Retail therapy is proven to work, but at what psychological cost?

Retail therapy has been proven to make us happier, but is there a catch?

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  • Retail therapy is a process of shopping for the purpose of making yourself feel better.
  • According to financial psychologists, there is a psychological connection between your emotions and how you spend (and save) money, which explains how retail therapy can have such a positive, uplifting effect on our state of mind.
  • However, retail shopping often happens when we are vulnerable, and that is when our impulse control often goes unchecked.
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How to survive social distancing according to science

Social distancing won't be easy, but science shows us how to make it more manageable.

  • Social distancing asks us to repress our evolutionary desire for human contact and interaction.
  • Experts worry long periods of the practice will have unforeseen consequences on our mental health.
  • We look at seven ways to help us mitigate social distancing's harmful effects.
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How to manage self-inflicted stress

Stress and anxiety therapist Dr. Amelia Aldao suggests waiting 60 seconds before reacting to a stressor, giving your rational mind time to catch up to your emotions.

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  • Stress is a complex defense mechanism that we experience in relation to either internal or external threats.
  • Self-inflicted stress is stress we inflict upon ourselves with our emotional and behavioral responses to certain situations. An example of self-inflicted stress would be your car breaking down on the morning of an important meeting because your "check engine" let had been on, but you ignored it.
  • There are a few ways for you to cope with self-inflicted internal and external stressors, put forth by researchers and therapists.
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The 'opposite of addiction' theory: How community can drive recovery

The path to sobriety isn't one that can be traveled alone, studies suggest.

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  • The theory that the opposite of addiction is community was introduced by author Johann Hari and has been backed up by mountains of evidence from various studies over the past few decades.
  • A 1993 study showed that a spouse/significant other's involvement in behavioral marital therapy "significantly improved" outcomes for recovering alcoholics.
  • A 2001 study on the effectiveness of group therapy for depression showed that there are times when the sense of community, togetherness, and compassion found in group therapy programs is much more helpful than individual therapy.
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The psychology of shopping addiction

Is obsessive shopping a compulsion, an addiction, or both?

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  • Shopping might be one of the most socially acceptable addictions, but it's still a very powerful one that up to 6% of our population struggles with.
  • Shopping addiction is a predominantly female problem, with around 90% of shopaholics being women.
  • The neurotransmitter dopamine (which is also activated when we indulge in addictive substances such as alcohol or addictive behaviors like gambling) floods our system when we buy new things.
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