Many people come to therapy worried that they are wasting too much time and money on meaningless things. You may ask questions such as:
- Am I a shopaholic?
- Why do I need to buy things to feel good about myself?
- Why do I always feel like I need more?
The answers to these questions are not easy. Psychotherapy often takes a lot of time to understand the root of the problem.
However, an easy way to assess whether shopping is problematic is to ask yourself if most of the statements below apply to you.
- you shop impulsively
- shop to relieve a sense of emptiness
- shop despite the negative economic impact
- Shop secretly to avoid being judged by others
- Feeling embarrassed or guilty about not being able to stop buying things
If these statements describe you, you are not alone. 2015 meta-analysis showed that about 5% of Americans are impulsive buyers.
This percentage is likely to increase as social media marketing, targeted advertising, and influencer culture entice more people to buy from each other.
But it doesn’t have to be. Here are his three ways to overcome a shopping addiction.
#1. follow the 24 hour rule
Let’s say you decide to buy an expensive new pair of shoes. Now all that’s left to do is fork the money and wear it at home.
All you can do is delay the purchase for exactly 24 hours.
Doing this forces you to go through a full day of challenges, joys, sorrows, and expenses without any new items. After 24 hours, you’ll have a better idea of whether the object is worth the cost.
#2.Browse without buying
Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that is released in the brain during pleasurable activities such as eating, sex, and shopping.
one classic paper was announced in brain research review Dopamine has been argued to have more to do with seeking rewards than with the satisfaction that rewards bring.
Similarly, Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, suggest Our brains get more dopamine hits from the anticipation of the reward than from the reward itself.
This could explain why window shopping is always a great feeling and why actually owning the object of desire tends to lose its appeal quickly.
Here’s how to extend these findings to your own shopping behavior. Set aside a few hours each week so you can browse the things you want to own. This way you can enjoy all the positive benefits of shopping while avoiding the negative consequences.
#3.buy something that connects
A good rule of thumb when shopping is to buy quality in small quantities.
Buying something trendy might seem like a necessity to keep up with Jones, but it’s smarter to buy things that don’t need to be replaced often.
Such items (for example, luxury watches) are generally built to last and hold much better value than cheaper items.
2014 study Published in Consumer Psychology Journal I’ve found that basing my purchases on who I am as a person gives me a greater sense of control over my life. This allows us to become less dependent on buying more things in order to feel happier.
Here are some related bonus tips: Save money on your purchases and choose debit cards over credit cards. This creates a stronger connection with the purchase as they are expected to own it. Also, avoid spending money you don’t have yet.
Having a problem behavior doesn’t necessarily mean you have an addiction. However, if he thinks his behavior is indicative of dependence, one way he can determine this is to consult a certified mental health professional. In the meantime, apply these simple strategies to reduce the negative impact of your shopping behavior.