‘Mindfulness’ is a big buzzword these days. Referring to the practice of consciously observing your body and breath without judgment, mindfulness has gained ground in our culture as a coping mechanism; a way to deal with our feelings. Part of the appeal of mindfulness is that it’s a technique that can be applied to just about any aspect of life. You’ve no doubt heard of mindful eating, and perhaps even mindful moving. Now, mindful shopping is gaining ground in response to our seemingly innate tendency towards impulsive (and compulsive!) shopping.
It has always been easier to spend money than to earn it, but it turns out there’s an even bigger problem now that we don’t tend to see or touch real cash. Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos of University College London, has shown in his research that the brain experiences more discomfort spending cash money as opposed to digital money. In other words, it’s easier to spend recklessly in an economy dominated by credit card transactions.
These mindless shopping habits can have serious repercussions on our daily lives, including buyer’s remorse, skewed financial priorities and increased levels of anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately, it can lead to unnecessary debt, put a strain on relationships and even contribute to hoarding tendencies.
Mindful shopping addresses the emotions at the root of reckless spending, and can serve as a means of regaining control of your bank account balance – and your emotional wellbeing.