Ladies always find that shopping is therapeutic. But to avoid being too consumptive so that we can save money would do us good. So what can you do to suppress your shopping urges, and still feel good?
Compared to other cities in Indonesia, Jakarta sits at the top as the city with the highest spending, since it is the capital as well as the business hub of the country. We can see how consumerism has become part of our lives from the continuous development of shopping centres and malls.
With more and more retail outlets popping up, merchants are competing to bring people into their stores, to spend some rupiahs on items that they do not really need. The urge to grab a good steal is embedded in us, but this can lead to devastating results if we prioritise material fulfilment over financial responsibilities.
Shopping makes us happy, and it is mainly due to dopamine. This chemical is released when we make new purchases, and is associated with feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. Even though you can adapt to less money in the bank, the question is should you? Why should you always have guilty feelings after you have bought stuff that you do not really need, just because it is on sale? If you would like some peace of mind, the fact is that you can get dopamine flowing in three easy ways.
Move That Body
There are studies that have show exercises produces dopamine, and that induces joy. As we grow older, the production of dopamine decreases and regular exercise is one great way of increasing its production. If you think about it, the movement that you do when shopping is what makes you feel good. So replace that habit with running, dancing, yoga, cycling or anything that will get your body moving. You can get in shape while producing dopamine that will make you happy afterwards!
Plug in to Nature
When you are surrounded by electronic gadgets and equipment in the home and office, our body absorbs the positive ions that are emitted from them. If we do not regularly discharge the positive ions from our body, we can feel lethargic, unhappy or frustrated. You can release these ions by going outdoors, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
In nature, there is an abundance of negative ions, which have the opposite effect of positive ions on humans. Negative ions improve your mood and energy levels, and overall well being. If you are living in the centre of Jakarta, you can try morning or evening jog in Gelora Bung Karno Senayan, or perhaps Kebun Binatang Ragunan, which is lush with greenary.
Keep Yourself Busy
You can try to do a hobby that assists with focusing your thoughts. Taking part in a particular activity regularly will give you a sense of self-reward and satisfaction. There are few of simple hobbies that do not require much space or money. These include reading, learning to play a guitar, handicraft, or learning how to bake or cook. Tending to plants also can bring you peace and tranquillity.
If you are interested in playing a musical instrument, Jakarta has musical communities such as the Taman Suropati Chamber that can help you learn at a small fee. Plus, you can enjoy the beautiful views as you learn.
For many people, volunteering their time is a hobby, too. They believe that spending their time assisting someone else brings them memorable experiences and a more enriching life.
There are many other ways to control your shopping urges. For me, the ‘second thought’ method always works—when I see something that I want to buy, I will take some time to think about it. If I am still thinking about it a few hours later, I will go back and buy it. If I forget about it, that means I did not really need it.
Buying things will have its appeal only for a short time, and it also burns a hole in your wallet. On the other hand, acquiring knowledge and skills is rewarding and timeless. So which do you prefer—spend your money on things or on skills and knowledge?