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Noticed an interesting story from Spain today. Researchers from the University of Valencia say anger – which is widely perceived as a negative emotion – may actually reduce stress and promote feelings of happiness. Right, they’ve never been sat in a rush-hour traffic jam in London, have they?

But still, it’s a nice idea. What they did was, they took 30 blokes and made them angry. If you’re wondering how, they used a technique called anger induction – whatever that is (actually it consists of 50 first-person phrases that reflect situations that provoke angeer… Still no wiser? No, me neither).

But before they made their volunteers angry they measured things like their heart rates, testosterone levels and cortisol levels (cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone). Then after making their volunteers mad, the researchers measured the same things again. Not surprisingly, the men’s heart rates and testosterone levels increased when they got mad, but – and here’s the surprising part – their cortisol levels were lower than before anger was induced.

And that’s not all. However, here’s where it all gets a bit technical and confusing, so I’ll be brief. The Spanish scientists also measured brain activity during their experiments, and discovered that getting angry triggered a greater activity in the brain’s left hemisphere. Now if you didn’t already know, the left frontal region of the brain is where we experience positive emotions such as happiness (while the right region is related to negative ones such as fear and sadness).

Fascinating, right?

So next time you’re caught in rush-hour traffic (or any other stress- or anger-inducing situation) don’t hold back. Get mad. Shout and gesticulate. It could end up making you a happier person.