Who doesn’t feel the need to shop?
Stores stand tall because we alone cannot meet all our needs; we depend on them. The whole mechanism works perfectly fine as long as we know what to buy and when to buy. But how often are we aware of this? Shopaholics indulge in shopping for more than they want or can afford to have, out of the sheer pleasure they derive from shopping.
But what made them shopaholics? We’ve dug up four main reasons that make people shopaholics:
1 - I’ll buy what I couldn’t buy as a kid A classic example: “As a kid, I wished to have the best dress and the best shoes in the world; the best video game too. But Mum and Dad never allowed me to buy them. Now that I earn, I can also spend. Let me indulge in shopping!”
2 - Attempting to get rid of a feeling, may be of pain, fear, stress… A classic example: “I am stressed out with work, life, relationships. But when I enter a store, I forget all this and life becomes beautiful. Shopping is my stress-buster.”
3 - The pampered kid at home: A classic example: “I was always pampered as a kid. It continues as I have grown older. Now I pamper myself.”
4 - We have money in hand, so let’s spend! A classic example: “I earn to spend. Now that I have money in hand and credit cards in my wallet, why not spend? What will I do by stacking notes in my bank?”
…And the Way Out
Way #1: Did you know ACCEPTANCE can help you get rid of the urge to shop?
If you chose to read this article, chances are high that somewhere deep within you have that urge to shop. Let us assure you it is not all that bad. It is okay and you are not the only one. Take respite in the fact that you can always get out of the habit it if you choose to accept it whole-heartedly.
Let us understand why accepting shopaholism is important. Would you take medicines if you do not accept that you are unwell? If you did not accept that you're afflicted with an illness and kept telling yourself you are perfectly fine, a little illness can turn into a life-threatening disease after a few days. Similarly, if you accept that uncontrollable urge to shop, it can help you move beyond your urge and easily follow the rest of our tips.
Next: How can we learn to accept our shortcomings? It isn’t difficult if you are relaxed. And true relaxation is in meditation. Meditation and the relaxation that follows can give you clarity in thought and action. When your energy is low, many thoughts bother you. It means you need to give yourself a break. If you are pressed for time, the shortest and most effective break you can give yourself is through meditation. When energy is high, there is clarity of mind. You then realize that your obsession to shop is not doing much good for you. And hence, slowly and gradually, it becomes very easy for you to give it up.
Way #2: The WHERE and WHEN of shopping
If you know where and when to spend money, you are an intelligent shopper. For that to happen, you have to differentiate between your needs and your desires.
Before picking up something in a shop, ask yourself, "Do I really need it or Can I do without it". Next, ask yourself, "Do I need this now or can I buy it later". Before you buy it, and especially if it is a costly item, you might want to keep in mind any other obligations you have to meet before that. This means you are gradually becoming AWARE of your shopping trends. You might be surprised to know that a simple relaxation technique called meditation can increase your awareness. Often, when something becomes a habit, we perform its actions without awareness, like brushing our teeth or washing our hands. Same is the case with shopping when it becomes a habit. But meditating regularly can make you aware of what you are shopping for and how frequently you are shopping as it brings your attention to this very moment, neither past nor future.
She WAS a shopaholic. Now she IS happy!
Armani, Dior, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Zara—she knew them all.
Her love for brands knew no bounds. And then one day, that love took a different direction.
Neha Mrig was the proud owner of a walking wardrobe until she stumbled upon meditation. “I would meditate because I liked it, not to get rid of some sort of addiction. Yes I had an inkling that I used to overspend, sometimes when it wasn’t even required. But it wasn’t until I started meditating that this realization dawned upon me. Meditation made me aware of the fact that I would shop even when I didn't need what I was buying. I realized that I could save a lot more by asking myself, "do I really need it?", every time I felt the urge. More importantly, I developed a beautiful relationship with myself and not with objects”. And for the pile of dresses and bags stocked in my wardrobe, I make sure I use each one of those. Sometimes I even remodel them with laces and decorative buttons.”
Way #3: You can be INNOVATIVE
Did you know you can renovate your dresses, wallets, and other belongings? You can remodel an old dress with sequences, frills, and new decorative buttons. A dress you were wearing as a slip dress can be converted into a top for a matching pair of trousers. Or you can add a matching lace to a frock or ask your tailor to trim your frock to give it a designer look. You might be surprised to see how much you can do with your old dresses, gloves, and so on.
Way #4: Deal with that uncontrollable urge to shop
Sometimes you might feel an uncontrollable urge to spend money as you still are learning to be a wise shopper. At such times, it might be helpful to not restrict yourself from spending. You can spend your money… and spend them at orphanages or to buy a poor child a meal. You will be surprised to see how the kids value every gift they get. Even the smallest gift is a priceless possession for them. The happiness that flashes across their faces will give you unparalleled joy. You can be rest assured that your money has been wisely spent.
Way #5: There’s something that can give you even greater pleasure than shopping
If you have an irresistible urge to shop, it might be because what you buy gives you pleasure. What if we say you can enjoy greater happiness than what you get from shopping? Yes, that’s possible through meditation, a simple relaxation technique. Did you know that the benefits of meditation, like relaxation, clarity of mind, relief, joy, and love (to name a few) last longer than the pleasure of shopping, which often evaporates the moment you step out of the store?
We often look for pleasure at all the wrong places. We usually look for them outside, in objects, when it is inside, in us. You may want to try an online meditation guided by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and experience a glimpse of everlasting happiness this very moment.