Is consumerism pumping up our anxiety?
The season of sales is now behind us. Piles and piles of things were sold at discounted prices. Many of us were carrying bags or picking up packages with our latest purchases. Some of them made us feel smart cause we saved some money. I wonder if any of your buys, however, made you feel bad. Or maybe anxious?
I myself am one of the shoppers that enjoy a good sale. I like saving a penny here and there and feeling like I’m smarter than the system. However, lately feeling smarter than the system wasn’t good enough. I felt like I didn’t want to be a part of it at all. I came into a phase where I felt anxious and the only thing that felt good was to not participate at all.
I remembered the words of Carrie Bradshaw:”I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.” While Carries’s recklessness might have seemed charming to me before, now I see it as plain irresponsibility. I don’t want to spend my money on a bunch of things that I will surround myself with in hopes of them making me happy. If I speak honestly, I want to break this link of associating shopping with happiness in the first place because it doesn’t seem very healthy to me. How and when did we start looking for happiness in (new) things?
As the rates of depression and anxiety haven’t lowered with the consumerism era (quite the contrary) it is safe to say that all those things didn’t bring us the happiness we hoped for. Still, we keep consuming more and more and feeling worse and worse. We keep buying and piling things into our already overcrowded apartments, wasting resources and polluting the planet. We are in a crazy spiral that is not good for us and is certainly not good for the environment. Is there an end to this before we hit the point of no return?
There are some changes in the right direction with people becoming more conscious. Trends like minimalism are getting more exposure as people at starting to wonder how to improve their lives. For me, the solution is not radical. I will not become a minimalist, and I don’t think I’ll stop shopping anytime soon. I will, however, be more mindful of what I buy, how I buy, where I buy from and what effects my behavior has on the planet (and my own health). My purchases will be led by purpose and a clear idea, and less by an impulse. I will work on finding my recipe for consuming as consciously as possible and once I find it I’ll make sure to share it with you.
How about yourself? Do you ever associate shopping with anxiety? Do you feel guilty after certain purchases and how often does that happen? Do you have any tips on how to be kinder to our planet and lower our waste and fast paste consumption? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.