Why Does It Feel So Good To Smash The Plates, Or Something Else?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just wanted to smash something?
Perhaps you've watched a movie scene where a character hurls dishes against the wall in a fit of rage or visited a place where plate smashing is encouraged as a stress-relieving activity.
It's a scenario that might seem puzzling at first – why does breaking plates or objects feel so satisfying?
In this blog post, we're going to discuss the psychology behind plate smashing and explore why it can provide a cathartic release of emotions.
Physical Expression of Emotions
One of the primary reasons plate smashing feels so good is because it allows us to express our emotions physically.
Emotions like anger, frustration, and stress can build up within us, creating a sense of tension that begs for release.
When we smash a plate, the act itself serves as a physical outlet for those pent-up feelings. The sound of shattering glass and the feeling of impact can provide an immediate and tangible release, almost like a pressure valve being opened.
This physical release can lead to a sense of relief and even euphoria as our body reacts to the sudden burst of energy.
Stress Reduction & Catharsis
Catharsis is a psychological term that refers to the process of releasing and thereby providing relief from strong or repressed emotions.
Plate smashing can be a form of catharsis, allowing us to purge negative emotions in a controlled and safe environment. When we smash a plate, we symbolically destroy the source of our frustration, which can help us let go of those feelings.
This act can leave us feeling lighter and more at ease, contributing to a sense of stress reduction.
Sense of Control
We often encounter situations beyond our control in our daily lives. This lack of control can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration.
When we smash a plate, we regain a sense of control – we decide when and how to release our emotions. The act of breaking something intentionally can provide a temporary illusion of power over a situation.
This sense of control can be empowering and contribute to the pleasurable feeling that comes with plate smashing.
Novelty & Unconventionality
Let's face it – we do not do plate smashing every day.
Engaging in unconventional activities like smashing plates can be exciting and invigorating precisely because they are so different from our usual routines.
The novelty of the experience can stimulate our senses and trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.
The mere fact that plate smashing is out of the ordinary can contribute to the positive feelings we associate with the activity.
Attention and Expression
Breaking plates can also draw attention and serve as a form of self-expression. It's a visually and audibly dramatic action that can communicate feelings and emotions without the need for words. Smashing the plate gets the person the attention
Engaging in physical activities, even destructive ones, can trigger the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals. This can lead to a temporary sense of euphoria or pleasure.
Smashing plates triggers a stress response in the body due to the force and physical exertion involved. This stress prompts the release of endorphins, natural chemicals that act as neurotransmitters. Endorphins are the body's pain-relieving mechanisms and contribute to feelings of pleasure and well-being. The intense physical activity and pain from smashing plates cause the body to release endorphins as a natural response to alleviate discomfort and manage pain. This endorphin release leads to a temporary sense of euphoria and emotional relief. While this activity can provide immediate satisfaction, relying solely on destructive behaviours for endorphin release is not a healthy coping strategy. It's essential to explore more constructive ways of managing stress and emotions for long-term well-being.
Emotional Release in a Safe Environment
Breaking plates may seem violent, but when done in a controlled environment with safety measures, it can provide a safe space for emotional release.
Rather than directing our anger or frustration towards others or bottling it up inside, plate smashing offers a way to channel those emotions in a non-harmful manner.
This can help prevent negative emotions from festering, potentially leading to more serious issues.
Smashing plates can offer satisfaction due to a combination of psychological and sensory factors. The act provides a release for pent-up emotions, serving as a form of catharsis. The deliberate destruction of plates symbolizes control over negative feelings, offering relief from stress and frustration. The physical sensation of breaking, the loud sound, and the tactile experience contribute to the sensory appeal. Additionally, the novelty of engaging in an unconventional activity like plate smashing can spark excitement and interest. In certain cultural contexts, plate smashing might hold symbolic value, representing renewal or the shedding of old patterns. However, this satisfaction is temporary and doesn't address underlying issues. Seeking healthier outlets for emotions and stress, like exercise, creative endeavours, or therapy, is essential for long-term well-being.
In conclusion, the feeling of satisfaction and release we get from smashing plates can be attributed to a combination of physical expression, stress reduction, a sense of control, novelty, and the opportunity for emotional release in a safe environment.
While plate smashing might not be a solution to long-term emotional well-being, it can provide temporary reprieve and a unique way to let off steam.