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A Flash of Red Can Sharpen Focus

A Flash of Red Can Sharpen Focus

When you need to make a tough decision, just think about the last time you were angry.

Sounds counterintuitive, but a little anger can actually help you choose better, a study suggests. Just don't work yourself up into a rage. That state still sends all reason out the window.

Get Lightly Steamed, Think Straight
Researchers put college coeds in an angry state and then asked them to read a couple of arguments about students' spending habits. One argument was weak, the other strong. Students were better able to spot the stronger argument when they were a little peeved. Why? Anger may trigger adaptive behaviors -- the kind of behaviors that allow people to adjust to circumstances and make productive, constructive choices. 

But Don't Lose It
Fleeting moments of anger may give you focus, but chronic tension and hostility will take a toll on your health -- possibly increasing your risk of heart disease. Are you a hothead? Try these anger management tips.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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