Retail Therapy

You know how when you’re feeling down in the dumps, you go shopping? It actually helps. But do you know why? A new study, conducted by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates.com, has found that there are therapeutic benefits of shopping .

Shopping can be a rich source of mental preparation. As people shop, they’re naturally visualizing how they’ll use the products they’re considering, and in doing so, they’re also visualizing their new life. And, as many great athletes will attest, visualization is a performance booster and anxiety reducer.

In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, participants were asked to wear white coats that they were told were doctor’s coats. When wearing these coats, students were far more accurate on a test of focus and concentration. So, in a ‘dressing for success’ frame of mind, it probably works!

When people think of the benefits of “retail therapy,” escape, entertainment and rejuvenation are usually at the top of the list. These days, even online shopping is seen as a type of mini escape. But be it window shopping, online scrolling, or pawing through racks at outlet malls,shopping really can be a mental refresher —like a mini vacation without any packing or planning.

But let’s also look at the flip side. In moderation, shopping is therapeutic. But for some, “retail therapy” masks deeper problems, and a real therapist would be a better solution.

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