. It may be a person, but if you look deeper it’s really fear, shame, or maybe a rejection.
“I’m not listening to that critical voice today!”
The bat comes down and shatters the poisonous energy. Then you throw a dish against the wall and watch it explode. Now it’s not just cathartic, it’s fun, therapeutic and calming. After 5 or 10 minutes you’re exhausted but so much lighter with a huge smile on your face.
Best of all no one got hurt.