I’m never at my best when worried about money.


Image from someecards

Seriously, it clogs my brain. I know I make sensible financial decisions in most cases, but those decisions require extraordinary amounts of time and effort and attention that get diverted from other important things.

Turns out that (1) I’m not alone and (2) there’s a reason for that. I tumbled across this brilliant insight in a discussion on npr.org, and I wish I could credit the author:

Excessive levels of epinephrine (a/k/a adrenalin) are released when a person considers his or her own stressful circumstances. The resultant “fight or flight” mechanism in the brain goes nowhere. There’s no one to fight to resolve the stress, and there’s nowhere to flee to evade it, so the brain bounces back and forth between the two evolution-provided options until it feels like it’s running in circles.

In America today, any stress can do this. Money is particularly good at it.

Doesn’t help a financial crush, but it provides some insight as to why it makes us feel the way we do.

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