Have you ever wondered how many inanimate items it takes to release your rage? The answer is five, it seems. At least that’s the theory behind Toronto’s Battle Sports’ new Rage Room — a dedicated, contained space where you don protective gear, grab a bat and smash out your anger.
For $20, you are given 30 minutes and five plates to destroy. If you run out of china before you run out of hate, you can order more breakables off the à la carte Smash Menu. And for a few extra bucks, you can add vases, pictures and chairs to your prey.
But is wasting both money and items really the best solution to combat rage?
Reaction to the Rage Room is mixed: Some people like the idea of shattering dishes as a cathartic experience, while others exclaim annoyance over the waste factor even though the website says items are second-hand.
But if you’re not completely sold on the idea of spending money while being unnecessarily wasteful, you may be better off leaving the bat at the baseball field. Here are alternate anger management coping strategies, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic:
1. Use humour to release tension
Lightening up can help defuse tension. Use humour to help you face what’s making you angry and possibly any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go.
2. Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
3. Get some exercise
Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
4. Take a timeout
Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
5. Identify possible solutions
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening, or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
6. Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.