With the presence of the internet and many huge supermarkets and stores in this modern age, shopping is a very standard thing.
No longer do people have to travel through cities to visit famous bazaars.
Every person has their own style of shopping and sorting their preferences.
While some people take a lot of time deciding and comparing prices from different shops, others just buy what they see and like. Others like shopping on the internet.
Oftentimes shopping produces a sudden moral boost or surge in serotonin levels.
This feeling is incorporated into something known as retail therapy.
In this article, we will discover how shopping is a hobby and what are the potential risks associated with retail therapy.
What is a hobby?
According to Merriam-Webster: “A pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”
Examples include writing, drawing, and cooking. Is shopping a hobby?
Spending time on activities that you love and enjoy doing can improve your well-being and mental health.
They generally make you feel relaxed and take your mind off things that stress you out.
Many people use music as a way to get rid of stress or relax. Shopping works the same way.
A sudden increase in “happy chemicals” in your body makes you forget about your worries.
Shopping activates the primitive human instincts in us. The activity involves looking for new things, “discovery,” and “exploration.”
These feelings stimulate our brain to feel less sad, giving us a temporary feeling of happiness after buying new things.
Shopping is also a way to combat social anxiousness. Participating in this activity with friends will improve social connections.
This will also help you sleep better because, at the end of the day, you’ll be super tired from all the walking.
The feeling of sadness is generally produced by the fear that your life is out of your control; that the outcome of the situation will always be negative.
What shopping does is that it makes you feel like you’re in charge of choosing; you’re in control.
This distraction, even if it is for a brief period, is addicting.
Our eyes are also stimulated by colorful, new, and often shiny jewelry. Even when window shopping.
In e-stores, perfectly assorted products stimulate our pleasure sensors.
This makes us visualize positive outcomes and suppresses reality for the time being.
Is it bad to like shopping? No. Shopping is a pretty standard thing.
Many people like to shop for events, others prefer shopping periodically throughout the year, while some shop according to need.
Women are known to shop more often. They are also better shoppers than men.
Many people don’t understand the art of browsing through so many sections and aisles to find the needed article.
Women are also known to enjoy newer things and gifts. The feeling of gratitude produces happy chemicals more efficiently.
Like everything, the problem starts when the activity becomes more than needed; when you become dependent on it.
Buying expensive items can quickly diminish bank accounts, and due credit card bills will make you depressed more than happy.
At the end of the month, when you struggle to maintain your budget and pay the remaining bills, that’s when things get out of hand.
Let’s say that money can come back, but lost time will not.
Some people spend hours and even sometimes half their day shopping.
The action of browsing through thousands of products every day seems compelling to them.
However, even if you’re just browsing and not buying, time can’t be recovered. You’ll fail to meet deadlines and become anxious.
This can also affect relationships seriously. In some very extreme cases, it may also lead to separation and divorce.
How would you feel if your significant other spent money to buy something worth a lot that you did not need or could afford without your permission?
What started as a mere hobby will cause you to have a breakdown.
So, every hobby needs to be balanced and kept within a certain limit. The best way for this is to keep a timetable.
A separate budget for buying extra things should also help save money.
Additionally, having your “mom” friend show up will also save you from being broke at the end of the month.
Shopping is a day-to-day activity. Knowing when it’s become an addiction is difficult.
Many people don’t even realize they are addicted.
Addiction starts with compulsive behavior. During a state of emotional distress, a person is most likely to go on a shopping spree.
They get addicted to the feeling that the brain produces temporarily when they buy something new.
It can also happen with people who define themselves as perfectionists.
Looking for the perfect item can be a stressful job. Although, with the aid of the internet, this has been overcome now.
But anxiety remains when they can’t find the finest product.
Some people want extra expensive and luxury brands just to flex.
They love flashy items and have no use for them. This can lead to a bad financial state.
Most people don’t realize that excessive bargaining can also be an addiction.
When there’s a sale, people often end up buying things they don’t even have a need for just because they were being sold at half the price.
Some people like to collect things. They look for the next item in their collection and strive to buy it at any cost. This obsession can sometimes end in a really bad way.
Addiction is often difficult to hide. Humans always exhibit signs that indicate that something has changed.
Shopaholics will exhibit emotional symptoms.
They will try to hide credit card bills. They will sneak into shops and hide their shopping bags.
They may even lie about their spending and lie about going shopping.
This impulse buy situation often results in mass expenditure.
You can evaluate yourself by taking a look into your storage or closet.
If there are a lot of unopened boxes containing stuff you’ll never need, then you should consider yourself a shopaholic.
Another indicator of possible shopping addiction can be when you feel the need to shop after an intense argument.
The body looks for ways to cope with the stress.
The brain is going to tell you to shop to get that little amount of excitatory neurotransmitters.
When shopaholics buy things, they often feel guilt and remorse.
They know that they cannot afford a certain item, but they cannot stop the impulse to buy that item.
If you experience this guilt associated with shopping, then reevaluate yourself and/or seek medical advice.
Why not? Anything that you enjoy doing can be a hobby.
Many people like browsing through aisles of fresh fruits and vegetables each morning.
It releases their stress. It’s an escape from their day-to-day worries.
Working your way through stands of fruits each morning, feeling and smelling the produce makes you happy.
That boost of confidence that you feel when you find the freshest ingredients or when you come home and cut open your watermelon, and it’s the sweetest taste of heaven; you feel really good about it.
Even social media has started targeting its users using fruits and vegetables.
Some users on TikTok post new fruits from different countries. Ever wondered why that’s so pleasing to look at?
The bond between humans and food is defined as unbreakable.
Our ancestors traveled miles in search of new food. We have the luxury of online stores too.
Curiosity always gets the best of us. Naturally, we want to ingest the best. This feeling of survival wakes you up early in the morning to get the freshest produce.
Excluding the stress involved in haggling for costs, grocery shopping is a fun, relaxing activity for most people.
It stimulates both your visual centers, olfactory centers, and taste buds.
Oftentimes, just the sight of the item is enough for your brain to decide to buy it.
A hobby is a fun way to distract yourself from the hassles of the world by doing what you love.
However, some hobbies can lead to severe obsession and addiction.
Therefore, caution should be exercised, and a person should re-evaluate themselves so that their daily life is not affected by that hobby.