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Are You Trying to Buy Happiness?

When I was on antidepressants, I was emotionally numb and looked for experiences and things I thought would force me for feel something. I would go shopping not looking for anything in particular, find some little trinket or shampoo that smelled good and think “this will make me happy”. I’d buy it, take it home, stick it in a cabinet and forget about it. Then I’d try to find something else to make me happy. It’s how I ended up with over a hundred bottles of nails polish and a linen closet full of personal care stuff.

I hate the term “retail therapy”. It implies that shopping just for the sake of shopping will make you feel better. Why would spending money you probably don’t have on stuff you don’t need (and will later regret buying) improve your mood? It won’t, but we’ve been conditioned by peer pressure and advertising to believe it will.

Are you using “retail therapy” to try and feel better, even though you know it’s a temporary feeling that doesn’t bring you real or lasting happiness? Start asking yourself with every purchase, “How am I going to feel about this later?” or “Am I going to regret buying this?”

Think about how your future self will feel.


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