For us ladies, shopping is always the best medicine, but trying to save up and avoid being too consumptive would do us good, so what exactly can you do to suppress your shopping urges and still feel good?
Compared to other cities in Indonesia, Jakarta sits at the top of the highest spending cities, as it is the capital and the business hub in Indonesia. We can see how consumerism has becoming part of our lives from the developments of shopping centers and malls. Almost every month you can see price cut on food, goods and services. Every merchant in the city is at war to bring people in their stores just to spend some rupiahs for something that they don’t really need. The urge to grab a good deal is embedded in us, but it can lead to devastating results if we prioritise material fulfilment over financial responsibilities.
Shopping makes us happy and it is mainly due to dopamine. This chemical is released when we make new purchases, and associated with feelings of satisfaction and pleasure. Even though you can adapt to less money in the bank, the question is should you? Why should you always left with guilty feelings after you purchased stuff that you don’t really need just because it’s on sale? If you would like some peace of mind, the fact is you can get dopamine flowing in three easy ways.
Move It, Baby!
There are studies that have show the joy-inducing qualities of exercise, which produces dopamine. As we age, the production of dopamine decreases and a great way for increasing its production is through regular exercise. It is because you are moving when you are shopping that made you feel good. So replace that habit with running, dancing, yoga, cycling or anything that will get your body moving. You can get in shape while producing dopamine production that will make you happy afterwards!
When you are surrounded by electronic gadgets and equipment in our homes and offices that emit positive ions, our body absorbs these positive ions, and it it is not discharged from our body, we can feel lethargic, unhappy or frustrated. You can release these ions by going outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. The negative ions in nature have the opposite effect of positive ions on humans, and negative ions improve your mood and energy levels and overall well being. If you are living in the center of Jakarta, you can try morning or evening jog in Gelora Bung Karno Senayan, or perhaps Kebun Binatang Ragunan where your eyes can see greens and getting yourself away from those gadgets.
You can try to do your hobby that can assist with focusing your thoughts. Partaking or even mastering a particular activity on a regular basis does provide you with a sense of self-reward and satisfaction. There are few of simple hobbies that do not require much space or money such as origami, reading, learning a new language, or playing a musical instrument. If you are interested in playing a musical instrument, Jakarta has musical community such as Taman Suropati Chamber which can help you learn without having to pay a lot of money, plus you can enjoy playing instrument while looking at the beautiful Taman Suropati. Looking at greens or if you can tending to plants also can bring you peace and tranquility.
For many people, volunteering their time is a hobby, too. Spending their time assisting someone or a cause that they believe might enrich the volunteer’s life with memorable experiences.
Other than the tips above, there are many other ways to control your shopping urges. For me, the “second thought” method is always working. When you want to buy something, always delay it the first time, if you really need it you will try to come back later to buy it, but if not, you will soon forget about that something and will thank yourself because you manage to pass the test. Buying pretty things will only have its appeal for a while, and even burn a hole in your pocket. However, acquiring knowledge and skill will never go out of date. So which do you prefer, spend your money on things or on skills and knowledge?