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Could you use some time in the Anger Room?

Photographer: Chris Hart/Thinkstock

Does your home or workplace need an "anger room"?

A Texas business called the Anger Room offers a space for customers to vent their pent-up frustrations by smashing, hitting, kicking and throwing around office equipment, furniture and household items. After a bad day, they can don a safety hat, pick up a bat and step into the Anger Room, where they can freely throw a tantrum.

Founder Donna Alexander, a former call-centre employee, told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth she came up with the idea for the business, having had first-hand experience with needing to blow off steam.

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"Any type of call-centre situation, you can get verbal lashing," she told the broadcaster. "You can get called stupid; it's all your fault."

Ms. Alexander, who created the business out of her garage four years ago, recently moved the Anger Room to a north Dallas storefront. For $25 for five minutes, customers can smash up television sets, throw printers against the wall and otherwise let their rage fly. So far, since the move, Ms. Alexander has reportedly had more than 300 customers, including restaurant employees, hospital workers, attorneys, psychiatrists and their patients.

The common reasons they give for visiting are problems with their bosses or romantic partners.

Everyone leaves tired and smiling, NBC 5 reports.

But instead of lashing out, science suggests practising self-control may be a better way of dealing with anger. According to a new research review, published in the journal Current Directions of Psychological Science, people tend to behave more aggressively when they're forced to control themselves. However, the authors found self-control can be strengthened like a muscle and, over time, people who practised self-control were better able to keep their aggression in check.

"It's just like practising anything, really – it's hard at first," co-author Thomas Denson of the University of New South Wales said in a press release. But, he said, over time, it can ease one's struggles with anger and the desire to respond with violence.

How do you cope when you've had a bad day?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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