Being the new year, people tend to start buying new things. I mean a lot of new things and sometimes they tend to overdo it. Then there are those who actually cannot stop shopping.
In this article, I wish to show you how to battle your compulsive buying or shopping addiction. But before we start,let’s first see what compulsive buying (C.B.D.) or shopping addiction really is.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Compulsive Buying Disorder is
- 2 Problems of C.B.D.
- 3 9 Ways to combat C.B.D.
- 4 1) Ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?’
- 5 2) Find your trigger
- 6 3) Change your focus
- 7 4) Stay away from temptation
- 8 5) Look for a healthy alternative
- 9 6) Next Steps
- 10 7) Seeking Professional Help
- 11 8) Join a support group
- 12 9) Don’t quit
What Compulsive Buying Disorder is
Compulsive buying (C.B.D.) or shopping addiction is an uncontrollable urge to buy things without thinking. It is considered an addictive behavior which tends to come out when we feel bad. It also comes under a lot of other names such as compulsive buying disorder or compulsive shopping.
Problems of C.B.D.
The buyer ends up with a lot of buys that he or she does not even need which can lead to financial problems, hoarding, lack of space, losing track of time and more.
It happens to males just as much as females. Currently about 6% of the people in the USA have this condition. The origins of this condition can be different since it depends on each person’s situation.
9 Ways to combat C.B.D.
1) Ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?’
When you are out on a shopping spree, stop for a second and think to yourself “Do I really need this?”.
Then think of all the stuff you’ve bought over the years but never needed. You probably had to give them away wishing you had kept the money or perhaps you are living like an expensive item hoarder.
2) Find your trigger
Find out what triggers this reaction in you. On a neurotransmitter level, when something hurtful happens to us, our dopamine levels are impacted in a bad way. This causes our urge to rise and take over.
This is why you must track down that trigger. Maybe it is something that someone said, or a bad experience at work or while out with friends. Investigate this. See how you feel before such a buy. Do you feel lonely, sad, angry, empty? Find out exactly how you feel and then try to think of what led you here (or who).
3) Change your focus
At this point, you need to stay aware. Part of this process is to try to change your focus. Perhaps consider how much time you lose while compulsive buying. Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to do the things that you really love?
Whatever you do, just try to think of something else that gives you pleasure OTHER than shopping.
4) Stay away from temptation
Try to stay away from places that may tempt you. If you are always inside a shopping mall or always browsing through amazon, it won’t be long before your next buy!
5) Look for a healthy alternative
In order to compensate for buying and to feel pleasure again, you will need to look for a healthy alternative source of dopamine.
Some people choose to do yoga, meditation or are involved in activities that will benefit others such as charity work or helping to people in need.
Try to substitute shopping with this new healthy habit and you will be able to ease the pain associated with this condition.
6) Next Steps
If you see that you are unable to do any of the above, the first step is to understand that you may have a problem. After that, there are 2 things you can do:
- Long term solution (getting help) and
- Short term (just make the damn buy).
Let’s start with the second point.
If you cannot work around your problem for the time being, you must do something to lessen the damage. Do some research for a better price. You are gonna buy it anyway, so at least try to make the financial damage as little as possible. Then once you find what you think is right, ask yourself once again, “do you really need this?”.
7) Seeking Professional Help
For the long term, getting professional help is important.
Remember this: there is no shame in admitting you have a problem or getting professional help. It is a very human problem and you must understand this.
8) Join a support group
There are also groups that focus on compulsive buying that you can join and they can make a world of difference. Just being around others who share the same addiction as you, will make you feel that you are not alone in this world and help you battle through. Other people’s battles can inspire you to find your way out of it.
9) Don’t quit
One last thing: believe in yourself and believe that you can do it! Others did it and so will you. Just have faith in yourself and you will shine through.
Give it time, put in the work and be patient.
Compulsive buying is a very common problem in our modern consumerist society. Make sure you stay on it and do not allow it to flare as it will cause serious financial problems that will impact not only your quality of life, but also your own existence and survival.
I hope the steps mentioned here will inspire to take the next step to address this problem in order to live a life that is truly strong, healthy and free.
Have you ever found yourself buying things you don’t need? How did you feel during that time? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200