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Change your shopping habits
March 6, 2016, 9:49 am

Many a times it happens that women end up buying things they didn’t expect to or need. This is mainly because women tend to fall somewhere along the continuum between ‘shopping strictly out of need’ to ‘shopping for purely emotional reasons’ and, like with anything, it is good to strike a balance. But if you find your shopping habits lean more towards emotional shopping and you are headed towards or pretty much at addiction status, here are four things you might do, either alone, with the help of a professional, or both.

Figure out why you over shop: If these statements sound like you:  ‘I have to buy something every time I go into a store’; ‘I shop online all the time’; or flat out ‘I have a shopping problem’, you are probably looking to gain some insight into your shopping behaviours.

If you are stuck and cannot figure it out, do not be discouraged. There are a slew of self-help books on the topic and trained professionals who specialize in helping you sort through your unique web of emotions and thoughts so that you can get to the root of your shopping problem. Once you figure out the reasons you over shop, then you can begin to focus your energies on doing something about it.

Rethink your relationship with shopping: Much of our shopping habits are intimately linked with early messages we received about shopping, our unique personality traits and coping style. If faulty ideas about shopping evolved within a context of unhealthy relationships, and problematic personality traits and coping styles, we are at risk for over shopping. One of the reasons people minimize or overlook their shopping addiction is that shopping is a necessity, widely encouraged and often regarded as a status symbol. This is mainly because today’s companies do not just sell products, they sell a lifestyle.

Find ways to fill the void: Shopping can be fun and there are tons of products out there to make it easier for you to live the lifestyle you choose. But you cannot overspend your way into a healthy emotional life, you can only cover up a poor one — and consequently feel more miserable with each regrettable purchase. It may take some work on your part, but you can find ways to feel better without succumbing to the urge to over shop. One way to do it is to replace your over shopping with healthier, more meaningful habits.

Be experiential: There is no denying that the urge to shop is certainly a distraction, and in order to reframe your expectancies you have to fight off those butterflies, nausea or distress that you feel when you get the urge to over shop. Allow yourself to sit with the discomfort of not over shopping and simply do nothing about it. It is not comfortable but the more you are able to do it, the more you realize you can feel it , still be okay, and reap the longer-term benefits such as a guilt-free, peaceful day. 

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