The Winning Lifestyle - The Effects of Winning on Your Life & Brain!Jan 25, 2021
The Winning Effect
The most significant thing that happens in your brain when you win is an increased production of the dopamine hormone. In studies performed by faculty at the University of Exeter, the psychological effect of winning produces a more “at peace” state within a person and allows him or her to feel a sense of emotional satisfaction. Afterall, isn’t dopamine informally known as the “happiness hormone?”
So how does this little hormone affect the patterns of your life, and how does the habit of winning affect it?
Better focus and motivation
When your brain associates an activity with dopamine release, your brain’s dopamine receptors grow to accommodate that new influx of the hormone.
Like a field of sunflowers rotating toward the sun, your brain reinforces the neurotransmitters (sunflowers) that connect to those dopamine receptors (the sun) to increase the rate of exchange for that dopamine. In a sense, your brain is increasing its metabolism for dopamine. Because of this, your brain experiences a hunger for the “happiness hormone” and provokes a craving for the activity that produced the dopamine.
Your brain, knowing a win provided that fresh dose of dopamine, nudges you to “keep doing that thing you did” that led to winning. Alertness and increased motivation and focus are side effects of this sensation. Dopamine is like the dangling carrot, and your brain zones in on catching it!
Remember that “at peace” feeling I mentioned earlier? Yes, when you win, that dopamine causes your nerves and muscles to relax – allowing your body to enter a state of rest more quickly. On top of that, the presence of dopamine in the amygdala (a tiny little complex in the center of your brain responsible for unconscious body functions and emotion regulation) is indicative of lower levels of anxiety. Lower generalized anxiousness, especially in the hours before sleeping, can result in higher quality, more rejuvenating rest.
Against popular belief, winning isn’t all just random luck. If someone enters a raffle and there are 100 tickets in the drawing, the person who put 25 tickets in the bucket is going to have a higher chance of winning than the person who put in one ticket.
To a degree, intentionality and preparation influence the likelihood of winning.
"[You] have to set goals that are in [your] control rather than outside [your] control,” says sports psychologist Dr. William Wiener. “If you come in with a goal of winning a gold medal, that's not [a] very adaptive or effective goal to set. If you say, 'I want to run 40 miles a week,' that's within your control."
Creating a measurable goal, like entering sweepstakes every day for 30 minutes, is a controllable goal that will statistically increase your winning odds. Setting these goals and patterns allows your brain to connect them with the dopamine release of winning and will reinforce your desire to set goals and see them through.
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This blog post was WRITTEN by: Toni Graham Travis for RMT Enterprises, LLC / Sweepstakes Masterclass
CBS News. (2013, February 03). The psychology of winning - and losing. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-psychology-of-winning-and-losing/2/
Verbruggen, F., Chambers, C. D., Lawrence, N. S., & McLaren, I. P. L. (2017). Winning and losing: Effects on impulsive action. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 43(1), 147-168. doi:10.1037/xhp0000284
Schnabel, J. (2008, December 31). Dopamine linked to ‘anxious’ amygdalas. Retrieved from http://www.dana.org/News/Details.aspx?id=42898
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