Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Nobody knows a person’s fate. There are many stories of unexpected fortune that makes someone suddenly rich.
Reporting from CNBC Make It, MIT neuroscientist, Dr. Tara Swart Bieber, revealed that there are three things that happen in the brain when you suddenly get a windfall in the form of money. Apparently, not everything means happiness.
So, what are the three stages that occur in the brain after receiving a sudden windfall?
1. Spike in dopamine levels
According to Dr. Bieber, a windfall can trigger a spike in dopamine levels. Dopamine is a hormone that can make a person happier. However, this overflowing joy did not last long.
“As time goes by humans tend to adapt to extreme lifestyle changes. As a result, increases in happiness are not always long-term,” said Dr. Bieber, quoted Friday (17/11/2023).
Dr. Bieber said that the phenomenon of getting used to a new life after getting a windfall is the “Hedonic Treadmill”. The “Hedonic Treadmill” usually gets a person back to “basic” happiness.
2. Experiencing the Five Stages of Grief
After going through feelings of joy, someone who has just received a windfall will experience five stages of sadness, namely denial, negotiation, anger, depression, and acceptance.
At this stage, the person who gets a windfall will deny what happened after being shocked and in disbelief. This rejection occurs as a form of understanding the sudden change in luck.
After realizing the reality, a person will negotiate with himself regarding how to manage his new wealth. At this stage, a person has the potential to feel guilty or regretful because they judge themselves as unworthy of the windfall they have just received.
Ultimately, post-negotiation anger may arise from worry about society’s expectations or self-doubt.
After feeling angry, a person may also feel depressed over the burden of responsibility of newly acquired wealth. Apart from that, the decisions you make can lower your mood and make life feel difficult.
Acceptance is the final stage a person experiences after rejection, negotiation, anger, and depression. At this stage, a person has accepted the windfall obtained and decided to move past the changed reality.
3. The perspective changes
When financial status changes, a person’s social dynamics can also change. Once word of a windfall spreads, a person may be inundated with requests for money and feel a loss of privacy.
According to Dr. Bieber, the brain’s assessment of perceptions in the social environment can cause a sense of alertness, feelings of isolation, and difficulty trusting other people due to the suspicion that there will be a threat.
However, thanks to a process called “neuroplasticity”, the brain also has an extraordinary capacity for change. Although these interactions may seem difficult, humans have “all the tools” necessary to create boundaries to protect themselves from any change.
“Therefore, keep a small circle of trusted people around you, meditate regularly, and keep a journal about your decision making,” suggests Dr. Bieber.
Apart from that, Dr. Bieber also advised everyone to exercise regularly, use deep breathing techniques, eat nutritious food, and get enough rest to avoid excessive stress after receiving a windfall.
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