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People are good at adapting to an environment. ‘Someone living in a palace will, after a while, find it nothing out of the ordinary. It’s called habituation. In fact, people living luxurious lives are disadvantaged, because when they are forced to endure ordinary circumstances (such as an economy seat on a plane) they are particularly inconvenienced.

Habituation is one reason why some people buy a new car every two years. The thrill of a new car wears off and the owner feels empty. So, to feel good again buys another new car. But who is the more satisfied – the person who feels the need to keep updating their car, or the person content to have the same car for decades?’

Naturally, all people enjoy luxury and comfort. And who would choose differently if they had the option not to? That is not the issue though. When we can, we should enjoy the ‘happiness’ and enjoyment luxury brings along with it. Depending on it to make us happier people in general, is the mistake we shouldn’t make. Luxury and wealth DO NOT contribute to core happiness. Emotional health does.

So, retail therapy is a myth after all. It offers temporary gratification and leads to poor shopping decisions. What should we do to change it? Well, there are a few things actually.When you have to make serious financial decisions try to discuss them with some else. You might be able to get good advice of the pros and cons as well as important feedback. This process will help you think your decisions through.

If you suddenly feel the urge to indulge in a big shopping spree or buy something expensive in the spur of the moment, wait. Most of our financial decisions can wait a day or two.Retail marketing is oriented towards creating a sense of urgency and people who rush you into making financial decisions, do not probably have your best interests at heart.

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If you feel like spending money and you are not sure what to buy, but feel the need to indulge in a spending spree, buy experience! Play a game, join a club, join the gym or do something different. Do things you have never done before or ‘buy’ yourself something which will definitely make you feel a bit happier. Spend money on activities, try horse riding or spend a whole day at the spa on your own to unwind and relax. Take music lessons, go climbing or do something wild like bungee jumping. Experiences stay with you and add to life’s true core. Experiences will aid you in expanding your  boundaries, learning and evolving more, being more confident, having feelings of satisfaction and well being. Do something for yourself that will fulfill you more than unnecessary shopping.

Buying an experience is also a unique and wonderful gift for a loved one or friend. At the end of the day possessions wear off, get destroyed, lost or fade into the background. Gifts such as a back massage, a full body treatment, tickets to the theater or concert, a game of golf or even driving in a formula 1 car for half an hour instead provide a bright, powerful memory even through the darkest times.

Is online shopping an alternative to uncomfortable clothes purchasing?

More and more women rely on online shopping for clothes mostly. Many will argue that nothing beats the experience of seeing, touching and trying clothes on in a shop but online shopping could be a nice, occasional alternative for the days that we don’t feel like going to the high street.

A third of women now favour online shopping as it saves so much time. Singer Coleen Nolan who is the brand ambassador for ‘Marisota’ said that: ‘many issues that women have with shopping whether it’s patronizing sales staff or the physical exertions can be eliminated with internet shopping. Modern women work long hours and having to search in numerous different shops is a lengthy process’

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Many working or stay at home mums also experience the same problem and the online retail world gives them a faster and more comfortable way out of time consuming visits to the shops.

Now girls, don’t get us wrong. Shopping is fun. There is nothing quite like the thrill of the chase as you hunt for bargains, or  track down that perfect missing piece for the dream outfit you’re going to wear at your ex’s engagement reception.

Shopping is not, however, therapy. It’s a fun diversion that’s entertaining to engage in… but don’t use it as a delaying tactic to find out what the real problems that make you sad are. That’s not a lie you should buy.
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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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