Just thinking about shopping changes our brain chemistry. True, the very idea of getting a new item releases endorphins and dopamine. Although a little shopping may save a bad day, in the long run, buying new stuff to boost our mood can turn into a dangerous habit.
Impulsive shopping brings temporary happiness. However, anxiety, guilt and depression are around the corner. When we buy to avoid or relieve emotional distress we engage in compensatory buying, which can lead us to more distress and feelings of regret.
On top of that, it has been proven that owning too much stuff is bad for our mental health. A life of excessive consumption drains our energy. People who are afraid to toss out items or collect things for no meaningful reason are either dragged into the past or pulled into the future. A constant anxiety that keeps them from enjoying the present.
At one point, everyone can engage in impulsive shopping. It is almost contagious. During the busy consumption peaks of the year we are more vulnerable to fall into the trap. ‘Monkey see, monkey do’. That is why it is precisely at these times when we should stop and think. A good opportunity to do so is on one of the biggest, if not the most, shopping days of the year.