It’s the holiday season! And we’ve just come through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Did you get a dose of dopamine finding some great deals?! Here’s the science behind why we love shopping!
A study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that shopping reduces sadness. “Retail therapy” is a real thing. Obviously, the shopping needs to be done in moderation, or you could end up feeling sadder when it comes time to pay the credit card bill.
This particular psychology study concluded that, when people are sad, shopping restores their sense of control, which is another way of saying that shopping restores our sense of choice and empowerment.
Why It Feels Good to Find Gifts for Our Loved Ones
Shopping also doses us with dopamine — the happy neurochemical that literally makes us feel better.
Luckily, you don’t have to first feel sad to get that dopamine high from shopping. It comes even when we’re already happy. We just get happier, especially when we’re intentional about choosing a gift that hits the spot for others.
Speaking of choosing a gift that hits the spot, I’ll tell a personal tidbit about my daughter, with her permission. She’s got strong “1” tendencies on the Enneagram, and when it comes to receiving gifts, “1’s” tend to want ONLY things that are on their Wish List.
Luckily, she shares this wish list with me, so it’s super easy to always get a winner of a gift. She feels good receiving, and I feel good giving. Delicious dopamine flowing through both our brains and bodies.
I wonder if there isn’t a little bit of that “1” tendency in ALL of us, because most of us don’t enjoy receiving something we don’t want! There’s a whole other neurochemical reaction to disappointment, such that it lowers the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our systems.
A Holiday Wish From Me to You
So as we enter the holiday shopping season, my wish is that your brain chemistry would be dosed with dopamine, as you remind yourself of control you have to choose with intention, wisdom, and love for those on your list!
P.S. If you’d like to get a dopamine dose for YOURSELF this season, check out our upcoming courses!