Life is hard, but shopping helps… amirite, gals? It’s called retail therapy for a very good reason. While some (especially, men), often wax lyrical the detriment of shopping, I’m here to make a rebuttal and tell you there’s actually a plethora of unexpected health benefits shopping can have on your physiological and emotional well being!
Shopping sprees offer health benefits linked to positive physical and mental health for individuals of all ages. And for those with a little more self-control, window shopping is just as advantageous.
Shopping addicts, set aside your guilt as you read this – we’ve got good news. It turns out your mall addiction adds up to more than a hurting wallet – it increases longevity.
5+1 Amazing Benefits of Shopping
1. Lifts your mood.
Shopping is associated with a sense of achievement. Think about the time you scored a vintage jacket or necklace from your favorite shop at the mall. You were elated to find that amazing item that was unique and within your budget. The heightened emotions of happiness release endorphins, known as the “feel good” chemicals in your brain. Endorphins help you refocus your mind on your body movements, improving your overall mood.
A UK study conducted at Brunel University correlated the effect of shopping on the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is linked to pleasure and positive thinking. Researchers found that levels of dopamine increase during pleasurable experiences such as window shopping.
The surges in dopamine levels are more linked to the anticipation of a shopping experience versus the shopping experience itself. The production of dopamine plays an essential role in behavior, cognition, mood, attention, working memory, learning, and so much more.
2. Lowers stress levels.
When you shop, you socially interact with people around you – whether they’re fellow shoppers or sales associates. In addition, shopping with a best friend, partner, or family member provides a bonding experience that can reduce stress levels.
3. Improves mental acuity.
The mental, physical, and social engagement of shopping can keep your perception intact even in old age. When you shop, you are physically active by walking, going up and down escalators, and trying on clothes. The mental component of shopping is introduced when you revise your budget, check which on-sale item is better, and calculate your total cost. Socially, you meet up with friends or you hold small-talk with an employee at a department store.
It’s essential to keep your mental acuity in focus as you age. Therefore, shopping can be a preventative health measure to dementia, an illness that affects many adults at the beginning of their 60s.
4. Boosts Self-esteem.
There are few things in life that make you feel quite as good as buying that perfectly fitting pair of gowns that give you instant leg-goals or finally finding that perfect jacket/shorts that completes your summer wardrobe. Bagging those special few pieces that make you not only look good but also feel amazing really put some extra pep in your step, that changes everything from your posture and way you walk right through to your confidence. Go on… it’s okay to treat yo’self.
Shopping from one department store to the next while you carry heavy bags have been proven to be a good workout for the heart and body. It provides a workout which burns 385 calories a week for an average woman, according to research. It may not be a high-intensity aerobic workout, but if you are pounding the pavement at the mall with a lengthy holiday shopping list, you could be burning a fair number of calories.
Women who spend significant amounts of time shopping have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and other related health issues because of the physical activity.
Ladies, it’s time to go hunt for those deals and bargains in your exercise gear!
6. Live longer.
Grab a shopping cart if you want to live longer. The act of shopping can reduce the risk of death in the elderly by 27 percent. Shopping providing the above-listed benefits indeed makes you live longer.
Don’t feel too guilty about that weekly trip to the shopping mall, electronics boutique, or local thrift store. Turns out shopping may actually be good for you after all? The economy may be dragging, but a quick trip to the mall could give your brain, your health, and even your relationships a boost.
Mind you regular excessive shopping might harm your wallet.