As I began muttering under my breath about the stupidity of all the other drivers on the road, a friend gently said: “Maybe we should stop and eat something”. Quickly that road rage subsided.
It’s remarkable how quickly a fix of food when you need it can make pent-up frustration melt away. And there’s a great term for it: being ‘hangry’. It’s an amalgam of hungry and angry. The good news is that you’re not just a grumpy so-and-so, but rather, there is a scientific reason for your rage.
When we’re hungry, our body produces a surge in aggression hormones. It’s our caveman brain telling us to we need to kill that woolly mammoth and eat it now! (Though of course, it’s less useful when you’re trapped in slow traffic or in the midst of a Christmas-shopping crush.) But when you think about it, without this primitive drive, we’d be at risk of politely allowing other animals to feed first … and face extinction, explains Associate Professor Amanda Salis in her fascinating piece ‘The Science of Hangry’ in the December issue of Healthy Food Guide.
Now I keep a little stash of trail mix in a zip-lock bag in my handbag for when my fuel tank is running in the red zone. It’s my way of keeping that road rage demon under lock and key.