Let’s face it, shopping is one of the most enjoyable pastimes we can experience in our lifetime. It has the ability to change our mood, change our look and our home. There is a reason why we spend so much time looking for the next best buy.
Shopping, like pretty much everything else we do, is for the pursuit of happiness. We humans are hard-wired to seek out experiences that give us pleasure, and shopping is right up there as one of the things we do to achieve that.
Here are 3 reasons why shopping is actually good for you! Yep!
- Shopping for, and purchasing, something we desire, like a new pair of shoes or a gorgeous outfit, releases serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals in our brain. It floods our body and makes us feel happy. Remember, we are constantly seeking out pleasurable activities. That’s why we continue to repeat the behaviour…so we can continue to feel good. This also includes buying gifts for loved ones. Oftentimes we experience more joy in the giving than we do in the receiving!
- The thrill of the chase. The hunt for the biggest and best deal, keeps us constantly scanning the internet, signing up for notifications, and waiting for the sales. When we have finally found our favourite pair of shoes for half the price, and they can be delivered free of charge, it gives us such a thrill that even though we will probably never wear said shoes, we don’t care!
When we perceive a win, we feel good. According to a study done by DataReportal.com, 49.3% of people love free shipping (especially from EcoTomble which has free shipping - always and on everything!), because it is considered a win for them. In an article by Oberlo.com, consumers would “much rather enjoy the ease of having their purchase delivered to them at no cost instead of going out to a store to physically view and inspect the product, purchase it, and obtain it immediately after purchase – even if it means having to wait.”
From the same study by DataReportal.com, 38.1% of consumers ranked coupons and discounts more highly than other customers’ reviews (31%) or loyalty programs (25%). (https://au.oberlo.com/statistics).
We have seen from the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales that people will wait for a bargain and enjoy their purchase more because they have been a super-sleuth and discovered a better deal. It makes people feel in control and proud of themselves.
- Self-image. This one is a bit more interesting and requires a lot of time with our noses in psychology books! But the gist of shopping and self-image is that one feeds the other. When we buy cheap things, like 5 white t-shirts from a discount store for $10, we tend to do it quickly and without thinking. Why? Because it doesn’t make us feel anything. There’s no reward or motivation going on, it is simply a transaction…like we are buying a loaf of bread or a carton of milk. But when we upgrade our purchases, for example, buying a better car or a brand-new jacket, it increases our sense of worth.
Many years ago in America, a woman was sitting in a lecture hall, listening to a talk about self-image. She was chosen as a ‘guinea-pig’ by the speaker and told that she could easily buy herself a Cadillac. Now at the time, a Cadillac was considered a luxury vehicle and out of the price range of pretty much everyone in the room. But she decided to believe him.
What happened next, was very interesting.
She thought, “Well, if I’m going to be driving this new car, I need to look the part.” She went out and bought some new outfits and changed her hairstyle.
She looked around her apartment and decided that anyone who owned a Cadillac should be living somewhere a lot better than this.
So she went to the real estate agent who showed her around some lovely apartments and she settled on one she liked, in a nicer area of town.
Now, to pay for this upgraded version of her life, the woman knew she would need to have a higher paying job, so she applied, and got, a promotion within the same company with more pay and better working conditions than her old job.
In a matter of months, she was earning more money, looking like a million bucks, living in a stunning apartment, and before long, had the money to go out and buy her very own Cadillac.
She had upgraded her life by upgrading her self-image.
When we buy beautiful things, even if we don’t need them, we feel good because we have this instinctive need to constantly improve and upgrade our lives. And this also extends to our home. If our home looks beautiful then we feel good. We feel proud to show it off just as we would show off a new pair of Jimmy Choos or a diamond necklace. Our belongings are our status symbols.
(There is also a psychological win when we feel we are more successful and have more material things than our parents and grandparents. Boy, we sure are complicated!!)
When you look at the reasons for people wanting to shop, we can see it is a perfectly normal and healthy way of being. (And we don’t mean compulsive excessive over-spending that some people struggle with. For them, it is not pleasurable…it is a mental health issue, stemming from neurological and emotional needs, not the joyful experience that shopping can and should be.)
When the joy of purchasing something you love creates feel-good hormones; excites you when you find your favourite item comes with free shipping or is heavily discounted; and helps to improve your self-image, then it’s hard to find any reason to stop! 😊
Just remember to always spend within your means, and make sure it is on something that will bring you joy and happiness. If it doesn’t, then it is not what shopping is all about.
Have fun shopping…and if anyone asks, say you are doing it for the sake of your mental wellbeing!!