Science has already proved that being ‘hangry’ – feeling bad-tempered or irritable when we’re hungry – is a real thing.
Now researchers at the University of North Carolina say you can stop yourself from blowing your top when you’re hungry.
They asked people – hungry and full – to judge a series of negative, positive and neutral images. Hungry people didn’t react to the positive or neutral images – but when they looked at the negative pictures, they rated them as more unpleasant than the full people.
In short, you’re more likely to become hangry in negative situations – such as being stuck in a traffic jam or dealing with a rude customer – where you’re not focused on your own feelings.
Taming the beast (literally)
So how can you fix ‘hanger’? The researchers offer three tips:
- Seems obvious, but pay more attention to your hunger – plan ahead by bringing snacks or packing lunch and set reminders to eat before you end up being ravenous.
- If you’re already hungry and can’t eat for whatever reason, do something positive such as listening to music or a podcast.
- Take a minute to step back and realise that being hungry is part of why you feel upset – before you jump down someone’s throat.
Makes sense – now I just need to remember it next time I’m stuck in Sydney traffic.