LADIES, dust off your reusable shopping bags . . . the high street is back!
Non-essential shops reopened their doors this week and there are plenty of reasons to get back out there and spend.
Non-essential shops reopened their doors this week and there are plenty of reasons to get back out there and spendCredit: Shutterstock
As well as the high that comes from bagging a bargain, retail therapy is proven to be good for overall health and wellbeing.
Clemmie Fieldsend looks at some of the benefits . . .
Dopamine surges when we make a purchase, and finding a bargain triggers an even bigger spikeCredit: Freepik.com
The brain chemical dopamine is crucial for improving our motivation and mood.
It surges when we make a purchase, and finding a bargain triggers an even bigger spike.
A study by Brunel University found a link between shopping and the part of the brain responsible for pleasure and positive thinking.
Researchers also found levels of dopamine went up even while window-shopping.
Professor Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology Of Fashion, says: “Dopamine is involved in a huge number of brain processes, from memory to motivation and sleep.
“It encourages us to seek the kind of reward we get from shopping, whether it’s in store or browsing the shop window.”
Shopping is also a great motivator to stay in shape and promotes a healthy lifestyleCredit: Getty
The average woman walks 154 miles a year searching for a bargain and burns 48,000 calories, according to a study by Debenhams, which also found toting heavy bags between shops can burn off 400 calories.
Shopping is also a great motivator to stay in shape and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Professor Mair says: “We often feel compelled to buy a new outfit for an important event or to motivate us to go back to the gym — and it works, in the short-term at least.
“However, we tend not to wear clothes we have bought with the intention of fitting into them later.
“Most people never achieve their desired body and therefore what they buy is discarded or unworn.”
Shopping triggers sleep hormone melatonin so we get quality kip at nightCredit: Getty
Shopping boosts levels of feel-good hormone serotonin which makes us happy and relaxed but also in turn triggers sleep hormone melatonin so we get quality kip at night.
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology found the more serotonin we have in our bodies, the better we sleep.
Whether it is making outfit choices or hunting for shoes, shopping decisions involve problem-solvingCredit: Getty
Whether it is making outfit choices or hunting for shoes, shopping decisions involve problem-solving, which is good for the brain.
But indecisiveness drains the brain, which could mean it is better to make a quick decision over what to buy.
Shopping is also a great opportunity to practise your mental arithmetic.
Mathematician Bobby Seagull says: “If shops offer discounts such as 25 per cent off, working these out mentally involves using the parietal lobe in the brain for calculating and processing numbers.
“Our brains are like muscles — using them strengthens our ability to perform calculations.
“So get that discount — knowing you’re supporting the economy by purchasing that dress or shoes, and keeping your brain sharp.”
A study found those who made purchases were three times less sad than those who just browsedCredit: E+ – Getty
Almost one in five people have felt hopeless during the pandemic, found a study commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation in partnership with the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge.
US research at the University of Michigan found shopping was 40 per cent more effective at giving people a sense of control than not shopping, and those who made purchases were three times less sad than those who just browsed.
Professor Mair says: “Sometimes we have to buy something routine so shopping in itself can’t always make us feel in control, but it can help us feel a sense of control if we are free to decide what we are shopping for and what to buy.”
A study found that buying enticing products improves self-esteemCredit: Getty
Buying enticing products improves self-esteem, a study by the University of Miami found.
Similarly, 58 per cent of women decide what to wear based on how confident an outfit makes them feel, a poll of 12,000 people by fabric-care brand Comfort revealed.
Professor Mair says: “When we buy an outfit that looks good and feels good, we instantly feel more confident. This, in turn, has a knock-on effect and improves the quality of interactions with others.
“We might be tempted to buy bright clothes because we associate this with summer and positive characteristics such as joy. This perceived association can boost our mood.”
Two in three people say outfit choices encourage them to try new things and help reduce stressCredit: Getty
A spree can help us relax, according to the same poll by Comfort.
Two in three people say outfit choices encourage them to try new things and help reduce stress, while more than a third of us believe a day or situation is going better because of the clothes we are wearing.
The study looked into the impact clothes have on mental wellbeing and mood.
At this time of year, 15 minutes outside provides enough vitamin D for the day – a great reason to pop to the shopsCredit: Getty
Vitamin D, the sunshine hormone, protects against serious health conditions including heart disease and wards off more common ailments like colds and flu.
From around early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight, according to the NHS.
At this time of year, 15 minutes outside — especially at midday, when daylight is strongest — provides enough vitamin D for the day.
A great reason to pop to the shops.
Even lunching with a friend during a shopping trip could prolong your life, say scientistsCredit: Getty
Whether it is lunching with a friend during a shopping trip, or the thrill of getting home with a new pair of shoes, a daily dose of retail therapy could prolong your life, say scientists in Taiwan.
In a study of 2,000 people, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, those who visited shops every day were 27 per cent less likely to die over a ten-year period.
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