Shopping therapy is a hot topic. The stigma surrounding it has been lifted, and now we are seeing the true benefits of shopping as a form of self-care. It’s no longer just for those with money to burn because even those who live on a budget can benefit from some retail therapy. The problem is that too many people form an unhealthy connection with shopping, often spending more than they can afford, getting into substantial debt, and sometimes even hoarding.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to leverage shopping therapy. Learn more about shopping therapy, how it works, some health benefits that come with doing it right, and how you can be sure your hobby doesn’t become an addiction.
What Is Shopping Therapy?
Shopping therapy is when people go shopping for emotional and health benefits. Studies now reveal that some shopping therapy is actually good for people’s mental health and can improve people’s overall moods, and even reduce stress.
Shopping therapy is not the same as impulsive buying, because it is intentional. There are no rules as to what you have to buy for it to count as therapeutic. Some people find joy in shopping for groceries as much as they do in buying a luxurious Versace perfume or a new pair of designer jeans.
Why Shopping Therapy Works
Shopping therapy is a way to reduce stress and anxiety. Not only is it a great way to treat yourself when you’re feeling down, but you can also use it to reward yourself for meeting goals or milestones. Because of this, shopping helps you feel better.
What Are Its Health Benefits
Studies show that shopping therapy is a healthy and productive way to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. It can even improve your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. Shopping therapy reduces stress by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. It boosts self-esteem by giving you something to look forward to. It’s an opportunity to improve your life through material items or experiences.
Not only that, but shopping therapy helps you feel good about yourself because it gives you an opportunity to do something positive for yourself. Some people get stuck in a cycle of focusing on negative things like criticism or rejection. Shopping helps to break this cycle. Rather than thinking about what others think of you, which is usually negative, why not try thinking about how you can make yourself happy instead?
How To Know If You’re Overdoing It
There is a point at which shopping therapy can turn into an addiction. One of the ways to know if you’re overdoing it is if you find yourself spiraling into debt to cover the expense of your shopping therapy trips. Another is that if you find yourself collecting more things than you have space for in your home. When you’re feeling guilty about your shopping, and the pleasure of the purchase is fleeting, then it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions.
What are you spending money on that doesn’t make sense? Are you buying things that aren’t useful or helpful in any way? Are you spending more than you can afford because of emotional reasons? If so, take a step back and consider how these purchases could be impacting your mental health.
Tips For Healthy Shopping Therapy
To make shopping therapy a healthy practice, try to shop in moderation. Don’t go overboard with the credit cards or spend so much of your paycheck that you put yourself into debt. The key to healthy shopping therapy is to keep it balanced and use it as an outlet for self-care, not as a way to fill some other void in your life.
Shop with a friend or family member who’s supportive of your goals but won’t encourage unhealthy spending habits. This is especially important if you have issues with self-esteem and confidence, shopping therapy can be used as a way to boost those things up, but it can also backfire if not done responsibly.
Shopping therapy can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety, as long as you stick to a healthy balance. If your shopping habit goes overboard or starts negatively affecting other areas of your life, such as your finances or relationships with others, then it might be time for some professional help from a therapist or counselor.