What Are Your Shopping “Aftershocks”?

Shopping Triggers Were Discussed Last Week…

Last week, I explored the concept of “shopping triggers,” which are the various stimuli that propel us to want to shop.  I outlined the five types of triggers – situational, cognitive, interpersonal, emotional, and physical – and gave several examples of each.  I also shared some of the shopping triggers that have been personally troubling for me.

That post elicited quite a few comments and I thank those who commented for sharing your trigger experiences with me and your fellow readers.  Some of you also shared your powerful tips for dealing with triggers, which was also much appreciated. I will revisit the subject of avoiding shopping triggers in future posts, but now I’d like to turn to another subject from Dr. Benson’s book, “To Buy or Not to Buy:  Why We Overshop and How to Stop.”

“Aftershocks” Often Follow our Shopping Experiences

Let’s say you succumbed to one of your most difficult triggers and you overshopped.  Your emotions were in the driver’s seat instead of your rational mind, and you bought things you didn’t really need – or even want.  What happens next?  According to Dr. Benson, what follows are “aftershocks,” her term for the undesirable consequences of overshopping.

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What Triggers You to Shop?

In today’s post, I explore another one of the exercises in Dr. April Benson’s wonderful book, “To Buy or Not to Buy:  Why We Overshop and How to Stop.”  I previously shared my insights from Dr. Benson’s exercise, “Why Do You Overshop?”  Today I delve into the various triggers that can propel us to shop and discuss some of the main triggers that have been problematic for me over the years.

What are “Triggers” and What Types of Triggers are There?

Shopping Triggers

What triggers you to shop? A sale sign is a trigger for many!

Dr. Benson defines a “trigger” as anything that inclines you in particular toward shopping.  A trigger can lead immediately toward shopping or it may set up a series of intermediate steps that culminate in the act of buying.  There are five different types of shopping triggers:

  1. Situational
  2. Cognitive
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Emotional
  5. Physical

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Useful Links: Articles on Shopping Addiction

I am always on the lookout for good articles on the topic of shopping addiction.  In fact, I probably have at least 100 of them bookmarked at this point!   In today’s useful links post, I share some of the best of these articles with you.

You’ll see some of the “usual suspects” in the mix, including an interview with Dr. April Benson and an excellent recent blog post by Jill Chivers.  I also feature a recent article about online shopping that includes quotes from both Dr. Benson and “yours truly.”  Enjoy!

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Why Do You Overshop?

As I mentioned previously, I am working through the exercises in “To Buy or Not to Buy:  Why We Overshop and How to Stop” by April Lane Benson, Ph.D.  Periodically, I will share some of these exercises on the blog. I won’t share them all, but I will post key exercises I feel will have the greatest impact for my readers.

Today’s post is the first in a series that will stretch at least through the end of 2013, and perhaps longer. I will continue to write about other topics here as well, as I like to keep things varied and interesting for both my readers and myself.  Yet I feel the exercises in Dr. Benson’s book will be highly beneficial toward my personal recovery from compulsive shopping – and yours as well.

Why we overshop

Do you understand why you shop too much?

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Feelings Before, During, and After Shopping

In this blog, I write about both the practical and psychological aspects of compulsive shopping, as I believe both areas are important in terms of our recovery.  Thus far, I’ve written far more about the practical aspects, such as wardrobe management, accountability, shopping tips, and the Project 333 minimalist fashion challenge.

While I will continue to write about these topics, I’d like to start delving more into the psychology of why we overshop and how we can stop.  In doing so, I will often refer to Dr. April Benson’s book, “To Buy or Not to Buy.”

Mood Patterns of Ordinary vs. Compulsive Buyers

Shopping-related feelings

How do you feel before, during, and after you shop?

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