If it’s Cyber Monday, Black Friday, or another shopping extravaganza, consumer culture is stalking the Western world and exposing its darkest side.
Unbeknownst to them, a frighteningly large number of people are addicted to shopping. Many people take out extra credit or max their credit cards to fulfill their shopping urges, resulting in crippling debt.
Since so many people are experiencing credit problems as a result of simple shopping patterns, it’s important to understand why people behave in this manner. What motivates you to click the “add to cart” button and make a purchase? Even if it’s money you don’t really have?
The explanation is simple: spending money gives you a sense of happiness or fulfillment.
Is It True That Spending Money Makes You Happy?
The human brain functions in strange ways. The problem is that our brain contains a “happiness chemical” called dopamine, which is released as a reward and makes you feel healthy. Your brain uses dopamine to tell you that everything you just did was a good idea (so you can get your next “dopamine hit”).
Shopping has been discovered to be one of the causes for the release of dopamine in the brain by scientists.
Of course, things aren’t always that easy. People clearly have impulse control, and no one opens their wallet without first thinking about it. In a 2007 study, researchers looked at how the brain responds when shopping. The “happiness hub” in the brain triggered when people were shown various things they could possibly buy.
When participants were told the price of the objects, however, other areas of the brain became involved. Those were the decision-making bits, as well as the pain center.
To put it another way, the study discovered that realizing you have to invest your hard-earned money hurts your brain. Or at least, that’s how your brain interprets the situation, preventing you from wasting money.
In our minds, we all have fully working impulse regulation. But why is shopping addiction such a pervasive issue?
The problem is that for certain people, the immediate gratification provided by dopamine simply outweighs the disadvantages. Some people may also have dopamine receptors that are too active and produce too much dopamine.
It’s only because your brain released dopamine that you felt good after shopping. This incentive scheme, on the other hand, could lead to shopping addiction.
There Are Five Psychological Explanations Why Spending Money Makes You Happy.
Despite the fact that the dopamine response is solely physical, you can’t deny that shopping makes you happy for a variety of psychological reasons. Here are five such factors that can encourage you to shop more frequently.
1. You Have A Stronger Sense Of Control Over Life.
Have you ever had a supervisor scream at you despite the fact that you have done nothing wrong? There will be times when you feel as if you don’t have any power over your life. This is particularly true in 2020 when the universe seems to be constantly tossing curveballs your way.
As a consequence, you could feel irritated, anxious, or depressed.
Some people start shopping to reclaim some power over their lives because the act of shopping itself gives you complete control. Do you require a different size? To resolve any problem, contact customer service. You have full control over the result.
As a result, shopping gives you a sense of fulfillment and restores your self-esteem.
2. Shopping Restores Your Faith In The Future.
One of the reasons why people experience anxiety, sadness, or tension is that they believe they have lost all hope.
Imagine yourself browsing an online shoe shop. When you’re looking at shoes, you’re probably picturing yourself wearing them with your favorite outfits. This concept creates a sense of excitement, particularly if you plan to purchase the shoes and anxiously await their arrival.
Even if this sense of optimism seems to be frivolous, it provides you with something optimistic to look forward to. And tiny rays of hope can be hugely effective in extremely stressful circumstances.
3. You Have Problem-solving Abilities.
We’re just solving small problems when shopping. Is your dining room table unattractive? A new tablecloth could be beneficial. Is it hard to sit on the couch? It’s possible that new cushions would be useful. Is it possible that your hands are too dry? Stores that sell cosmetics are likely to have a solution.
Solving even minor problems will help you gain trust. After all, if you can tackle small problems, you can certainly overcome larger challenges!
4. You Gain Self-assurance.
Assume you saved money to purchase high-quality shoes in order to attend an important meeting. You’ll probably feel more optimistic and able to take on important tasks while wearing those shoes.
Shopping can release dopamine, but if you use the reward mechanism wisely and only on occasion, your morale may improve.
5. It Aids In The Disruption Of The Routine.
Have you ever had the feeling that every day is the same? Do you feel like you’re trapped in your life? Routine can be exhausting.
Shopping immerses you in a new situation and surroundings. Simply by changing your daily routine, this small refreshing change of pace can help you become more productive and, in general, happier.
A quick trip to the store during your lunch break might be just what the doctor ordered!
Why Do You Still Feel Bad About Spending Money?
Shopping can elicit a range of emotions. On the one hand, you may feel fantastic, but on the other, you may feel terrible. How is it possible that spending money on yourself will cause you pain rather than happiness?
The answer is straightforward. If you believe you should have invested the money more wisely, you could feel guilty. You could feel bad if you purchased a $100 pair of boots that you didn’t want to buy because you know you could have put that money into growing your savings.
So, what’s the best way to get rid of the nagging guilt? Having a proper budget is the first step. You can prevent wasteful spending and impulse purchases by sticking to a schedule. However, if you set aside a certain amount of money as “fun money,” you would never feel bad if you use it to pamper yourself or go out.
You’ll never feel bad if you have a straightforward budget because you’ll know exactly how much impulse buying you can handle per month.
Is It Possible To Buy Happiness With Money?
Thousands of people around the country hope to hit the Powerball numbers and win a large sum of money. “If I just had a new car and a new home… They ponder, “I’d be so pleased.”
According to studies, a higher salary does not always equate to happiness. Dopamine blasts are fleeting and do not last.
A higher-income can allow you to “buy” more time. You don’t have to waste your precious time cleaning your house if you hire a cleaning service, for example. According to a 2017 survey, people who invested their money in time-saving programs were happier with their lives.
New designer shoes may not make you happy, but spending your money on useful services may bring you more happiness. A higher-income can reduce stress by making it easier to solve problems. Happiness, on the other hand, comes from inside, not from your bank account.
Is it worth it to go for the dopamine high? No, it’s not true. Create a monthly budget instead, and stick to it. This way, you can stop overspending and spend your hard-earned money on things that are genuinely worthwhile.