Have you ever been watching Sex and the City, and seen Carrie wafting from store to store? Usually, she has something on her mind, and spending is something she does as her type of therapy. Walking around high-end, luxury brand stores with beautiful lighting, coffee or champagne on arrival, fantastic staff to help you find what you are looking for and the shop floor looks like a cross between heaven and the office fitout of your dreams. You feel at home; you feel indulged, you feel… better? There is a reason they call it retail therapy, and there is some serious reason why shopping is good for you – and it’s not just about the new shoes.
It is a little slice of escapism
While you are wandering around, you are likely to be imagining the place you’re going to wear that outfit too. Thinking about the possible compliments you’ll get on the style and the colour of your outfit. Even just window shopping will you give you the same mental vacation. It’s like daydreaming.
If you weren’t already aware, shopping can (and is) used as a coping mechanism for millions of people. Because they don’t feel in control over some of their environment or situation, however, they have 100% control over what they choose to buy. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s online, in store, or even merely window shopping, it instills a sense of autonomy over your life – and that is never a bad thing.
Improve your creativity through shopping
This one might seem a little far fetched but just hold on for a moment. When you are shopping or browsing, you picture specific accessories with particular items of clothing, the colours, the shapes and the style. This type of visualisation does two things, gives your brain the space to put things together, textures, designs and boosts your confidence too.
Self-image is incredibly important, how we see ourselves now and, in the future, plus what we adorn our bodies with will show the outside world who we are (or sometimes who we are trying to be). New career, new friends, dates, new cities, anything that gives us room to express ourselves we tend to opt for our ‘best’ outfit or buy something that makes us feel amazing. This is our way of boosting our confidence, creating the first impression that we would like, giving people a glimpse into our personalities as well as protecting ourselves.
Although at first glance, shopping might seem to be frivolous spending of money there is actually so much more to it. Fashion designers, visual merchandisers, and the shop fitters are all aware that great shopping is an experience. It is about making decisions that show our personality, which allow us to dress for the ‘us’ we want to be, even if we haven’t quite made it yet. Retail therapy, when done in smaller doses has a lasting impact over time, and it doesn’t matter if it’s for fun or to shake off a bad mood – it’s always worth it.