M is for The Magic or Madness of Money and the Brain

Thinking of money

Today’s neuroscientist and psychologist are studying what happens inside our brains when we think about money. Researchers in the emerging field of neuro-economics are finding that our thoughts on money create a great deal of brain activity that may powerfully influence our thoughts and actions. So, what message does the thought of money send to our brains?

Money impacts our personalities, relationships, how we think and feel.  Thoughts about money can have negative consequences to the individual but it can also produce positive results. For example, ruminating thoughts about money can reduce empathy, cause stress, economic segregation and negative competitive reactions. It can create fear that one will lose financial security causing negative brain activity. Research shows that people “hate losing money more than they love making it”. The lust and greed of money can also result in some compromising their ethic and moral values and even creates aggression.

The upside to positive monetary matters is that it can provide opportunities that contribute to fulfilling options and opportunities for a happy life. Studies show sharing monetary gains in charitable causes provides a “warm glow” to the body and brain. Just the thought of giving produces positive brain activity. People actually derive pleasure from charitable giving. It has been shown that happy people tend to give more monetarily, and then giving makes them happy and it is a powerfully positive cycle. Giving it turns out is good for your health. It reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. It also promotes social connection and evokes gratitude.

Neuroscientists have done many studies showing the negative and positive effects of money and the brain. What matters is to understand money cannot guarantee happiness nor make anyone immune from hardships. Living a balanced life; equalizing spending, charity, community involvement, family, rest and relaxation, and authentic living create true happiness. So, thoughts on money can produce Madness or Magic; but it’s a choice in how you let it dominate your thoughts.

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About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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