SHOPPING MAKES YOU HAPPY RESEARCH SUGGEST – Researches claim that shopping is highly therapeutic and not only minimises sadness, it can also make you feel as if you are in control of the environment around you.
There can be no argument that we have turned into a nation of consumers and our materialistic greed really does know no boundaries.
We now happily shop when there appears no real reason to do so and then incessantly complain about the accumulated debt.
Britain was once an industrious and innovative nation; one that produced goods for export rather than one, as it now is, that imports.
I don’t doubt for a moment that many people feel a sense of euphoria when acquiring material possession but much like buying anything, the sense of achievement or rather satisfaction of owning what you desire, soon wears off and soon after another fix is sought to satisfy the craving.
Shopping, like any habit, can become extremely addictive and there are numerous cases of people ending up bankrupt due to uncontrolled spending.
The research was carried out by the University of Michigan who claim ‘retail therapy’ should no longer be dismissed, as it evidently does help people overcome depression.
Again that statement disturbs me greatly for what happens when the euphoria of acquisition wears off; do people feel even more depressed, therefore fuelling a greater desire to buy more?
A friend of mine the other day announced that she was about to buy herself a new BMW. Her current BMW is of course perfectly adequate for her needs and is only 8 months old but according to her she feels she needs an updated model and one that is larger; that is moving up from a 3 Series to a 5 Series BMW.
I personally can’t see the point and when you look at the amount of money she will lose on selling her existing car, it is tantamount to financial suicide.
I asked her why she felt the need to buy a new car and it was clear that she needed something to make her feel better or indeed lift her self-worth.
Is this really what we have become? Have we become so shallow that we need to acquire material objects just to make our lives appear worthy?
I decided to try out a little experiment on my friend. I showed her a website ‘justgiving.com’ which allows people raise money for extremely worthy causes, such as a child needing a life-changing operation.
I asked my friend to take some time looking through the different fund raising requests and come back an hour later to let me know how she feels.
The result was far more than I expected; she approached me in a flood of tears and regaled me with stories of how so many children and adults were in dire need of help.
Obviously the experience had an effect and she realised that her desire for a new BMW was no longer that important; indeed she had donated over £1,000 to various requests for funding.
We all have things that we desire; I wouldn’t mind moving out of my one-bed studio apartment so I no longer have to effectively work from my bedroom, but it’s not exactly a matter of life and death and I take the attitude that despite my feelings there are some poor souls out there that would gladly give an arm or a leg for my home.
For me it’s all about perspective and knowing how to put each desire in the right order; I’m not going to say I wouldn’t like a big home or a nice car but frankly there should be a limit and people need to learn what these limits are.
Regardless to my situation I am also extremely fortunate for I do not own a credit card, I don’t have any bank loans or hire purchase agreements, so regardless of my desires I am able to ensure that I don’t end up in debt just because I feel the need to shop in order to stave off any form of depression.
I honestly think people are far too materialistic and unable in this day and age of consumerism to put things and priories into perspective.
The next time you are feeling a little down in the mouth try considering the situation of others. Why not try out my experiment and look at how many other people are in ‘real’ need and maybe if you could find a way to help you will not only feel better but also know that you made a ‘real’ difference to another person’s life.