Die-hard shoppers will always try to convince you that retail therapy is a real thing, but now that line of argument just got a little bit more scientific. Christine Hassler, a life coach and motivational speaker with a master’s in psychology, teamed up with T.J.Maxx on a campaign to celebrate the small moments in women’s lives. Here, her four methods for transforming yourself into someone who enjoys shopping, plus how to use it as a tool for self discovery.
Turn off the distractions
It’s easy to stalk aisles with the phone pressed to your ear or a thumb scrolling through Instagram, but try unplugging the next time you’re shopping. “Make it a moment that really replenishes you, and enjoy it,” she says, suggesting you stop the multitasking. If you’re shopping online on your couch, turn off the TV. “Compare it to eating a meal. If you sit down and enjoy the environment and are present, you’ll enjoy it more. If not, you’re kind of already in the future.”
Keep the younger you in mind
If your typical shopping experiences can involve some negative self-talk, put an end to it with a simple trick Christine tells many of her clients. “I have a picture of myself from when I’m three years old on my phone, and when I notice my internal mean girl coming on, I’ll look at that picture,” she explained, pointing out how it’s naturally difficult to have mean feelings toward children. “When we connect to ourselves as that little person, it’s an instant attitude-shifter. All of a sudden we feel more compassionate and calm. It’ll instantly switch your energy.”
Let what you’re drawn to tell you something deeper about yourself
With Pinterest street style shots and constant outfit selfies on Instagram, it’s never been easier to see something and think, I want that. But stop to think a little deeper. “Instead of just copying an outfit or look you see, ask yourself how you feel when you look at it. What is it that you really like about it?” she said. “It’s not that particular pair of ripped jeans we like, it’s how they make us feel that we’re really after.” For instance, color psychology has revealed that if you’re drawn to a deep emerald or navy look, you’re wanting to feel powerful.
Make shopping a fully therapeutic activity, Christine suggests, by journaling on why you love a certain outfit or item. “Handwriting stimulates the right part of our brain where creativity comes from, so actually get a pen and paper and write,” she says. “Think, ‘When I look at this, I feel .’ Sit down and write, and your creative emotional intuition will start to take over.”