How to Avoid Too Much Shopping Caused by Uncertainty

articles lifestyle Apr 29, 2020

Do you find it hard to give away stuff you own, but don’t need? Is it difficult to say no to something cute that you see at the mall, so you end up buying it? Buying beautiful things is fine, but if you are doing so every day or every week, then you must stop and reflect. Has shopping become an addiction

Perhaps the more important question to ask is this -- what makes you buy so many things you don’t need? What do you get out of owning them? 

Even though you might think you still have relatively fewer things than other people you know, it does not help to have more stuff than you could ever need. When you look at your house now, you know that there are a lot of things there that you don’t use and do not need at all. 

Some of these things may have been gifts from well-meaning friends or family members, but you know you are guilty of buying a lot of stuff that you don’t need. Buying them made you feel good about yourself, and you thought it was an excellent way to relieve stress at that moment. But as the stuff piles over time, you begin to worry about how you should deal with them. You may even suspect that you are suffering from a compulsive shopping disorder.

What Is The Root Of Buying Too Much?

What is the root cause of those shopping habits? At the time when you decided to purchase that item that you didn’t need, you were dealing with a feeling you didn’t understand. It is the feeling of uncertainty. It is the underlying concept of not standing on solid ground. It is the feeling that makes you think you are not in control of your life. 

Feelings of uncertainty come in varying degrees. It is the feeling that brings about feelings of fear, anger, stress, anxiety, and worry. It is what is causing you to buy all those things because, for a moment, you feel like the purchase was all your own decision. If you’ve already realized that you have a problem, you may be putting off getting healthy because you feel like no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to do it. 

If the feeling of uncertainty is the root cause of why you are buying too much stuff you don’t need, you may have found yourself in these or similar situations:

  • You are going on a trip, and it’s your first time in that area. In order to help yourself prepare, you did your research and found a lot of things that you “needed” to purchase. You buy everything you consider essential for the trip, and you feel good about yourself. You feel more certain about going on that trip because of the things you bought. 
  • You are about to go to a business conference, and the thought of it makes you feel anxious. So you decided to prepare yourself by buying several new outfits to take to the conference. Now, you feel so much better because you’ve prepared yourself. 
  • You want to try out a new hobby. You are not sure if all would work out, and so you decide to buy a lot of things you’re not sure you need, but it looks like you will. You end up buying everything for any possible situation. You spent a lot on the new things you thought were essential to the new hobby, but you feel like you’ll have what you need when you need it.
  • You think that a lot of things in your life are not going as planned, and you decide to de-stress by going shopping. At the end of that shopping trip, you feel good knowing you bought things that made you happy. But then the anxiety creeps in again. Now, you are not sure what to do with the stuff you bought. 

The list of situations could go on and on, but there is one thing that ties all of these together -- feelings of uncertainty puts you in a position wherein you don’t know what to do. Change gives you the urge to be in control, to be prepared, and to feel secure. You end up buying stuff to make you feel all those things, leaving you with more things that you could ever need. 

Learning to Live with What You Already Have

You don’t like to feel uncertain. You want to get rid of the feeling as soon as you can, and shopping is your chosen drug. But here’s a thought: shopping does not actually make you feel more sure about anything. It just numbs you for a time. If you’re wondering how to stop shopping, you have to commit to breaking the habit. One way to do this is to learn how to live with less. You don’t have to go completely minimalist, but disciplining yourself in this way can help.

Having little in life may not be the most ideal for you now, but you have to give it a try. Save yourself and try to live with fewer things. Find the beauty in simplicity. 

How do you keep yourself from buying things you don’t really need? Here are some tips to help you out. 

  • Do you feel the urge to buy something? Tell yourself you don’t have the money for it. 
  • Do you feel uncertain about where you are in your life right now? Stop and make a list of your dreams and goals. More than likely, buying more won’t bring you closer to these goals. 
  • Do you feel like going out to window shop? You know that you will eventually shop, instead, shop your closet and see if there is anything you have forgotten is there.
  • Do you feel uncertainty? Sit with that feeling. While it may be uncomfortable, try to get to the root of what may be causing it.
  • Do you feel sad? Stay with that feeling and allow yourself to wallow in it. Then, think about what could be making you miserable. 

With careful consideration and thorough practice, you will be able to fill your life with more certainty than with more stuff. Sometimes, feeling uncertain about life is beautiful. It will be your constant reminder, while yes, things can go wrong, things can go very right.

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