Complaining and golf are like peanut butter and jelly. You rarely experience one without the other. Now, there’s a finding that bitching about your game can make your brain actually shrink. The hypothesis explains why we tend to lose our minds on the course.
So, before you make your brain minuscule during the next round, take a gander at this report by Golf.com’s Luke Kerr-Dineen.
Complaining, or even being complained to, for 30 minutes or more can physically damage the brain.
Researchers used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and found “links between long-term stressful life experiences, long-term exposure to hormones produced during stress, and shrinking of the hippocampus,” the study’s authors wrote. (The hippocampus is the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and is also associated with learning and emotions.)
The study doesn’t mention golf specifically, of course, because it’s focused more on the affects of complaining itself rather than where the complaining takes place. But think of all those rounds we have where nothing goes right. Bad luck, bad weather, shanks, tops, thins, whiffs, yips. Let’s assume you complain twice a hole — you’re already up to 36 complaints on the day, six above the high-end of the 15 to 30 complaints-per-day average, according to the piece. And you haven’t even dealt with all that annoying traffic home or taking out the garbage. Suddenly, this game we play for fun is fast-becoming the cause of your brain shrinkage.