Living in today’s consumer-driven society, it’s no surprise that one of the things we find comfort in doing is shopping. If you’ve ever found yourself swiping through your favorite online shops during breaks at work, or bookmarking items to add to your future shopping cart in your spare time, then you’ve probably felt the value of retail therapy in your life–maybe without necessarily recognizing its psychological benefits.
Sure, you could feel a lot happier after you shop. But while you might think that shopping is just a quick and mindless way to up your endorphins, there is actually a lot more to the term “retail therapy” than we realize. With the positive effects it makes on your thinking and attitude, it’s understandable why the saying “shopping is cheaper than (actual) therapy” is so popular. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It encourages creativity.
Aesthetic has come into the fore in the age of the Internet, especially with millennials who are recognized as a visual generation. Personal brand, style or aesthetic is something you can develop even unconsciously, with the constant presence of social media in our daily lives, and thus through our desire to disclose via our online personas. One way to channel this creative expression is through shopping, wherein you are able to select items based on your tastes–colors, textures, styles that suit your personal aesthetic–whether it be a one-of-a-kind dress or curtains to match your home’s interior design.
2. It helps you become mentally organized.
Shopping is actually good for the mind–and no, not because it provides a pleasant distraction. When you shop, you are actually exercising your visualization and planning skills. There are so many decisions that go into purchasing something–what kind of product to buy, what brand to buy, when to buy–a good way to exercise mental preparation. (Mental organization will also come in handy when you need to determine just how much space your new acquisitions will eventually take up.)
3. It helps you aspire for better things.
If you subscribe to the belief that the way a person dresses significantly affects their confidence and self-esteem, then you would be familiar with concepts such as “dressing for success” and even “powerdressing.” It’s strange what wonders a singular item of clothing or accessory can do to help you carry yourself confidently and make you feel like you can do anything. So if you feel all the more powerful wearing a pair of socks you’ve been eyeing, then by all means, get those socks in more than one color.
4. It’s a form of social bonding.
While it’s nothing new that shopping is a great way to spend time with friends and family–after all, we’re a society used to “mall culture”–a more recent update to this form of activity happens through online shopping outlets. The possibility of sharing your would-be purchases paves the way for communication that would otherwise be difficult when physically shopping. You would be able to go through the whole process of shopping with the friendly advice of someone you can trust. You can even weigh the pros and cons together. The next time a friend tags you in a post about something they are thinking of buying, you can almost think of it as shared coveting.
5. It helps you relax.
Shopping, or even window shopping, can give you the feeling of going on a short, hassle-free trip by refreshing your mind and letting you focus on things you might want. There is no other way to say it–the pleasure you get from shopping is sometimes exactly what you need.
6. It exercises your spending smarts.
Another positive effect of retail therapy is that it challenges you to spend your money wisely. How do you make the most of this flash online sale? Which day do you go on three-day sales to get the best discounts? How do you get the best products without going overboard on your spending? Strategize: optimum results, minimum costs.
Shopping may be cheaper than therapy, but it certainly isn’t a cheap endeavor, either. With enough financial know-how, you can make sure your retail therapy sessions don’t go over your personal limits. Situations like these call for a smart option and financial companion such as Citi, which now offers online application and approval for Citi credit cards. New customers will also receive a free gift if they apply for a Citi credit card online from now until October 31, 2017. To learn more, visit Citibank Online.