Back in 2010, Snickers released a Super Bowl commercial promoting the slogan “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” While that was intended to promote the positive attitude you can get from eating a candy bar, new research shows there may be some merit to that statement after all. Brad Bushman, a professor of Communication and Psychology at Ohio State University, explains how being “hangry” (angry from hunger) is a real possibility.
Understanding this may help you better control your anger by satisfying your hunger pains before they alter your mood.
Why Hunger Makes People Angry
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for self-control. It uses up about 20% of the calories you take in. If there aren’t enough calories available for the pre-frontal cortex to thrive on, you lose your ability to control yourself, at least in part. This could inhibit your anger management therapy and it may hurt relationships with people around you.
Until now, the idea of being “hangry” was more of a societal assumption than anything else. Bushman and a team of researchers from the university conducted a study comparing the reactions of pairs of people drinking lemonade. One set of people drank artificially sweetened lemonade, while their opponents drank lemonade with real sugar. The pairs were asked to push a button to blast a loud noise into their opponents’ ears. Participants drinking the artificially sweetened lemonade created longer, louder noises to impose on their opponents than those whose sugary needs were “fully satisfied.”
Using Food In Your Anger Management Therapy
Being hungry is no excuse for being mean to others, but Bushman’s research sheds some light as to why you may feel more irritable when your stomach’s growling. To combat the feelings of “hanger”, try to eat snacks throughout the day to keep your stomach full and happy. You do not have to develop a food addiction just to stay pleasant. Keep some nuts or dried fruits in your desk at work to keep your calories up without eating full-blown meals every time. This will boost your energy levels and aid in your anger management at the same time.
Food Won’t Cure Your Anger For Good
If you have difficulty controlling your anger, you will need more than food to get your emotions on track. The anger management therapists at Perspectives Of Troy are here to help you identify the source of your anger and find healthy ways to combat it in the future. With professional counseling and proven treatment options, you can improve your mental health and quality of life moving forward. Contact us today at (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment for your anger management treatment.