What Happens in Your Brain When You Gamble?

There are many things we can do with our time. Our world is rich with possibilities and activities and there is a plethora of possible things we can do. What is great about it is that all of them cause some kind of reaction in our brain, either positive or negative. Of course, those we do not enjoy are the ones we do not have much care for and would not mind never experiencing again. On the other hand, pleasurable experiences we want to turn into hobbies and do them as frequently as possible for one reason and one reason only: they somehow make us happy. It does not matter what is the cause of this influx of positive energy and overall optimism while doing something. What matters is that it is there and that you should think about turning this into your hobby because it obviously suits you.

Many Things Make the Brain Happy

Source: vox.com

Now, many things can become a hobby and cause positive reactions in your brain. For some people it comes in the form of sports and exercise. Others enjoy arts or crafty things where they can show their creative side and make beautiful things. For some individuals it is shopping that makes them happy, some enjoy eating and think of themselves as foodies whose hobby includes exploring cuisines. Traveling can be your thing, and so can gardening, carpentry, and other skills that can even become a second job. However, there is one more thing that you can do that combines many elements of all of these. From the thrill and adrenaline to potentially making it a second job and earning money, and of course the fun and entertainment element that is perhaps the most crucial part.

We are of course talking about the star of this here article, gambling. Considered as merely a pastime activity by most of those who do not enjoy it, gambling is actually much more than that. It is a complex activity that has many benefits and that can substitute basically any other hobby effectively, to the point of never returning to what you previously did for fun. There needs to be some control on your end because gambling is infamous after all. One can get indebted quite easily if they are not careful or lose money they cannot afford to lose. Developing an addiction is a very real possibility and something many beginner gamblers struggle with. This also has something to deal with our general topic here today, which is about what goes on in the brain when you gamble. Read on to find out so that you know what happens when you play your favorite online casino games. For a great place to do just that, be sure to check out onlinebetting.net.nz.

The Happy Hormone

Source: reddit.com

The basic premise behind the science of gambling and what chemical reactions are behind he good feeling is similar to anything else that fulfils and entertains you. The very fact that you get excited and become happy is enough for the brain to know exactly what needs to happen to allow this feeling to persist and last for a while. Gambling in its core has a few entertaining ideas for any person. Firstly, there is guaranteed fun because you are playing an entertaining game. Then there is competition since you need to win if it is to make sense. Finally, the potential for rewards and prize money is the ultimate goal and the biggest reason for enjoyment. All of these combine make a powerful cocktail of positive things that is in the center of someone’s thoughts when they realize it is gambling time.

This is when the happy hormones start to be released in greater amounts and where the brain and the body enter a very positive phase. First of all, there is dopamine, a hormone you have probably heard a lot about. It is known as the happy hormone or the feel-good hormone and it is a neurotransmitter that makes a person feel excited. The tricky part of this is that your neurological response to losing in gambling is also to produce more of dopamine, almost as much as when you win. This is one of the reasons why gambling is so hard to walk away from, because you are having fun on a chemical level even when you are losing. It is the thrill of the moment taking over and here is when you may start to have trouble figuring out that it may be time to stop for the day.

The Not-So-Happy Hormones

Source: calmsage.com

Apart from dopamine, another hormone is released in greater quantities than what is usually the case. This would be serotonin, a complex neurotransmitter that has numerous functions. It is best known for controlling the mood, cognitive function, reward, memory, but also learning and even vomiting. Depending on what goes on during a gambling session, the levels and functions of serotonin vary and you end up feeling different. Losing and winning will have different outcomes but so will your overall mood and what you originally expected from the gambling session. Since around 90% of serotonin is produced in the intestinal tract, the feeling of an upset stomach, butterflies, or nausea can also be attributed to it.

Finally, who can forget about adrenaline, also called epinephrine. Both a hormone and a medication, its most notable function is regulating the fight-or-flight response. It raises the blood flow the muscles, output of the heath, and controls blood sugar levels. The flight-or-fight moment happens a lot in gambling which means adrenalin is constantly working its magic as you play your favorite casino game. Together with adrenaline there is also cortisol, two of which are often released together. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it is released when you experience stress-related symptoms. Depression and anxiety are some of the things causing chronic stress, all of which can be a result of poor gambling choices and outcomes. Again, different levels and combinations of all of these can be present in your body during a session, depending on what goes on. It is safe to say that the brain and the body have a lot to work with and go through when you are gambling!