The science of the pain of giving up an item

You collect things for a number of reasons – maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, it has sentimental value, or you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item, even if you haven’t touched or used it in weeks, months, or years.

You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.

But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact.

Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of itempain of giving up an items you own and feel a connection towards

This is the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain from a paper cut or drinking coffee that’s too hot.

Your brain views the loss of one of your valued possessions as the same as something that causes you physical pain.

And the more you’ve commited emotionally or financially to an item, the more you want to keep it around.

— by Mikael Cho, Blog

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