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Ever had to make a decision about something and before you could make up your mind that tiny pressure from you bladder forced you to abandon your task and seek out the bathroom. Studies show however we should hold it in until we’ve made that decision.

If feels counter-intuitive but the urgency to pee actually enhances our decision making ability as researchers Mirjam Tuk and colleagues found out.

We all know that it isn’t wise to go food shopping with a grumbling tummy as we end up buying more, and often the food we buy turns out to be junk food: high in sugar and fats. And everyone knows that in the throws of passion all reason goes out the window, often leading to very poor decision-making.

The reason for this is that our minds react to certain visceral states (visceral states are characterized by intuition or instinct rather than intellect) and needing to ‘pee’ is one of them. But opposed to hunger or lust, the urge to relief ones bladder leads to a sense of urgency that encourages better decision making.
 
In tests Mirjam Tuk and her colleagues found out that the group who drank a lot of water, scored higher on the Stroop task (this is the exercise where you say the colour not the word the colour is written in ie: RED = blue not red)
 
The people with the full bladder were also better at making long term decisions. The test groups where asked to answer questions and could either receive a smaller monetary reward straight away, or wait three months and get the double amount. Those needing to pee were more willing to wait for the higher reward, which financially is the smarter decision.
 
And when given a word search puzzle, the group doing the “pee-dance” found it easier to find words, particularly those related to urination, like bladder, toilet etc.
 
So while we have all known that our visceral states influence what we do it now is clear if you need to make a decision, drink lots of water, clench those legs together and let your bladder decide for you.
 

It is only in our decisions that we are important.

Jean-Paul Sartre

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