Let's admit it, if you are a woman and if you love dressing up, the shopping bug has bitten you more than once. If you have watched "Confessions of a shopaholic", you'll appreciate the problems which can arise from too much shopping.
The ecstatic consumer market has profitably cashed in on this madcap shopping trend, and so now you will find that instead of your everyday needs, the front rows of the shopping aisles are loaded with expensive, attractive and absolutely non-essential stuff. Even if you can resist buying these eye-catching items on your first trip, you will ultimately succumb to the lure of the bright packaging, unless you are very strong-willed.
If you fall under the category of a compulsive buyer, by now you are worried with the state of your depleting savings. Compulsive shopping is nothing but an addiction and like all addictions, shopping also is expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to help get rid of this obsession, some of which are listed below.
Curtail the pity shopping: Episodes of emotional stress and depression are times when many compulsive buyers make excuses to indulge in impulsive buying. The main reason for this is because shopping provides a temporary reprieve from whatever emotional turmoil one is going through. But the unfortunate fact is that shopping will only bring short-term relief and is likely to cause even more misery after the initial euphoria is over. Instead of leaning on crutches like shopping what one can do instead is to start diverting the mind through healthy outlets like meditation, yoga and spirituality instead of looking for short-term happiness.
Resist the “sale” bug: The term sale or discount has a tremendously damaging effect on impulse buyers and that is when they end up buying stuff which they will probably never use in their lives. Once they see the word sale, it's as if an emotional red flag has gone up and they charge ahead. It requires a lot of determination and willpower to resist the lure of "sales". One way to do it is to avoid going to places where there are likely to be bargains and sales. Another way is to keep all your credit cards at home and only keep one card which has a limited amount for your essential shopping items.
Curb the mall visits: Shopping malls provide all possible kind of temptations for a shopping addict. When one steps out determined to buy only the essentials and no extra shopping, inevitably they get lured into buying things by the colorful, tempting packages. It is like the call of the siren which one cannot resist, no matter what are the consequences. In these situations, one has no other choice but to avoid the huge malls and instead use the general stores for essential shopping. This should be the mantra one follows till we are completely confident we won't give in to the allure of compulsive shopping.
One step at a time: Like any other addiction, depriving oneself completely will give rise to withdrawal symptoms might lead relapse. Instead one should take it slowly and try reducing the impulses in a gradual way instead of completely barring oneself from the craving. Feed yourself crumbs, i.e. indulge in a few impulse purchases instead of the obscene amount you used to do earlier and slowly bring it down. You will have to think of other activities which gives you pleasure and make sure you are busy doing those activities, when the shopping bug bites you.
Get outside help: Compulsive shopping is an addiction and you should be able to admit having a problem before you can get rid of it. After admitting to the problem, the next step is to get all the help you can from family and friends. You will go through a lot of emotional stress and having the help and support of your loved ones will help. The problem however, might need a professional outlook and if that's the case, you'll need to go to a counselor. There are also a number of support groups with people having similar kind of problems and joining one will help you cope better.
Shopping addiction is a compulsion which can get dangerous if not cured. Sometimes one gets into such a deep hole that they go to any length, including shoplifting, to satiate their need. So, it’s better to nip the problem in the bud and curb any unwanted problems which can arise at a later stage.