Recreate the Retail Therapy High

It’s no secret that going out and buying things cheers us up - some even call it “retail therapy”. However, when money is tight and and credit scores are an issue, shopping really isn’t a sustainable way of staying happy.

So what is actually happening that makes us happy when we go shopping, and how can we recreate the experience elsewhere to stop it getting too expensive?

Why does shopping feel so good?

Humans experience sensations of pleasure and punishment according to the way in which chemicals called neurotransmitters are released in our brains. When we go out with a purpose and succeed in achieving it, we experience pleasure in the form of a release of serotonin and dopamine, and this encourages us to repeat the experience. This also happens as we drink water when we are thirsty, eat carbohydrates when we have low blood sugar and see our friends when we feel lonely. We can also get pleasure from exercise, too.

The pleasure and happiness we associate with shopping really comes from achieving goals and being with others. If we look at what we are actually doing when we go shopping, the final purchase is only a small part of the process. We tend to go out with a friend on a ‘mission’, move around, interact with others, and might even take advantage of the occasional discount to sweeten the victory.

When we shop, we achieve a goal, and the whole process culminates in a bag of prizes that remind us of our success. This same process happens in beauty treatments, exercise classes or when using gadgets.

Recreate the Shopping High

To recreate the pleasure associated with shopping, you need to have a mission, some company, a little exercise, and once you’ve finished, a token that represents success.

The mission could even be something you currently consider a chore, such as doing the laundry, cleaning or fixing something. For example, you could meet friends at a laundrette to do laundry together, rather than doing it at home alone. Bring snacks, a little gossip, and take home clean laundry and a sense of achievement.

For others it might be finding one job that you’ve been putting off, such as cleaning the windows. So if this sounds like you, why not invite some friends to help you do it? For the price of a packet of biscuits and a few mugs of tea, your friendships will be strengthened, the job done, and money saved.

Remember, saving money is rewarding and doesn’t have to make life less pleasurable.

Here at FairMoneyTM we believe that credit is something people need for necessities and unforeseen emergencies, not for treats and luxuries. Whilst we can help you with loans for things you need, such as birthday and holiday gifts, please don’t use us for “retail therapy”, when so many other things can make you feel just as good!

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