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Hot and bothered


ACCORDING to a report I read recently, hot weather actually makes you more likely to become angry.

Is it any surprise then that there is so much conflict in the Middle East?! Police in the UK say the summer months lead to an increase in violent, antisocial and anger-related offences, as tolerance falls and aggression flows faster.

Scientists now offer an explanation for such behaviour – we react too quickly. It takes 90 seconds for the neurotransmitters that cause anger to flush out of the system, they say. But in today’s culture, 90 seconds is a lifetime.

What matters is now: instant news, instant food, Instagram communication. The faster the reaction, the greater the reward, be it the video scoop, the sporting trophy or the business takeover.

But there is something we can do. Count to 90, before reacting. Stay cool. Refuse to be provoked. A Calm app (what else for today’s digi-culture?) has been devised to download in case of trouble.

Science has yet to convince us that the wisest response, when hit in the ribs or shoved aside by a queue-barger, is to reach for the mobile, click on the app and start to count.

But staying cool has often won the battle. Great commanders had a snooze before reacting to an onslaught. So don’t let rip when prodded. Instead, breathe in deeply. There are 90 different shades of calm.


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