Curb Shopping Addictions

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life

Do you feel the need to shop when your day is filled with stress and anxiety? Has your stress-relief shopping become an unhealthy habit? If you answered “yes,” than you may be suffering from shopping addictions. Follow our tips on how to curb shopping addictions.

Relieving stress through shopping, also known as retail therapy, is more popular than you might think. In fact, a TNS Global survey found that 52 percent of Americans shop to relieve stress and improve their mood. Most men with shopping addictions tend to buy food (28 percent), electronics (27 percent), and music or movies (27 percent). Women tend to buy clothes (58 percent), food (35 percent), and shoes (32 percent).

Though it may not be dangerous for your health, retail therapy can have serious consequences. Retail therapy reduces stress by releasing feel-good hormones known as endorphins. The endorphins lift our mood as we have fun shopping for new things, but it’s only temporary.  Because the effects are short-lived it encourages us to make repeated shopping trips, which can lead to debt and other financial problems. It can also contribute to other complications such as hoarding.

Stay financial secure and curb shopping addictions with these Mindful tips:

Rethink the Way You Shop

 Remember, shopping isn’t necessarily bad, it’s stress shopping that’s the issue. Avoid shopping when your stressed or depressed as this could lead you to shopping for things you don’t need or won’t use.

Avoid Temptations

 Manage your shopping habit by avoiding the temptations. Consider unsubscribing to email and mail store notifications. Also avoid going to your favorite stores or visiting shopping websites until you have better managed your stress levels.

Create a Budget

Budgets are a necessity for financial security. Consider setting a strict shopping budget and creating a list of things that you already need. So, if you feel the need to shop you can stick to the predetermined list. 

Calculate and Plan Ahead

 To keep from overspending, consider leaving all your credit and debt cards at home and shop with cash only. This will keep your excessive spending under control. Also, consider bringing a calculator, pen, and paper so you can accurately calculate deals to see if you truly are getting a bargain.

Hold on to the Receipts

Always keep your receipts in a safe place. So later, if you realize that you’ve given in to your old shopping habits all you have to do is return the items.

Keep Records

Whether you’ve just bought a cappuccino or new bedroom set, it’s important to keep track of everything you buy. Seeing and calculating how much you actually spend on necessities and frivolous purchases may be just what you need to put your spending in perspective.

Positive Coping Habits

 Look for alternative ways for dealing with your stress. Consider the stress-relieving benefits of extra sleep (like naps), physical exercise (like tai chi or jogging), and healthy eating. Also consider talking to someone you trust, listening to music, or taking up a hobby.

Seek Professional Help

 If your shopping addictions continue, consider seeking professional help to investigate the reasons behind your serial shopping. If your debt continues to rise consider seeking financial advice from a professional.