By Fabio Del Piero
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It’s that time of year again – the January sales! Every year from Boxing Day shops slash their prices so you can grab a bargain, whether it be in an electrical goods store, clothing retailer, beauty shop or more. However, you may have found your shopping this January has brought you some concern, making you question whether your behaviour is normal.
Perhaps you have found yourself sneaking shopping bags into the house so that your family do not realise, or you may have taken out additional finance or credit cards to pay for your indulgences. If you are concerned about your shopping and think that it may have turned from a pleasurable pastime into an unhealthy addiction or compulsion, check to see if you display any of the warning signs below.
- You regularly buy items that you do not need
It is quite common to buy the occasional item that you end up not using. This may be a high-tech blender which promises a smoothie revolution, or a pair of shoes that are not really your style but were on such a discount you just had to buy them… We all make bad decisions now and then, but when these unused purchases turn from the odd infrequent mistake to a regular occurrence, you may want to examine your motivations for buying these items.
- You shop to comfort yourself
Shopping can create a spike in endorphins, caused by the excitement and thrill of making a new purchase. This can lead to you indulging in unnecessary spending every time you feel you need a pick-me-up, sometimes called ‘retail therapy’. If you find yourself going shopping to help relieve feelings of sadness, anger or disappointment you may be susceptible to developing a compulsive shopping habit if this becomes a frequent occasion. The positive link created between shopping and your emotions can become firmly rooted within your subconscious mind, and soon you may find yourself unable to control the urge to make purchases when out or log onto your computer to browse your favourite shopping websites, especially whenever you are feeling down.
- You hide your spending and purchases from your loved ones
Part of the joy of a new purchase is sharing the excitement with your family and friends; perhaps showing off a new, sexy dress to your partner, or allowing your children to play with the shiny gadget you treated yourself to. An unhealthy reflex displayed by compulsive shoppers is instead to find yourself hiding the items you buy, and ensuring people do not find out about the money you spend. Therefore when you have finished shopping you may feel anxious, embarrassed or guilty about what you have done, because you feel or know you should not have done it. If this applies to you it may be the case you need to seek advice and help in relation to your compulsive shopping before it ruins your life.
- You always find a way to shop, no matter the financial situation
Whilst many people have credit cards and may sometimes spend beyond their budgets or dip into their savings, if you are addicted to shopping you can find yourself resorting to such spending behaviours with dangerous regularity. If you prioritise buying unnecessary items over saving your money for food, bills and other expenses in a responsible manner, it is a worrying sign that your shopping is becoming a compulsion. Those with a shopping addiction will always find the finance and time to indulge in their compulsion, even if this means going without in other areas of their life.
- The shopping begins to impact on your quality of life
A shopping addiction can have a serious impact of your quality of life and general wellbeing. It is not uncommon for compulsive shopping to cause friction and conflict between you and your family and friends who may suspect or find out about your habit. But also you may be struggling financially, or suffering from stress, ill health and depression as a result of this behaviour. If you have found your shopping compulsion has begun to negatively affect your life then it is also likely that you realise that you need to address your problem.
What can you do about it?
If you have recognised a number of these warning signs you are probably also wondering what can possibly be done to help you overcome this damaging habit. The thrill of spending money and shopping is often a form of self-medication, used by people to help relieve stress and momentarily make them feel more content. Here at Advanced Hypnosis London we know that such a compulsion results from the subconscious mind’s regulation of our habitual behaviour, guiding us to indulge in those activities it deems normal, pleasurable and rewarding. Because the root cause of our behaviour resides in the workings of the subconscious mind, it can be treated by working with the subconscious. At our Harley Street hypnotherapy clinic you can experience the powerful and positive effects of deeper level hypnotherapy in helping you to overcome unhealthy behaviours, making lasting changes to help you live a happy life again.
If you are interested in receiving hypnotherapy for shopping addiction call us on 0207 125 0074 or enquire online now.