While a spot of shopping can be a great way to cheer ourselves up and treat ourselves after a tough week, for some of us, this hobby can take on a darker edge and become to much. In this article, we’ll take a look at the signs of shopping addiction and how to combat it.
When we think of addiction, we usually think of substances such as drugs and alcohol. However, it is possible to become addicted to behaviors, such as shopping. Just as a drug addict chases the next hit, a shopping addict chases the next purchase, and often, the feelings of pleasure and reward that come from shopping are as real and tangible as the shots of dopamine that come from recreational drugs.
The warning signs of shopping addiction can be subtle at first: Things like excessive window shopping, joyless and mindless spending of money, or being more interested in shopping than enjoying social activities. This can gradually increase to the point that money is being spent recklessly, relationships are being damaged by purchases, and disastrous amounts of debt are being racked up.
If you think you may be suffering from an addiction to shopping, then it’s important to reach out and get help sooner rather than later. Addiction counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be extremely useful in helping to break destructive patterns such as compulsive shopping. It is also important to make sure that practical goals are set, such as budgeting and creating a better understanding of the links between feeling and shopping.
It may also be helpful to speak to a financial advisor, and to look at the bigger picture of your financial situation. Often, those suffering from addiction to shopping don’t fully understand how much of an impact their habit is having. It is also important for those with a shopping addiction to focus on spending their money on non-retail activities, such as experiences and social outings.
Some may be more prone to developing a shopping addiction than others, and in these cases, it may be helpful to avoid temptation as much as possible. Technology can be both a help and a hindrance in this regard. Web blocking tools, for instance, can be a great way to limit access to online shops, while apps like Earny can help to track and manage finances in a more secure way.
In conclusion, although it is okay to treat yourself from time to time with a spot of shopping, it’s important for us all to be aware of the dangers of shopping addiction. With the right level of support and understanding, it is possible to tackle and make meaningful changes to our spending habits.