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Mindful shopping, mindful living

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

I love to shop, that is my confession out of the way. I just like looking at all the colors, fabrics and new things. I don't have to purchase anything to enjoy shopping. But sometimes I find that when I am feeling a little down, I want to shop, and I want to buy something, just to feel better.

Many years ago I was in a class on addiction when the topic of "shopping addiction" came up. I am not a shopping addict but I understand the psychology behind it. Researchers have found that shopping, and purchasing, lights up the pleasure centers of the brain, just like any other pleasurable, or addictive activity.

So what is mindful shopping? Mindful shopping is shopping with an awareness of the physiology of shopping, and an intentional awareness of what we are purchasing. The last time I felt like I wanted to shop because I was down, I found something else to do to make me feel better, like listening to upbeat music. When we shop mindfully we are aware that we are being bombarded with messages that tell us we need the newest, the best, the shiniest. But do we really? Do I really need this, do I really want this? I have been more mindful about surrounding myself with things that are either useful, or bring me joy (or sometimes both!).

One last remark about mindful shopping, not all of us enjoy shopping but we have to sometimes. If you are one of those people, take your time when you have to shop. Look at the colors, smell the smells. Turn a chore into a moment of joy.

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