For most Americans, the preferred way of de-stressing is to opt for a retail therapy, and they tend to give it major precedence over yoga or even meditation to beat anxiety and stress. Surveys reveal that one out of three Americans opt for this line of action to beat the blues of excessive workload, or tide through phases of emotional upheavals.
However, surveys have revealed that women are more prone to this practice than men. Almost 40% of the female population indulge in retail therapy, compared to the meager 19% of male population. Inversely, men are twice as likely to confess that they have never resorted to this method when compared to women. In the survey, nearly 34% of the men concurred to the fact that they do not indulge in this kind of therapy, while only 16% of the women confessed that they have restrained themselves from shopping to beat stress, and plan to do so in the future as well.
Leaving aside the gender question, all “stress-shoppers” have one trait in common, that is, they always seek temporary and distracting fixes to handle stressful situations. The survey also revealed the following facts about compulsive retailing.
- 46% of such people tend to opt for rigorous physical exercise.
- 86% of them are compulsive eaters, and tend to binge on food to fight stress.
- 76% of them are concerned about their weight.
Therefore, it can be concluded that “stress-shoppers” are also “stress-exercisers” and “stress-eaters”. The basic theory behind this is that when people are stressed, they try to find activities that will deviate their attention from the point of conflict. This gives them temporary relief, and slowly this momentary distraction turns into a compulsive habit.
The recent development and growth of Internet marketing has fueled this trend at an alarming rate. Now compulsive shoppers do not necessarily have to visit a brick-and-mortar store, but they can even sit in the comfort of their homes and choose clothings and accessories by visiting the websites of their favorite brands and outlets. With such tendencies, individuals who compulsively indulge in retail therapy increase the possibilities of excessive debt accumulation.
Financial advisors state that the only way to avoid such critical financial states is to leave the credit card at home and impose an exigency on oneself. By having limited financial resources, it is possible to curb the tendency to go overboard with expenditure.