So your boyfriend broke up with you over text, your boss ripped you a new one today for being late again and you just want to crawl into a hole and die. Instead, after work you decide to whip out your credit card and spend until it hurts. Ahhhh you feel much better with the new shoes on your feet and the glass of mimosa in your hand.
What you just experienced was ‘retail therapy’ – which is shopping as an outlet for your frustration or to relieve stress and anxiety. It can be fun, pleasurable, freeing and liberating until the credit card statement comes and you realise how deep a hole you’ve dug yourself into.
A 2013 study sponsored by Ebates.com, found that 62 per cent of shoppers had purchased something to cheer themselves up while another 28 per cent spent as a means of celebrating an accomplishment. Though it can improve your mood and disposition temporarily, retail therapy if not done responsibly can not only put you in debt but can turn you into a hoarder with tonnes of stuff lying around that you may never use.
On the flip side, retail therapy may actually be therapeutic as it can be a relaxing activity that requires no deep thinking or major decision making, except maybe to choose what colour item you prefer.
By engaging in mindless activity some believe we are subconsciously working out other significant challenges without even realising it. Who would have thought it could be so beneficial?
Retail therapy also gets us out and about, meeting and talking to people. Having that kind of human interaction helps us to stay engaged with others, so we do not fall prey to depression.
If done in moderation it can be good. Just do not go overboard and buy one of everything in your favourite store because that is when therapy becomes terminal.