|Compulsive shoppers are not born that way, they are a product of our consumer culture.|
In ConsumerLand the consumer's urge to shop has been honed and fine tuned for maximum fun and profit. That this comes almost exclusively from outside influences is rarely acknowledged, as if we were born to shop.
If we are to live simply, this lifelong consumer brainwashing must be overcome. It is not normal to want to consume till we drop from exhaustion, or die, whichever comes first.
The following are some suggestions for quelling the urge to buy stuff.
1. Declutter your living space. The neater and sparser your surroundings are, the less likely you will want to bring anything else in.
2. Start a shopping diary. Keep track of what you buy, and how much it costs.
3. Use only cash. Credit is too easy, not to mention dangerous as it can give one a false sense of wealth.
4. Only buy timeless things that don't go out of fashion. Or ignore fashion all together and buy long lasting things that make you happy.
Mostly, be gentle with yourself. Overcoming a life of propaganda and social pressure is not an insignificant thing. It is a battle. But it can be won, and it is worth the effort to be free of the pressure to buy, buy, buy.
Other Tips For Overcoming The Urge to Shop
- Recognize you are not alone, that many people experience the same urge to shop, and many people have successfully overcome this compulsion.
- Dedicate yourself to a hobby or project.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Be in nature.
- Volunteer in an area you are passionate about.
- Get addicted to exercise or some other healthy pursuit.
- Be content with what you already have.
- Recognize your "triggers" that lead to shopping. Avoid them, or learn to disarm them.
- Seek the help of like minded people who understand the seriousness of the effects of rampant consumerism on your life and the lives of those around you.