There’s a certain stigma with shopping that can be hard to ignore – the idea of ‘retail therapy’ (of using shopping/money-spending as an outlet to ignore one’s other problems or to seek validation) is often panned as one of the negative offshoots of the material society that we find ourselves living in.
In other words: shopping to try and ignore or get rid of your problems probably isn’t the healthiest past-time, and could actually lead to further issues, like being completely broke or feeling empty because you just dropped 3000$ at the mall.
I feel really lucky that scientists seem to want to support my lifestyle so much. Yesterday, I posted an article about a scientific study claiming that an active sex live can actually make you smarter.
Now, I just finished reading an article claiming that retail therapy may actually have therapeutic benefits to help people cope with sadness and stress. It seems that shopping (and the report specifies the actual purchasing of goods, rather than just browsing) may instill a sense of having control over one’s environment and situation, which can help alleviate the helplessness of stress.
I wonder who funded this study: Wal-Mart?
I think that it is highly possible that shopping can be used as an effective coping mechanism for your problems, but that does not mean that it’s a GOOD coping mechanism. Doing heroin can also act as an effecting coping mechanism, but do we see scientists championing rampant drug use?
I believe that its dangerous to re-enforce the idea that throwing money at your problems makes things better. There is definitely something cathartic about buying some dope new threads or spending time shopping with your friends, but it might be more effective to find an actual productive way to better yourself and your environment, no?
What do you think? Is shopping an effective way to curb depression and alleviate stress?
You can read the full report by clicking on this link.