04 Sep Why do we shop so much? The Retail therapy phenomenon and finding our balance
Imagine this: I’m at our house in San Diego, on a mission to wow my new neighbor, Dona, with a “sustainable fashion blogger” speech. But hold up – what grabs my attention? None other than the mountain of Amazon boxes towering behind her. Here I am, the sustainability champion, and there’s the evidence, loud and clear – my not-so-green secret. Cue the guilt trip, right? But wait, it’s not because I’m a total eco-fail or a shopaholic.
Ever wondered why we’re all turning into shopping pros these days? From the latest gadgets to those “can’t resist” outfits, that “Add to cart” button is like a magnet. But here’s the kicker: it’s not just us, the shoppers, who should take the heat.
Life’s become a rollercoaster, and guess what? Shopping has become our escape hatch.
In this wild decade, we’ve seen political showdowns, global pandemics, and stress levels that could break records. Our lives are a whirlwind of chaos, with stability, rest, me-time, and happiness going for a walk. Our world’s hung up on battles, bucks, and wanting more, while things like staying true to ourselves have taken a back seat. Sneaky ads and sneaky online tricks lead us to buy stuff we don’t even need. Advertisers know us better than our friends. Oh, and schools? They forgot to add “resilience” and “smart shopping” to their curriculum.
But let’s dive into stress-busting mode. When stress knocks, guess what we’re craving like a Netflix binge:
We’re convinced that something new can zap our stress, boost confidence, and make us glow with happiness. But let’s keep it real – it’s not that shiny coffee maker or trendy jacket that truly feeds our souls. Deep down, we’re dreaming of less stress, more Zzz’s, a job that doesn’t suck, and all that warm fuzzy love. Once we tackle these real needs through therapy or life coaching, the shopping itch starts to fade away.
Get ready for some science talk – our brains throw a party when we snag an awesome deal or finally grab that thing we’ve been eyeing. It’s like a victory dance happening in our heads, and we’re addicted to that “feel-good” rhythm.
Life’s like a non-stop show these days. When we’re feeling low, stressed, or just plain bored, shopping is our ticket out. Those shiny new sneakers whisk us away to a world where the biggest problem is “What shoes go with this outfit?” instead of bills and adulting stuff.
Thanks to social media, we’re hit with trend after trend. We want to fit in, rack up those likes, and feel like stars. So, we shop like it’s a marathon, even if our closets could moonlight as mini stores.
Imagine this – you’re scrolling through your feed, and your favorite influencer rocks a limited-edition, unicorn-inspired lipstick. Boom, your heart races, and FOMO takes over. What if it’s gone tomorrow? Better click “buy” ASAP! FOMO is like a shopping ninja, seriously.
Realizing we’re caught in the shopping whirlwind is step one to shopping smarter.
We need to shake off guilt by sharing our shopping stories and giving ourselves a pat on the back. With time, we’ll find better ways to handle stress and build habits that make us happy – without going broke on shopping.
Stay tuned, because next time we’re diving deep into better options and finding a way to tame the retail therapy beast, together! Your turn – what makes you hit that “add to cart” button? Let’s spill the shopping beans.
Words by: Monica Ma