Science has proven that shopping can lift up your spirits. In a recent survey by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates.com, around 52 percent of respondents said they’ve engaged in “retail therapy,” the act of shopping and spending to improve one’s mood. Shopping for many people can be like a mini-mental vacation, and this has been consistent for both men and women. So if you are feeling down, here are some purchases that can lift your mood:
Small Purchase – A Song Download
Music has positive physical and mental effects on our bodies. As we listen, music works on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and heartbeat, as well as the limbic system, which is responsible for feelings and emotions. A review of 23 studies in 2009 involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, and anxiety in heart disease patients. Music can benefit psychological wellbeing, too. Research from the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. And, you feel better even if you are listening to sad music. So for the price of a music download (less than 99 cents) you can feel great while singing along with your favorite song.
Medium Purchase – A Dog
Ask a dog owner, if having a dog is worth it, and you will almost always get a resounding yes. Ask them why, and you will hear that having them around makes the owner happy. The social support provided by pets is comparable to that from a fellow family member. One of the reasons for these happy feelings is that dogs fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression. Dogs can instill a greater sense of self-worth and self-esteem in their owners. They make the perfect companion and lift your mood.
Big Purchase – A Car
Buying a car seems like a long way to go to improve your mood, but think of it as making a big purchase once to have mood lifter for many years. Driving is an awesome experience. Once you develop the automatic, intuitive way of switching indicator lights, interchanging clutch/brake/accelerator pedals so smoothly you barely notice it yourself; listening to the revs on the edge of your conscious to know when to switch gears; master the traffic rules and how to use them to your advantage and the way traffic flows; you become a part of a single organism that is the car with the driver, with your hands and legs becoming extensions of its gears and axles, making the complex mechanism fulfill its transportation task impeccably.
Your see hear and feel everything and fly along the road without a care in the world. This is the thrill you can get from driving a car and why it is so good at lifting your mood. The great part of it, is that you do not need to purchase a high-priced brand new Mercedes, you can buy a used Ford car and get these same feelings. So make the purchase and feel great about it.
So next time you are feeling down, don’t feel bad about wanting to spend your way out of it. Retail therapy purchases are overwhelmingly beneficial at leading to mood boosts with no regrets or guilt.