Why we shop

What’s driving most people to storm malls

Christmas at Rock Center

Now that the Holiday Shopping season is over for another year, I thought it might be a good time to explore why we shop. Gifts aside, as a society we are obsessed with shopping.

Why do we shop?

Things, things, and more things!

Everywhere things. Big, bright, distracting things. Glittery, shiny, exciting things.

Things that make us look pretty. Things that make us seem smart. Things that make us feel happy.

Don’t get me wrong. I like things as much as anyone but . . .

It’s important to remember they’re just things.

They’re baubles and bangles and all things shiny.

But they’re still just things.

The momentary good feelings we feel when we buy something will wear off in a very short time, depending on the value of what we bought.

For most people a new pair of shoes will feel special for about a day, maybe less.

A new car, perhaps a week or longer but, before long, we will be looking for new shiny objects to distract us from our day-to-day trials and tribulations.

As I wrote above, I like shopping as much as the next person, however it’s important to understand it’s not a solution to whatever problem is bothering you.

Compulsive shopping is no less an addiction than alcoholism or drug addiction and should be taken seriously.

So how can we make ourselves feel better?

In “happy@work – 60 Simple Ways to Stay Engaged and Be Successful” I wrote several ways you can change how you’re feeling.

Motion equals emotion

One simple way is to just start moving. I learned, from Tony Robbins many years ago, that “Motion equals emotion.”

Take a walk around your home or office. As you get up and start moving, you will begin to feel better almost immediately.

Focus on what is working

Another is to ask, “What’s working?” In any given scenario there is always something going right; something positive in the situation. Only by focusing on what is working can we move through the challenge.

While we can surely learn from past mistakes, endlessly studying the problem is a waste of time. And asking what is wrong will only bring you more of the same.

The law of attraction is always at work, whether we want to accept it or not.

Always keep your focus on what is good in a particular situation; what’s working; what’s going right.

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