Have you ever felt the need to go shopping after a rough day, and instantly felt better after making a purchase? If so, you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the true effects of Retail Therapy – an underestimated phenomenon that has helped many people across the globe through sad times. And I’m here to tell you a bit more about it!
Although it can be looked at as wasteful or compulsive, research shows that there are actually several psychological benefits of retail therapy – of course, when done within moderation.
So whether you go window shopping, do some online purchases, or go for a full-on spree, it’s interesting to understand why it just feels SO good!
Feeling in Control
Something that often causes anxiety, anger, or sadness in people is when things don’t go their way, when there’s an element of unknown, uncertainty, or lack of control over a situation. Shopping is a perfect way to give you control over your environment – you control where you are, what you purchase, how much you spend. The feeling of being in control can help to calm the mind, boost your confidence, and give you a sense of achievement.
When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping – and part of that is because shopping is a great distraction that stimulates all the senses and removes you from whatever it is that is causing you stress. Being in a different place and smelling, seeing, and touching new things can all help to “reset” your mind, which is exactly what we all need after a hard day.
Shopping has been found to release dopamine; the hormone that makes you feel good. And while many people think it’s the purchase itself that does this, it’s actually the whole process of shopping, from the excitement of browsing through items to making the purchase and having your “reward”, that triggers the release.
Going to the shops gives you the opportunity to socialise and chat and even feel like part of a community. Not to mention that here in Malta, you’re bound to bump into someone you know (or someone you’re related to) so you could also find yourself having an unplanned catch-up with an old friend or perhaps even meeting someone you admire. Now that’s a mood-booster we could all do with from time to time!
So go ahead and treat yourself to some retail therapy next time you’re feeling down or stressed… And where better to go than to The Point Shopping Mall? With such a wide variety of outlets and eateries, you’re guaranteed to tick all of the boxes mentioned in this article and leave feeling much better than you did before you arrived.
Gail the Feel-Good Guru