Those of us who love shopping know how much of a rush we can get when we’re buying something we really love.
Basically, this is us when we’re on a shopping spree:
And although there are studies on why some people get a “high” when they’re shopping (it has to do with dopamine being released in anticipation of a reward, a.k.a. the things we want to buy), new research shows there’s a link between shopping and a state of pleasure for shopaholics.
According to a new neuroscience study, shopping could be more stimulating than sex.
As reported by The Sun, scientists recently unveiled the physiological effects shopping has on the brain, revealing that “inspired shoppers” have moments of prolonged highs that are comparable to intercourse.
The researchers, who partnered with mind-tech experts MyndPlay, analyzed Gamma brainwaves, which are linked with higher mind-states of creativity and extreme pleasure.
According to their data, 84 per cent of these “inspired shoppers” experienced a “buyer’s high” when they went to check out their items, which, as The Sun reports, is comparable to a Formula 1 driver finishing a circuit.
84 per cent of these ‘inspired shoppers’ experienced a ‘buyers high’ when they went to check out their items, which is comparable to a Formula 1 driver finishing a circuit.
The researchers also identified another type of shopper, the “shop-y-cat,” who buys things to fit in with their peers.
While the “inspired shoppers” got a high from buying things, the “shop-y-cats” felt exhausted, and experienced a cumulative 30 per cent increase in mental fatigue for every ten minutes they shopped.
The “inspired shoppers” also buy unique things they really want, and see it as an expression of their individuality.
But if you find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to shop, you may have a shopping addiction.
If you find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to shop, you may have a shopping addiction.
“If your shopping habits start to have a negative impact on your finances, relationships or future plans, you might have a problem,” reports HuffPost Australia.
“Although it’s not recognized as an official addiction, shopping, like many behaviours can become compulsive to the point where it is uncontrolled and therefore can have a hugely negative impact on one’s’ life,” Dr. Robyn Brown from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne told HuffPost Australia.
To figure out if you have a shopping problem, Brown suggests to take note of how you feel during and after shopping. If you feel excited when you buy, only to regret or worry about the purchase after, you may have a problem.
“People who might have a shopping problem may hide their purchases from their partner, take tags off and pretend the item is not new, or feel guilt or shame after purchasing,” Brown said.
People who might have a shopping problem may hide their purchases from their partner, take tags off and pretend the item is not new, or feel guilt or shame after purchasing.
Those who believe they are addicted to shopping would benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy, which can help the person exert more control over their behaviour.
“While this therapy can be effective, there are very high relapse rates because it is difficult to avoid triggering situations,” Brown said. “Simple things like cutting up credit cards and blocking certain problematic websites can make a big difference.”
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Author: Chloe Tejada