April 24, 2019

Anti-Shopping Mantras - Part II

When I want to adjust my shopping chakra, I use a few tried and true mantras that provide me with the resistance against consumerism that I may occasionally need. 

The traditional purpose in using mantras is to create transformation, and many agree that they are powerful tools in this regard. Indeed, mantra is a Sanskrit word that means "sound tool". 

It is beneficial, then, to have a few of these in your anti-shopping toolbox. (You can see Anti-Shopping Mantras - Part I here.)

Anti-Shopping Mantras

- "I don't need that. Nobody needs that."

- "That harms the environment."

- "That will not improve my life."

- "My purchases don't define me."

- "I can focus on life more effectively without unnecessary material possessions holding me back."

- "That is not worth the hours of work required to purchase it."

- "This won't make me happy."

- "I would rather have the cash, or work less." 

- "I already have enough."

- "This was made by a large corporation that pays no taxes, and I don't want to support that."

- "I live without things other people have because I want to, not because I have to."

Mantras can help us become free of harmful thoughts, words, and actions. Try using these, or make up your own, to reduce the temptations that constantly bombard us and manipulate us to buy things we don't need.

Do you have a favourite anti-shopping mantra of your own?


  1. Anonymous4/25/2019

    Before buying most things, I ask, "How much time and money is it going to take to maintain this item?" How much space will it take up? Will I need to buy other products to clean it, paint it, repair it? What's the real cost in time and money to own this item? Not to mention what the environmental and human cost of making it in the first place. I often decline purchasing items after answering these questions. Questions help calm the impulse to buy something.
    I also keep a wish list going. If there is something I really want it is usually something practical that I will actually use, enjoy and will improve my life or functioning in some way. It goes on a wish list. I wait until I can budget for the item. Sometimes just being on the wish list is enough for me to decide I don't really want it. Might be that there is something else on there I'd rather have and the importance of the other item wanes. Very few items that make it to my wish list are ever bought, but sometimes something remains on the list a long while which means it is considered when budgeted funds become available to get it.
    Again, most things much serve what I consider a very useful purpose.

    When I go to a store I most always have a list. When I start drifting in the store and my thinking becomes vague or foggy (when the marketers are getting to me and I'm a sitting duck for an impulsive purchase), I start repeating to myself, "Stick with my list. Stick with my list." That usually keeps me on track when store set ups and marketing are getting the best of me.

    1. Anonymous4/25/2019

      Terri - the wish list is a great tool, I use it too. And agree completely that most often just putting something on the wish list satisfies the desire to perhaps buy the item, and I would guess that 90% of what is on my wish list I never buy. Once it's on that list it sort of becomes "out of sight, out of mind" and I forget I ever wanted the item! Great list of mantra's Gregg,thanks! - Mary

    2. Terri,

      Your comment reads like a master class in mindful consumption, and I thank you for posting it here.

      I agree with Mary, 90% of my wish list stuff is never bought. Often the thinking about/writing down/pondering of purchases is enough to extinguish the desire. That is why marketers never want us to think about buying (just do it), or wait to make a purchase (hurry!).

  2. I recently had a friend come to visit me who likes to shop. I took her to an antique galleria near me. As we meandered through each booth, I pointed to things and said, "I used to have those dishes." "I used to have that." "I sold one of those." I don't miss any of those things I used to own.

    1. Isn't that great, to feel that way? You are truly "over stuff" when you can get rid of it with no remorse or worry. I can't think of anything that I used to own that I would want back now, if I could get it. I love living a low-impact, non-attatched-to-stuff lifestyle with very few possessions. I find it very liberating.

  3. Right now my most important one is eat what you already have. This keeps me from wasting food, eating out, and shopping for groceries too often. Another one is I am downsizing. I limit my grandchildren to one present usually a book or item of clothing and then give money toward college. Those households are already bombarded with too much stuff. I don't want to add to it.

    1. "Eat what you already have" is a great one that we use, too. It is fun to see what needs to be used, then coming up with a dish that contains all the ingredients. Your other ideas are also useful in reducing/refusing excessive spending/waste.

  4. SO that candy bar I just had to have..... well I could recycle the wrapper:) All of these are great ways to stop the insanity.

    1. Some day humanity will look back and think, "What were we doing buying all that crap?" Truly insane, but we are awakening to more authentic and balanced ways of living.

  5. I am a compulsive shopper (clothes are my weakness) and compulsive overeater. I love reading this blog as it brings sanity to my life, and I often click onto it when I'm trying to distract myself from online shopping. I really like what's written here as it speaks to me as I try to battle my overconsumption. I like all the statements; interestingly I originally read the last on as "I live without things that other people have TO, because I want to, not because I have to". I put the extra "to" in unconsciously, but it did make me think of all the people who have to live in poverty through no choice or fault of their own.

    1. Clare,

      So many of us deal with problems such as yours. I have read that up to 6% of the population deals with a compulsive shopping issue, but I sense that the true number is much, much higher. The problem is, because we live in a consumer-dominated society, excessive shopping is not seen as a problem and is therefore normalized.

      However, the way that over shopping makes one feel is a problem, and is not "normal". Indeed, there is nothing normal about consumerism as a way to organize all life on Earth.

      We are so happy that this blog is a refuge for you as it has been created for you and anyone else that is tired of shopping for things we don't really need.

      The majority of humanity does not live the consumer lifestyle. I live simply because I want to show solidarity with that majority that struggle to get even the basics. The over-consumption of consumer nations is paid for by poorer populations.

      The community here is so strong, and I do hope you gain strength from their comments also. Good luck to you. We are happy to have you here with us.

    2. Gregg, thank you so much for your reply, it really means a lot to me. You, Linda and the community are wonderful; I love your blog and I love to read all the comments from everyone. There are some great suggestions here for a simpler life. Isn't it amazing that we can use the internet to connect with each other? This is a great use of the internet and a counterbalance to less useful aspects of it. Hugs from the UK, Clare

    3. Clare,

      That is a wonderful endorsement - "a great use of the internet".

      I can't say that about a great deal of what goes on online, so I take that as truly satisfying compliment. Thank you.

      It is wonderful that we can all connect in this way. Linda and I derive great strength and support from readers who are struggling to do the right thing. In a world largely gone wrong, we find it to be inspiring and hopeful. It restores my faith in peoplekind.


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