How to Boost 4 Different Happiness Hormones through Financial Planning
Most people think of financial planning as a source of stress. If this is you, I have news for you: you have it ALL wrong. Creating and following a financial plan is a great way to REDUCE your stress. In fact, financial planning activities are guaranteed to release the four key hormones –dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin and endorphins — that are all related to feelings of happiness and well being.
Not so sure? Keep reading to learn exactly how creating and managing a financial plan can immediately boost your happiness and keep you feeling good in the long term.
Dopamine and Your Financial Goals
Dopamine is a chemical messenger that flows through your nervous system. When dopamine is released in your body, it creates feelings of pleasure. These feelings can be very motivating.
This hormone is associated with motivation and reward. So, when you set up an exciting or important goal, you get a boost of dopamine. And, as you get close to achieving that goal, you get an even bigger dose of dopamine.
Setting financial goals and monitoring your progress toward those goals is a key aspect of financial planning and a sure way to release dopamine and happiness.
The NewRetirement Planner is a great way to create a plan (get a boost of dopamine), find ways to improve your finances (release more dopamine) and monitor and stay on track toward financial wellness (be awash in a continuous stream of dopamine whenever you log in).
Seratonin and Financial Anxiety
Seratonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer. It reduces depression and regulates anxiety.
One thing that can boost seratonin in your body is having a true feeling of confidence.
Feeling bad about your finances can trap you in a cycle of anxiety.
As you take steps to get your arms around your current and future financial situation, you will be able to release seratonin and feel better about your money — increasing your overall well being.
Just having a written financial plan is a proven way to feel confident about where you are financially now and where you want to be in the future.
Oxytocin — Trust and Connection
Oxytocin is often called the love hormone. It is involved in childbirth, breastfeeding, sexual activity, empathy, trust and social connection.
The hormone has been described as “an important component of a complex neurochemical system that allows the body to adapt to highly emotive situations.” For better or worse, money can be emotive in good ways and bad.
You can potentially release oxytocin by increasing trust and social connection:
Trust: Loretta Breuning, author of Habits of a Happy Brain, says that, “Social trust is what triggers oxytocin. If you hug someone you don’t trust, it doesn’t feel good. Trust comes first.”
Trust is difficult when it comes to money. Research has shown that financial services is the least trusted services sector. One of the problems is that most people simply don’t have enough knowledge to be able to trust advice from financial providers. Furthermore, many (but certainly not all) advisors are self serving.
Being able to track and manage your own financial plan with a tool like the NewRetirement Planner is one way to build trust. You can assess any advice you are given by plugging it into the system and seeing the implications for yourself. This can help you gain trust in advisors, articles, and yourself.
Social Connection: We hear it all the time, I don’t like to talk about money with friends and family. This tendancy to keep financial stress to yourself can be hurting you in numerous ways. Breuning says that, “You can build social trust by taking small positive steps toward people.”
Maybe you would like to try the NewRetirement Facebook group where people can post their financial questions to a supportive group of people interested in strengthening their financial plans.
Endorphins are mostly released in response to a physical experience. Endorphins are the happiness hormones most closely associated with exercise and laughter.
So, there might not be a direct connection to creating and maintaining a financial plan and the release of endorphins, but you are sure to feel more delight and be better equipped for laughter and joy with such a plan.
Think of your financial and retirement plans as the roadmap to a blissful future full of such endorphins.