Mindful shopping, mindful living

Updated: Jun 28

If we say we need a little treat for sale, almost everyone can relate to the great happiness that comes with buying something small.

But does shopping really help us to feel better?

Yes, that's right, says clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD. "Studies show that there is actually a lot of psychological and therapeutic value when buying - if done in moderation, it is," he said.

"Whether you add items to your online shopping cart or visit your favorite restaurant for a few hours, you get mental and emotional support." he adds. “Even shopping through the window or browsing the Internet can be a daunting task. But also, you want to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. ”

Purchase restores a sense of control

Research has shown that making purchasing decisions can help strengthen the sense of personal control in our area. It can also relieve feelings of sadness.

A 2014 study by the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that commercial therapy not only makes people happier, but also helps them to cope with ongoing depression.

According to research, grief is often associated with the feeling that circumstances control the outcome in our lives, rather than the life itself. The options and consequences of the buying action can restore a sense of personal control and independence. This is true of the remaining grief we may also experience.

A 2014 study by the University of Michigan showed that buying things that you personally enjoy can be 40 times more effective than giving a sense of control rather than buying. In this study, shoppers were three times more likely to be depressed, compared to those who only browsed.

Visualization brings newness and stimulation of senses

"The aroma of something new, bright lights and colorful displays include creating a thoughtful, sensory experience that can take us away from our reality, even for a moment," said Drs. Bea. "This also translates to the internet - those fully-fledged, well-selected online products can keep our imagination moving forward as we present ourselves in satisfying environments."

Release and Secretion of Happiness Hormones

Scrolling or shopping through the window (but abandon the card midway) can have a positive effect on your mood. It is this simple expectation of reward or treatment that releases dopamine - a neurotransmitter hormone in your brain that makes you feel happy.

Dopamine increases your desire to keep looking for things that make you feel good (so commercial therapy is a favorite!)

"Some people think dopamine is released when you get a reward or you buy something, but it starts before you buy as you enjoy the best you can," he says. "It's about the whole trip."

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