Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Emotional State of Shopping

I’ve found while paying close attention to how I feel when I feel the urge to shop/browse, I have a few consistent emotional states that prompt me to browse. Also, so far, consistently I have not browsed because I remembered or thought of something I actually needed and wanted to buy!

Boredom / Stimulation
It seems I’m constantly in the need for stimulation. I may not be bored in the sense that I have nothing to do, but in the sense that I feel the need to do something electronically (browse) which leads to purchasing. I like to search out things and can get fixated on finding the perfect ‘whatever’ it is I’m imagining at the moment.

Browsing is my default activity for when I’m anxious. It’s avoidance at its best. Instead of feeling how I feel, I redirect. This is probably my most detrimental emotional state when shopping, if I were to hazard a guess, I was feeling anxious when I did my worst binges.

I don’t have a word for the feeling I have when I get home and look on the porch for packages. I don’t have any coming, yet I still look and then feel disappointed that there is nothing there and nothing coming. When I do have something coming, I’m incredibly impatient and excited about whatever wonderful things are coming. They of course are duly tried on, admired, returned or stuck in the closet. And then the wanting starts again before the tags are off what I just received! I think the excitement is more in the new / the fantasy of it, not in the actual having of said purchases.

Looking at this written out ‘on plain paper’ as it may, I feel I need to start satisfying my natural creativity elsewhere again and stop letting shopping/browsing/purchasing fill this creative void for me (which is likely in the imagining portion of the exercise). I’ve been really improving and have severely reduced my browsing and have increased letting myself feel emotions rather than avoiding them. I am not good at the emotion part though, to be honest- it’s a challenge.

These are the alternate activities I should turn to in lieu of shopping that I enjoy:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Painting/Creating
  • Scrapbooking
  • Outfit Creation Session
  • My Planner/Planning
  • Exercise
  • Cooking

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