Shopping is a part of life that you can't get away from, but some people are more enthusiastic than others when it comes to the act. Some people can spend hours bargain hunting across stores or wandering around window-shopping. Other people prefer to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, and others prefer to engage in online shopping for everything they need. Many people engage in retail therapy when feeling down or stressed. There is a mood-boosting effect that comes from making a purchase or just window-shopping.
Is retail therapy real?
Research has shown that there is a truth the belief that retail therapy is good for your emotional health. Studies have concluded that spontaneous shopping helps relieve bad moods as it doesn't involve negative effects such as buyer's remorse. Resisting the impulse to make a purchase also has a mood-boosting effect. Retail therapy results in an improved mood that lasts well after the shopping experience. It may sound financially irresponsible to engage in retail therapy, but studies have shown that most shoppers stick to a budget.
Shopping is beneficial for your mind.
Making purchase decisions helps restore a sense of personal control over your environment while easing feelings of sadness. Retail therapy gives an instant mood boost and helps fight off lingering sadness. Shopping stimulates the senses and visualization serves as a distraction from anxiety. The sensory stimulation of shopping causes you to visualize positive outcomes, which helps reduce anxiety and negative anticipation. The act of shopping causes the brain to release dopamine before you make a purchase. The anticipation of finding something worth purchasing causes the brain to release dopamine, and that's just from browsing or scrolling through pages.
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The Rules of Retail Therapy
There are a few rules to keep in mind to make the most of retail therapy. Sticking to your budget prevents you from overspending and risking falling into credit card debt. It's a good idea to set aside dedicated retail therapy money each month to ensure you stick to your spending limit. Set up a saving plan for a purchase that will put you over your limit. The delayed gratification that comes from saving up for something you truly want will be a rewarding mood boost.
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Retail therapy works when you shop for things you actually need. Even though grocery shopping or buying things for the house isn't thrilling, it still counts as retail therapy. Change up which stores you go to and find a new store that will interest you. Just being in the store and looking at different items for sale can boost your mood and cause excitement at the thought of finding a new product to try.
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No rule says you have to make a purchase right away, especially if there's nothing you truly need at the moment. Always consider your purchase before making it. You don't have to spend your entire retail therapy budget all at once. It's a good idea to wait a day or two before making a big purchase in case you are worried about overindulging. The act of finding something worth buying can be just as effective on your mood as actually buying.
Retail therapy can help alleviate feelings of sadness, anxiety, and negative anticipation. The dopamine rush from shopping helps boost mood while restoring a sense of personal control.