If a trip to the mall is the first thing that pops in your head when you’re having a bad day, you could be using retail therapy as a key antidote when things aren’t going your way.
There’s no doubt that shopping is a fun form of relieving stress, but as with all forms of coping mechanisms, it can be good or bad, depending on how we use it to manage our negative emotions.
To know if it’s healthy for you or not, here are some points that you should mull over:
IT’S GOOD IF…
IT LIFTS YOUR SPIRIT
Shopping when you’re in a bad mood helps regulate your emotions. It’s a stimulating activity that keeps you from sulking over gloomy situations. So whether it’s getting a new set of furniture, or booking a roundtrip ticket to wherever, if it improves your mood, then it’s all good.
IT REFRESHES YOUR MIND
Retail therapy frees your heart of heavy emotions by giving you more creative and less complicated things to think about. Instead of wallowing in depressing thoughts, you free up some space in your mind so you can decide on which lipstick shade to get, or which shoes should go with the LBD that you just bought.
YOU FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE PRODUCT
Regardless if it’s a $500 or $50 handbag, shopping follows a fairly standard process. And with retail therapy, it’s not really the stuff that you buy that makes you happy – it’s the enjoyment you experience as you go through the process of acquiring it.
IT’S BAD WHEN…
EMOTIONS TAKE OVER
Research says there’s a higher chance for people to take on mindless spending when they’re not in a good mood. This means that retail shopping only makes sense when we’re in control of our emotions, and not the other way around, or we just end up buying things on impulse.
You could buy a rainbow ruffled dress because it made your heart jump one second, only to remember you’re into minimalist chic when you get home and see your closet.
IT ADDS TO YOUR STRESS
Did you indulge in something you actually don’t have the money for? If, after the few moments of elation comes hoping your credit card bill never reaches you, you might want to rethink retail therapy as an option the next time you’re feeling down.
IT BECOMES A CYCLE
You know the feeling when you try to comfort yourself with a tub of ice cream after regretting the 2000-calorie burger that you just gobbled down? That can happen with retail therapy.
When the temporary bliss has faded away and you’re left with the guilt of splurging on things you don’t need, you tend to shop more.