Is Your ‘Retail Therapy’ Helping You Or Hurting You?

We have all heard of the term ‘retail therapy’. It’s the idea that when you are feeling low you should go out and buy yourself something fresh and new and it will help to cheer you up. As the saying goes “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping”!

But is retail therapy actually good for you?

The truth this, there are many benefits to retail therapy…

Going on a big shopping spree can usher in feelings of newness, change, and optimism when it occurs within the proper contexts. For instance, when you get a new job… a couple of new outfits can help to increase your confidence and feelings of professionalism.

On the flip side, if you have just recently gone through a divorce or break-up…retail therapy can be a part of helping you to reinvent yourself as you learn to navigate the world as a single person.

When people are experiencing significant life changes, their clothes and home environment may begin to reflect that. Their style of clothes may completely change, or they decide to fully renovate their home. These can be positive and life-affirming purchases.

So, retail therapy can have many positive benefits…but… within the wrong context, it can be a symptom of deeper rooted issues.

Excessive shopping can be a sign that all is not well.  Some people get a high off spending a lot of money, and that can leave them buying things that they will never end up wearing or using. The impulse to buy becomes too strong to ignore and they end up spending money they don’t have for things that they don’t need or even want.

Other times, excessive shopping can cover up a significant lack of confidence. The only way the shopper feels confident or desirable is if they are constantly wearing new clothes or upgrading other high-end items.

Signs of unhealthy retail therapy habits include overspending on credit, lying about or hiding purchases and experiencing a cycle of a ‘high’ immediately after the purchase.

This state of high energy is usually followed by feelings of guilt, anxiety and shame hours or days later. If you are engaging in any of these activities or have these feelings about your purchases, you have crossed over from healthy to unhealthy habits.

These signs demonstrate that you have underlying negative beliefs about money as well as a lack of understanding of your infinite value…

To help guarantee that your retail therapy remains a positive, useful tool for change and does not become a debilitating problem, consider the following truth statements…

These statements will help you to know whether you are striking a good balance with your retail therapy or are sliding into an unhealthy place.

Money is a resource for me to honor and I have immense gratitude for what I have received.

I honor the money I have received by making sure all my financial priorities are met.

I show my gratitude by giving a portion of my income to causes I believe in.

I affirm my infinite worth and understand those material items have no bearing on my value.

I release my emotional need to be popular with my family and friends.

I enjoy shopping and spending money that is within my preset budget so that I have only good feelings about my purchases.

Shopping is an enjoyable experience that can usher in new energy and be a celebration of some of the best things in life.

The important things to remember and practice are to honor your money by consciously deciding where it is going to be spent and to honor your infinite value with your purchases instead of letting your purchases define your worth.

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