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Childhood Instability and Instant Gratification

"When you can stop, you don't want to. And when you want to, you can't stop"- Anonymous

Hello reader! Im glad to be back and writing another blog. If you have been following my Instagram, you have seen that I have been busy planning and recording the second season of my podcast, Imperfect Mellow Podcast. I also jumped back into the gym very briefly and been trying to adjust to Emma being back in school. Im also in the process of starting a second job which will be part time. Aside from all of life's busy moments, I've started reading again and listening to different podcast. I love learning about different topics in mental health, wellness, and self-help. Lately, I've been planning Emma's 6th birthday and have found myself buying all of these things for the party. It made me think back on her previous birthday parties and how I always go all out perhaps even on unnecessary things. I've always been horrible with money management and that's been a hard pill to swallow. If you're like me, you find yourself scrolling through Amazon for things that you think you need. You receive boxes of items that you may or may not use once or twice and never used again. I started trying to figure out if this is solely poor money management or if there is something else rooted in childhood in the way that I think about money. Have you ever though about that? How your upbringing and childhood influences your relationship with money as an adult? I started to do some research but couldn't find anything to answer this. However, I did find some interesting information on instant gratification.

If you're like me, you find yourself scrolling through Amazon for things that you think you need.

Instant Gratification Explained

So what does instant gratification mean? In simple terms, as defined on, Instant gratification is, "the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay". This applies to several different things. The desire for immediate results, the inability to wait to get something you want, etc. The neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved with helping us feel pleasure is dopamine. Its part of the brain's reward system. So it will reinforce whatever behavior lead up to it. Different things like smelling our favorite food, sex, shopping, exercising, etc can trigger dopamine to be released in the brain. I was thinking about how in present day, we have instant gratification at our fingertips. Our cellphones for instance, allow us access to whatever we want at any given time. Whether it be shopping, looking up information, or even having food delivered at our doorstep. Socially, we get social stimuli instant gratification through social media. Whenever we post something and get likes. Or whenever we just scroll endlessly. You no longer have to wait by your mailbox to receive a letter from a loved one. You can instantly connect with them within seconds. We desire connection to others and our cell phones have become part of us in a way. Think about the last time you misplaced or lost your cellphone. Im sure you experienced a moment of panic at the thought of being without it. The same thing goes for situations like shopping on amazon. Some call it retail therapy because it makes you feel good to even scroll and look at items that you want to purchase or can imagine yourself purchasing.

The opposite of instant gratification is delayed gratification. This is the ability to wait for a bigger reward. An example is, saving your money instead of impulse purchasing to be able to buy a house in the future. There have been studies done to look at the relationship between growing up in poverty and the ability to delay gratification. There is no right or wrong answer and different research studies found different things. One interesting hypothesis that I read about was that people who grew up in poverty or trauma may have poor decision making skills. Another one stated, that having grown up in an environment with limited resources, as an adult we may feel have scarcity mindset where we feel inclined to do things sooner rather than later. I thought these were interesting and fascinating to just read about. In my own experience, I believe what may cause me to have a hard time with delayed gratification at times is that I did grow up in poverty but never really learned about money management. I never had any money on me so when I finally was able to get a job, I spent my money impulsively. Im starting to recognize this more and this will allow me to make some changes. Of course there is so much more about this topic that you can google or research. I just wanted to share a little part of it. For more interesting info see video below or follow link.

Thanks for joining me by reading. Please visit my website for more awesome blogs, wellness podcast episodes, worksheets, and resources. Don't forget to share with a friend, subscribe, and follow me on IG for more self-help content 🔎




Welcome to my blog!

This is where we get real about how we can reframe our thinking and negative beliefs about ourselves. A casual self-empowerment blog all about self awareness and self-care. 

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