Unleasing the Beast

The science and benefits of rage therapy

5/15/20234 min read

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Don't freak out, or do! there's some real science here. Let's talk about what's happening in our brains when we experience rage. Rage is an intense emotional response triggered by a perceived threat or frustration. It activates the amygdala, a small almond-shaped structure in the brain responsible for processing emotions like fear and anger. When the amygdala is activated, it sends signals to the hypothalamus, which then releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare our bodies for the "fight or flight" response, causing physical symptoms like increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and tense muscles.

Rage therapy, also known as anger therapy or destruction therapy, is a form of psychotherapy that encourages individuals to express their anger physically and vocally in a controlled environment. This can involve activities like hitting punching bags, smashing objects, or screaming into pillows. The idea is that by allowing people to release their pent-up anger, they can reduce stress, improve mental health, and gain a better understanding of their emotions.

We all face unique stressors, such as starting new careers, navigating relationships, and managing financial responsibilities. Rage therapy can provide a healthy outlet for releasing stress and tension, helping to prevent burnout and improve overall well-being. Rage therapy encourages individuals to confront and explore their emotions, which can lead to increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence. This can be particularly beneficial for young adults as they navigate the complexities of adult life. By learning to express anger in a controlled environment, individuals can develop healthier communication skills and strategies for addressing conflicts in their personal and professional lives. Engaging in physical activities during rage therapy can provide an added bonus of exercise, which is known to improve mood, reduce stress, and promote overall health.

Let's go over some common forms of rage therapy

Screaming: This technique involves screaming into a pillow, shouting at the top of your lungs, or letting out a primal scream to release pent-up anger. Sometimes screaming in a controlled environment can be an amazing way to relieve stress quickly.

Breaking things:
This technique involves breaking objects like plates, glasses, or even a punching bag, to release anger and frustration. This technique has become so popular that Rage Rooms are a common place to go to break stuff under supervision. I imagine the folks that work there get to practice a good bit of release here and there.

Physical exercise:
Engaging in physical exercises, such as running or boxing, can help release built-up anger and stress. Sometimes that bit of "fuck you fuel" can really ramp things up and let you go the extra mile when you thought there was nothing left. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, so it's a win-win situation.

Controlled breathing:
Deep breathing exercises can help calm the body and release tension. There are so many amazing breathing techniques and ways to channel your qi in a strong and powerful way. I often think of Lou Reed's lifestyle of going to the park for some tai chi. Sometimes your energy can just be controlled and focused, doesn't always have to be a full-out rage to harness the same energy. Controlled breathing is a technique that can be done anywhere, anytime. Deep breathing exercises can help calm the body and release tension. When you're feeling angry or frustrated, take a few deep breaths and focus on your breath. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four


Some individuals may choose to engage in activities like shooting at a gun range as a form of controlled and safe release of anger. I know this is maybe the weirdest one on the group here to you, but listen, until you've popped some off to some cans, or at a shooting range, you really just don't get it. This is one of those lived experiences that you understand instantly. I remember my first time shooting a shotgun in the Colorado wilderness and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I didn't hit anything, but it felt amazing nonetheless. Of course, be responsible.

While rage therapy may offer some benefits, it's essential to approach it with caution. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with a history of violence or aggression. Additionally, rage therapy should be used in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or mindfulness techniques, to address the root causes of anger and promote long-term emotional well-being.

If you're looking for books on rage therapy, there are a few great options to choose from.

"The Anger Management Workbook for Women" by Julie Catalano
is a popular choice for those looking to manage their anger and learn mindfulness techniques.

"Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger" by Ronald Potter-Efron
offers practical tips and exercises to help individuals cope with their anger.

"The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships" by Harriet Lerner
is a classic text that focuses on understanding the roots of anger and how to transform it into productive action.

"The Anger Management Workbook for Men: Take Control of Your Anger and Master Your Emotions" by Aaron Karmin. This book provides practical exercises and strategies for men to manage their anger and regulate their emotions. It focuses on helping men understand the root causes of their anger and provides tools to help them cope with triggers and develop healthier communication skills. The book also includes tips for managing stress and improving relationships with loved ones.

So uh yeah, fuck some shit up.