When we say we need a little window shopping, almost everyone can relate to the simple thrill of purchasing something for oneself.
Is it true, however, that buying makes us feel better?
Yes. Shopping decisions, according to research, might assist reinforce a sense of personal control over our environment. It can also help to alleviate sadness.
According to the study, sorrow is often related with a perception that circumstances govern the results in our lives, rather than that we make our own decisions. Shopping’s basic choices and outcomes can restore a sense of personal control and autonomy. This is also true for whatever leftover melancholy we may be experiencing.
Waiting for your shipment to come can also cause release of dopamine when you shop online. Consider retail subscriptions, where you may not know what will be sent in the box. The unpredictability heightens your excitement. And because the reward is unexpected, you feel a rush of dopamine.
If you enjoy window shopping, there is another option to consider. It can also be psychologically healing if you save money for the reward rather than purchasing it with a credit or debit card right away. Saving up for your reward, according to the principle of expectation, offers you something to look forward to, which produces excitement and a release of serotonin over time.
When shopping becomes a go-to way of dealing with anxiety, stress, or grief and becomes difficult to manage, it transitions from a therapeutic to a destructive obsessive activity.
The standard line is that, while exciting behaviours might bring us satisfaction, one should know the difference between pleasure and compulsiveness.