Have you heard of retail therapy (or shopping therapy) before? You’re probably thinking “why the heck would wasting money on materialism help you relieve stress?”. Well, to answer your question, it does. Even with or without spending money (we call that “window shopping”).
We all have different opinions on whether or not going to shopping centres is a good way of making ourselves happy. Or, on the downside, just making ourselves seem anxious with the money we are losing.
There are other reasons why retail therapy help relieves work stress that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money every time you go out. I’ll be listing out the reasons why and it’s retail therapy psychology effect it has on you.
So grab your mug of coffee or tea and let’s get right into it!
Being alone all day can be suffering sometimes. I know some people (like most teenagers for example) who would rather be isolated in their room instead of going out and interacting with people.
I’ve done online school for 2 years now and I know for a fact that it is certainly not fun and what you had imagined life would be like if you were not going to public school. Also, don’t give me that look because I, in fact, have social anxiety and I’m scared to interact with random strangers till now.
Whenever I go out shopping now, I am surrounded by other people and it makes me feel “not isolated”. Do you know what I mean? Right? Well, what I really mean is, it boosts my own self-esteem and makes me “distracted”. We’re humans and we’re supposed to interact with the people around us in this one large rock.
Although there are times where I just don’t want to be surrounded by people when you isolate yourself for a really long time, you’re gonna end up being depressed and lonely because you will overthink too much when you’re feeling disconnected from the world.
Temporary happiness for me when purchasing an item
Weird, I know. I even said in the beginning that it “doesn’t involve spending A LOT of money”. That’s being hypocritical of me. Look, let me explain it to you.
It’s probably a “bad idea” to be purchasing materialism that you probably won’t need in the future or quickly to break but it’s actually a relief for me when purchasing items that I actually need. For example, you’ll probably need a bed to sleep on right?
Whenever I purchase what I need (for easy life convince) and tick it done in my shopping list, I actually feel really accomplished and good about myself for going out and getting the list done. It’s like, finishing off a goal. And also, you’re taking the time out of your day to get off the couch and do something productive.
An Example of Retail Therapy’s Psychology Coming in Use
For example, there was a time where I needed a convenient item that will help me not carry my entire laptop around when I shop. That’s why I decided to purchase my Samsung tablet for a big cost. But, I also wanted it to act as a laptop so I purchased myself a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard that I can travel with anywhere on the go and can not only connect it with my tablet but also connect it with my smartphone as well.
It may have been costly to you and me, but it also is like a “lifehack” where I can carry these two lightweight items with me anywhere and not have to come home with a broken back and exhausted legs. With that said, I’m not buying things that are wasteful and will not be useful in the future. I’m buying items that are convenient for the future and that I would absolutely need for more than one use.
Now what is not convenient is buying a newer version of the phone when you’re already got a phone that is still working in good conditions. Or buying an electric toothbrush when you already got a normal toothbrush and never using the electric toothbrush (from experience). See the difference?
Hanging out with family or friends
Do you know why I’m always excited for the weekends? It’s because my mum doesn’t have work that day (well, actually, she doesn’t work on Sundays). And when Sunday rolls around, we actually make it a habit to schedule that day to go out shopping.
Yes, my whole entire family can literally empty the refrigerator within 2 weeks but that’s not the point now. We always do the grocery shopping during Sundays and it’s a great way to hang out with the family and have a ton of fun. As well as being closer together.
It has been a big improvement since my childhood as everyone grows up and life can end at any time so it’s best to use up that time. We didn’t have a great relationship during my childhood but it all changed now. This is a great way to keep up with the trends and gossips among your friends and also have a close relationship with your family.
Knowing which place to go
There are plenty of places that you want to go when making a schedule to hang out with friends. But what place? When trying to plan a date, you’re probably going to try to figure out the new location that you haven’t been to and you (or your mates) will probably stress out if you get lost.
That’s why the shopping mall is the quickest place to be the chosen location because you don’t need to think and plan. And if you know the place that well, you can even go out with your mates like right now. I go out shopping at different shopping centres so often that I know these locations off by heart!
Having plenty of stuff to do at the shops
I know that some people will get bored easily when they’re at the shopping centres but really, there are a ton of things you can do if yours is lucky.
My shopping centre has at least an arcade area, a cinema, food court, benches, fountains, etc. They are great places to have fun and hang out, have chitchat and gossip.
I have a library near my shopping centre and a lot of cafes around so we get easy access to that. You might have places that have a Cafe inside so you bring along your work and do it there to be more productive.
The reasons to relieve stress when going out to shopping centres is that you don’t have to isolate yourself (because that’s bad for your mental health), you feel better about yourself when you tick off your shopping list, you’re catching up with family and friends, you don’t have to overthink a place to go and you can be productive when going out.
What are your opinions about shopping centres? Does it help you relieve stress as well? Let me know in the comments.
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