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Smashing Stress

Seattle's Wreck Room

Written by Samantha Lund

Photography by Taryn Emerick

Have some unsettled anger, or maybe you’re just feeling a little wound up or stir-crazy from the rain? Destruction experts opened Rage Industry in 2017, catering to everyone with pent-up aggression.

Rage Industry is Seattle’s first “rage room,” which provides a safe space for customers to, literally, smash stuff. Depending on the package you choose, a room costs from $25 to $100, which includes weapons (baseball bats, golf clubs, hammers and crowbars) and a box of smash-able stuff (donated or recycled glassware, furniture, knickknacks and even toilets).

“One of our most popular items is actually toilets,” Rage Industry manager, Sayon Op says. “They stay intact through a lot, and you really get your money’s worth.”

Another popular option is to bring in a box of your own things to destroy, Op explains. “The weirdest things people ask to bring are usually fruits or cakes, I’m not really sure why. We have to tell them no.”

Rage Industry was founded by Seattle native Leslie Nguyen, who wholeheartedly believes in the stress-reducing power and pure joy that breaking things promotes.

Rage rooms are relatively new, and science hasn’t quite caught up to studying their specific benefits; however, the concept isn’t new.

The catharsis theory of aggression in psychology implies that through aggression (verbal or physical) emotions associated with trauma come to the surface and are then purged.

The catharsis theory has since been disproven as a “productive” way to handle one’s emotions since violent spurts can lead to more aggressive behavior.

However, most psychologists will agree that if you’re cognizant of the difference between violence and aggression, and maintain healthy outlets for rage that involve deep breathing, introspection and perhaps therapy, there’s nothing wrong with breaking things to find catharsis.

As Dr. Amit Sood, a medical professor at the Mayo Clinic, said, “It’s better to break a TV than a nose, that’s for sure.” In most instances, a wrecking room is a great experience, providing short-term relief. For most, rage rooms can be a wellness tool and a chance to get momentary relief.

If you’re aware of the downside to expressing physical anger, there’s no reason to stop yourself from smashing plates until you’re out of breath and too tired to swing any more.

Need more reasons to go have a smash session? Rage Industry has seen it all: people come in for pure fun, some for divorce parties, others for team bonding. Nothing would shock Leslie and her team at this point.

Of course, safety comes first. Remember when you book your first session to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Her team will fit you with a protective bodysuit and goggles.

There are also speakers in the rage area, so blasting your favorite playlist is always encouraged. Bring your own box of breakables and get a reduced room rate. The best part of it all? They’ll take care of all the cleanup.

For more information, please visit rageindustry.com.

 

5 Ways to Channel Your Anger

Besides Smashing Things

  • Deep breathing is a widely recognized way to reduce anger and stress levels. According to Psychology Today, anger physiologically arouses your body, so responding with deep breaths can reduce that arousal and relax you.
  • Reach out to people around you that can help. If you’re consistently overwhelmed with anger, find a psychologist or doctor you trust to talk with.
  • Exercise is a great way to spot-reduce anger and stress. According to a study by the University of Georgia, moderate exercise immediately after an upsetting experience can help manage anger by releasing endorphins.
  • Listening to music is another enjoyable way to reduce anger and stress. The structure of a song is known to calm the mind, and the emotional link to certain songs is known to promote positivity.
  • Know that it’s okay to be angry, but violence is never the answer. There are times when being angry is a correct response, and reminding yourself of that is sometimes all you can do.
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