When it comes to addiction, society often paints a very black-and-white picture. There are those who suffer from addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol, and then there are those who don’t.
However, addiction is much more nuanced than that- anyone can develop an addiction to anything, whether it’s a substance or a behavior.
One of the most common behavioral addictions is shopping addiction, which can be extremely difficult to overcome, especially now that online shopping makes it so easy and convenient to give in to temptation.
If you’re struggling with a shopping addiction, know you’re not alone. Here are seven achievable steps from The Holistic Sanctuary Luxury Rehabs you can take to start overcoming your shopping addiction:
Step 1. Acknowledge that you have a problem
The first step to overcoming any addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem. After all, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t first acknowledge that it exists. This is also where many addicts struggle because they’re in denial about their addiction.
If you rationalize your shopping behavior or make excuses for how much money you spend, that clearly shows you have a problem.
Acknowledging that you have a shopping addiction is not easy, but it’s an important first step in overcoming the problem. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if you have a shopping addiction:
- Do you shop when you’re happy, sad, stressed, bored, or anxious?
- Do you spend more money than you can afford?
- Do you often buy things you don’t need?
- Do you feel guilty or ashamed after shopping?
- Do you lie to others about how much money you spend or how often you shop?
- Do you have trouble stopping once you start shopping?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely have a shopping addiction. The sooner you can acknowledge that you have a problem, the sooner you can start working on overcoming it.
Read More: 6 Warning Signs of a Shopping Addiction
Step 2. Determine what triggers your urge to shop.
Different people have different triggers that lead them to shop. For some, it’s boredom or loneliness. For others, it’s stress or anxiety.
If you can identify what triggers your urge to shop, you can then start to work on finding alternate activities to do instead of shopping when you’re feeling that trigger. Here are some common triggers for shopping addiction:
- Stressful life events – Stress is an inevitable part of life, but how you deal with it is up to you. Some people cope with stress by shopping, but this is a dangerous coping mechanism because it can quickly become an addiction.
- Boredom – When you’re bored, it’s easy to turn to shopping as a way to pass the time. However, this can quickly become a dangerous habit.
- Anxiety – Many people with anxiety disorders turn to shopping as a coping mechanism to help them deal with their anxiety. While it may provide temporary relief, it’s not a healthy long-term solution.
- Loneliness – Some people shop when they’re feeling lonely to fill the void in their life. When shopping becomes your go-to activity when you’re feeling lonely, it’s time to find some other hobbies or activities to do instead.
Step 3. Avoid places that trigger your urge to shop.
Now that you know what triggers your urge to shop, you can start to avoid places that trigger those urges.
For example, if you tend to shop when you’re bored, you can avoid places like the mall or online shopping sites when you’re bored.
And if you find that you often shop when you’re feeling stressed, then you can avoid places like the mall or online shopping sites when you’re feeling stressed.
The key is to avoid places that trigger your urge to shop so that you’re less likely to give in to temptation.
Step 4. Find alternative activities to do instead of shopping.
While avoiding your triggers can help, you need to find alternative activities to do instead of shopping. This way, even if you’re in a situation where you’re feeling the urge to shop, you have something else to do instead.
Some alternative activities to consider include the following:
- Hobbies – Take up a new hobby or rediscover an old one. Hobbies can help you stay busy and give you a sense of purpose.
- Exercise – Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce stress.
- Spending time with friends or family – When you’re feeling lonely or bored, reach out to friends or family members and spend time with them instead of shopping.
- Doing something creative – Be it painting, writing, or crafting, doing something creative can help you healthily express yourself.
- Volunteering – Giving back to your community can make you feel good and help take your mind off of shopping.
Step 5. Set a budget and stick to it.
If you’re struggling with a shopping addiction, one of the best things you can do is set a budget and stick to it.
When you have a budget, it’s easier to track your spending and ensure you’re not overspending is easier. Of course, setting and sticking to a budget is easier said than done, but it’s an important step in overcoming your addiction.
Here are some tips for setting and sticking to a budget:
- Start by evaluating your income and expenses. This will give you an idea of how much money you must work with each month.
- Set realistic goals for your spending. It’s important to be realistic, so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Use cash instead of credit. When you use cash, you’re more likely to be mindful of your spending because you can physically see the money leaving your hands.
Step 6. Employ the 30-day rule.
The 30-day rule is a simple but effective way to help you overcome your shopping addiction. Basically, the rule says that if you see something you want to buy, you must wait 30 days before buying it.
This waiting period gives you time to think about whether or not you need or even want the item. In most cases, you’ll find that you don’t need or want the item after all.
And even if you do still want the item after 30 days, there’s a good chance it will go on sale, so you can save money.
Step 7. Seek professional help.
If you’ve tried to overcome your addiction on your own but haven’t been successful, it’s important to seek professional help. There’s no shame in admitting you need help; a professional can provide you with the tools and resources you need to overcome your addiction.
Substance abuse counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals can help you understand your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
If you’re unsure where to turn, The Holistic Sanctuary ibogaine treatment center Mexico is a great resource for people struggling with addiction. They offer a variety of programs and resources designed to help you overcome your addiction and live a healthy, happy life.
A shopping addiction, when left untreated, can ruin your finances, damage your relationships, and lead to other problems. But it’s important to remember that you can overcome your addiction with the right help and support.
If you’re struggling with a shopping addiction, follow the steps outlined in this article to start on the path to recovery. And if you need additional help, don’t hesitate to seek professional treatment.