Retail Therapy is the anticipation of or the act of, buying. It can be therapeutic because buying things creates many beneficial thoughts and feelings. The Psychology behind buying can help some people cope with the vicissitudes of daily life. It can be an effective treatment for various conditions and it can promote healing. There are many, many remedies and cures generated by buying. This is just a short list, by no means definitive or complete.
Retail Therapy is a distraction. It deflects and diminishes pain. It relaxes most people. It allows them to take their mind off of what is happening in their life at that moment. It is an effective treatment because it transports the individual to a more hopeful and positive state of mind. It encourages the person to fantasize about what their life would be like if they had that particular item.
Retail Therapy creates feeling of strength, control and power. When you buy something you are taking charge of your life on a certain level. You are taking a positive step and asserting yourself and reinforcing your identity by your choices.
Buying also creates a feeling of connection. It is beneficial to feel part of the whole. It is beneficial to connect with friends and acquaintances and discuss the purchase and your emotions surrounding the purchase.
Buying instills feelings of fulfillment, success and accomplishment because you can afford to meet your needs and nurture and reward yourself. Remember what they say, “If you think that money cannot buy happiness, you don’t know where to shop.”
Before you head to the Mall consider the down side. You might buy things that you cannot afford, you might buy things that do not contribute to your well-being or the well-being of others, you might buy things to fill an emptiness or to compensate for the important things that are missing from your life. These scenarios are not therapeutic. They indicate the need for real therapy not retail therapy.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305- 788-4864, Psychotherapy.firstname.lastname@example.org