Richard Wiseman changed how I get angry.

Rip It Up


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I’m going to recommend a book before I’ve finished it. That’s confidence.

Rip it up is the second book I’ve read by Richard Wiseman (I highly recommend 59 seconds anyway) and I have been blown away by the explanation given of how the body recognises anger in itself. To oversimplify vastly there is a sense in which part of your brain goes ‘I notice I’ve got an elevated heart rate and I’m warmer than normal, but my breathing is fine. I’m probably in the grip of some strong emotion, what’s going on? Oh, that pedestrian just walked into me – I’m probably angry about that. Grrr’

(There is also a sense that the opposite is happening – if I could explain it well then I would write a post rather than just telling you to get the book)

It has had a genuine effect on me. More than once since reading it I’ve felt like I was angry, but then when I stop to examine the feeling in this context, it lifts completely and I suddenly realise it was actually excitement or one of half a dosen other things.  The explenation in the first half of the book is excellent and does a good job of going over the experiments that were conducted to get to the bottom of this.

Read it, go on.  At least the first half.  Much of the rest of the book is largely saying ‘The scientific evidence is showing that you should fake it until you make it”

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