It’s Not in Your Head: Feeling Hangry Is a Very Real Thing


Did you ever pinpoint the connection between feeling hangry and feeling angry? That I to say, when you’re hangry, you are more likely to snap at those surrounding you, even if you don’t necessarily have a reason to do so? This unexpected and unreasonable rage is described as hangera feeling that combines anger and hanger. And, as noted by experts, it is utterly real.

As scientists put it, when you don’t eat, the blood sugar levels are lower than normal. So, in order to make up for this blood sugar falls, the body releases other hormones – namely cortisol and epinephrine. Nevertheless, the thing is that these hormones might cause irritability. So, this definitely explains the reason you might be unusually grumpy whenever you skip a meal.

Still, these aren’t the only hormones that play a role in the hanger – neuropeptide Y is also worth mentioning. This hormone triggers the feeling of the hanger when the body needs more food. It is also associated with aggression.

Understanding the Concept of Hanger

Your body is responsible for keeping you alive and well. And in order to accomplish this, it needs energy, and energy is, of course, associated with food. Your body doesn’t get that you didn’t eat a meal because you had to work late, or you got stuck in a meeting. That is to say, when your body reckons that you didn’t provide it with a consistent meal, or it has a deficit of calories, it reacts.

Toddlers account for the demographic that is widely linked with crankiness induced by the hanger. And while we, as adults, don’t necessarily experience similar meltdowns, this doesn’t mean we are immune.

There is actually a study that explains the science of hanger. It appeared in the June 2018 issue of Emotion, aiming at clarifying the specific conditions that lead to the hanger. The purpose of the study was to determine whether hanger triggers an emotional response, or there are other elements that play a role in the equation, as well.

So, according to the study, we are more prone to use hanger-induced negativity when we are in a negative situation. That is to say, we are more likely to put the blame on someone or something because we find it difficult to pinpoint what triggers the negativity – the feeling of the hanger or something/someone in our environments.

In plain English, a negative context could significantly affect our perceptions when we’re feeling hangry. But, in general, these are subtleties that go unnoticed on an everyday basis. That being said, if you increase your awareness, and you evaluate your feelings, you could diminish the incidence of feeling hangry.

Eating Is an Emotional Situation

Many people ignore the feeling of the hanger, dismissing the fact that it actually makes them feel bad and angry. Truth be told, blood sugar management plays a fundamental role when it comes to managing your anger. If we realized that these two are closely interwoven, then, we would pay more attention to our meals. But, experiencing hanger day after day will make us and those around us feel miserable. It’s as simple as that.

Breakfast, in particular, is the trickiest meal of the day, because your body didn’t have anything to eat after a couple of hours; so, it’s more vulnerable to the hanger.

To conclude, even if we might fail to comprehend the reason why hanger happens every time, being more aware of your feelings and what triggers them will give you better self-control. At the same time, this may help you cope with your grumpiness and anger much more fruitfully, when the hanger is just around the corner.

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