We’ve all been there and had one of those days where the stress level gets so elevated that we need to find a way to alleviate it and fast. For some of us, that way is through retail therapy. But, I believe that there is a downside of retail therapy and today I want to share some reasons why you should avoid using retail therapy to alleviate stress. It could very well just cause more problems for you in the long term.
Retail therapy is very common among consumers today because it offers a quick high when you run that charge card or pay for something new. However, spending money to relieve stress can quickly turn into a problem.
The cycle of addiction is referred to frequently as a downward spiral.
That’s because you get a high the first time you do something and you never get that same high again. Instead, you find yourself doing more and more of the drug and never feeling as good as you did the time before. While people are usually talking about drugs or alcohol, these principles apply to other addictions such as gambling and even shopping.
If you find that you’ve got a shopping addiction, you may also find yourself in debt that you can’t manage. When debt gets out of control and you match that with a failing economy, you have a recipe for financial disaster.
If you’re spending money to relieve stress, it’s time to take a look at your habits and get control of them now.
The first step is to identify what issues are making you stressed in the first place. If you can eliminate the things that are stressing you, that’s the best way to conquer your problem.
But some stressors simply can’t be eliminated completely.
In that case you may need to find alternatives for dealing with them. For example, instead of shopping you can spend your time with your family doing more constructive activities such as game nights, free nights at the museum, and even going to the local park. You can also throw yourself into service related activities that provide you with feelings of worth without emptying your wallet.
If your spending is getting you into trouble and you feel like it’s out of control, you may want to try speaking with a counselor to help you conquer your addiction.
In addition, 12 step programs are available such as SA or Shopaholics Anonymous. This is a group where you can get support and work on your spending issues.
There is also a group called Debtors Anonymous you can attend because people with a shopping problem also tend to have a problem with debt.
Above all, don’t be embarrassed about your problem. Many people have problems with shopping to relieve stress and you’re not alone. When you get control over this problem, you’ll feel like your life is your own again.
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