Did you know that holiday shopping can actually give you a nice little mood boost? If you’re feeling gloomy or the cloudy skies are getting to you, a bit of retail therapy can actually work to help you feel better. Sounds crazy, but it’s 100% true! Here’s what you need to know:
Retail Therapy Works
The act of spending money to reward yourself triggers the reward and pleasure centers of the brain, so you actually feel happier when you buy something nice. That feeling can be as addictive as any other stimulant or addiction, so it’s important that you keep it under control. However, a bit of retail therapy is a great way to boost your mood and flood your body with feel-good chemicals.
Shopping for Others is Just the Same
You may not be buying something for yourself when you go holiday shopping, but the act of shopping still triggers those same parts of your brain. And, the fact that you’re doing something nice and altruistic for someone else can have a lasting, positive impact on your mood. You’ll feel happier knowing that what you’re doing is going to put a smile on the faces of those you love.
The fact that you have the money to buy gifts for others is something definitely worthy of a bit of gratitude. As you go shopping, take a few minutes to be grateful for that fact, and meditate on it as you stand in line at the checkout. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness and purposeful gratitude can go a long way toward giving you a more positive outlook on life and your situation.
Set a Budget, Manage Stress
Finding a gift that fits within a certain budget is far less stressful an activity than worrying about money. If you know how much you can afford, set a budget for your gifts and stick to that budget. You’ll find it’s much easier to find gifts when you’ve got to look within a certain price range. And you won’t end the holiday shopping season worrying about how your finances are going to recover from the exorbitant expenses.
Hunt for Bargains
Did you know that hunting for bargains can have a direct impact on your feelings of wellbeing? One survey found that 40% of people who found great deals walked away from their purchase feeling smarter. That surge of self-confidence can do wonders to boost your mood! You know Christmas is just around the corner, so take advantage of the early seasonal bargains to get great prices on your gifts. You’ll feel so much happier and more intelligent when you snag a kick-ass deal because you had the forethought to shop ahead of time.
Consider Online Shopping
If you’re worried about the stress factor of lining up with so many other people, don’t worry about it! Online shopping has made it easier than ever to indulge in retail therapy. You can buy everything from the comfort of your office or home so you don’t have to deal with the anxiety of being around big crowds. You’ll still find lots of great deals to trigger the pleasure and reward centers of your brain, and you’ll get that mood boost from doing something you know will make others happy.
Plan an Experience
While physical gifts are often the easiest to give, sometimes a good experience is worth far more. You’ll find that an experience can help you to create new memories with those people and getting out of your house to try something new can be a huge mood boost!