How to stop shopping compulsively

How to stop shopping compulsively

Shopping tends to be a hate it or love it kind of thing. Some people use retail therapy to calm down after a stressful day, while others dread spending time in a shopping mall. Shopping can become addictive, and some people start buying things compulsively. 

Compulsive behaviour is when an individual continues to do something despite the negative consequences. For example, someone might continue to go shopping even when it is causing financial and relationship problems. A shopping addiction can be tough to manage, and many people never receive the help they need.

So, what are the signs of a shopping addiction? 

A compulsive shopper with buy things on impulse. They may have unopened boxes of clothing and countless items they have never used. A compulsive shopper enjoys the high and rush of excitement when they buy something. They often seek the shopper’s high when facing unpleasant emotions, like low self-esteem and mental illness. Only once they have purchased the item, guilt and remorse will set in. It is a vicious cycle. 

Most research indicates that around 6 to 7% of people around the world shop compulsively. This impacts a huge number of people every day, and many don’t know how to stop it. 

How can you stop shopping compulsively?

Seek therapy

A shopping addiction is often hiding something much deeper. The individual may be struggling with a mental illness, and shopping is their coping mechanism. Unfortunately, compulsive shopping is far from a healthy form of treatment. It can cause very real consequences and put pressure on your relationships. 

Budget in advance

You could use a prepaid card instead of your usual credit card. You will know exactly how much you can spend on a given day, instead of frequently exceeding your budget. 


When you see something you want to buy, try meditating first. It can be difficult to resist the urge to buy someone on impulse. Leave the store, go home and meditate to clear your mind. If you still want it in a few weeks, you can go back and purchase it. You could even make a note on your calendar of when you can buy it. When you come back to your wishlist, you will probably wonder why you ever wanted it. 

Avoid temptation

Avoid the places that make you want to shop. Stay out of stores and shopping malls. If online shopping is your vice, you can block your credit card from certain stores. Or, install a blocker on your computer so you can’t access certain sites. Put measures in place now, so when you feel the urge to shop – you can’t.

Compulsive shopping is a tricky behaviour to stop. Stay strong, and ask for help when you need it.


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